Mental Health Awareness Week and The Colour of Madness, with Dr Samara Linton
This episode for Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK features Dr Samara Linton, and will be out later today. She tells me about putting together The Colour of Madness, the book that she co-edited. It's about the black and minority ethnic experience of mental illness, mainly in the UK, the medical services around it and how racial stereotypes remain, grimly, a part of that process.
The book that takes a frank, clear-eyed look at how the failures of those services can lead to vulnerable people missing out on help, getting misdiagnosed or ending up in prison. It's a snapshot of this moment in time, when we're more open than ever to talking about mental illness, but that conversation still marginalises certain groups.
Samara and her co-editor Rianna Walcott crowdsourced the contributions to the book, in a smart and thoughtful use of social media that Samara explains in detail. While a lot of people might be leaving Facebook, those groups are still a digital town square for those united by an interest, cause or shared experience.
On Mental Health Awareness Week: I wrote for the first time about my mother's struggles with a chronic mental illness.
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