Mental Illness
The Out of Your head Guides - 2007

 

The Out of Your Head Guides are a series of leaflets for people who use drugs and have experienced mental illness. They were produced with Dr Mark Holland a consultant nurse from Manchester dual diagnosis services as part of his PhD. To give me access to the locked wards and enabled me to do the research with Mark I became a temporary member of staff for the mental health trust. Mark co-wrote the booklets with me. The illustrations were based on the research we did in Acute and Intensive Care Units and with those leaving in-patient services.

 

Here is an article first published in Drink and Drugs News and a link to Mark's PhD that explains the research process in more detail.

 

The guides use four characters to represent the people and experiences we encountered. Everything from the text to the style of illustrations were extensively researched and piloted. They won the 2007 North West NHS Innovation Award and were runners up in the NHS National awards that same year. At the national awards ceremony I had collected a six-foot plastic check from Professor Heinz Wolf and inventor of the clockwork radio Sir Trevor Baylis. However, somewhat ironically, the now award winning publications were at that time banned by the funders.

 

The guides have been regularly updated and are still in print. Versions have been produced in a number of other countries.

 

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Mental Illness: The Out of Your head Guides - 2007
David - Out of Your Head Guide Martha - Out of Your Head Guide
Jason - Out of Your Head Guide God - Out of Your Head Guide