Almost half the Australian population will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime yet it is still difficult to find the right treatment and stay well. Kate Richards is well positioned to ask the hard questions about our mental health system. She experienced episodes of depression and psychosis well into her adult life and is a trained doctor.
Kate argues for empowering patients and their families to be active members of treatment teams. She challenges the common belief that patients are responsible – even somehow to blame – for the existence of their illnesses and makes a plea for mental health professionals to reach out across the patient–therapist divide and find a human connection. When mental health patients are heard, respected and understood, sustained healing can begin.
Kate's experiences are detailed in the critically acclaimed Madness: A Memoir, winner of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2014 nonfiction prize. She is now a full-time writer, working part-time in medical research, and has learnt how to live a happy and productive life with a chronic mental illness.
'With swift, bold brushstrokes she plunges us into [these] fractured worlds ... These powerful vignettes show those suffering mental illness as ordinary people rather than as statistics or ''patients''.' The Saturday Age