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Mad World

Mad World

The Politics of Mental Health

by Micha Frazer-Carroll

Series: Outspoken by Pluto

It's time to reclaim our mental health!

Mental health affects us all, and yet it remains elusive as a concept.

Does getting a diagnosis help or hinder? How is mental wellbeing, which is often incredibly personal, driven by widespread societal suffering? Can it be a social construct and real at the same time?

These are some of the big questions Micha Frazer-Carroll asks as she reveals mental health to be a political issue that needs deeper understanding beyond today's 'awareness raising' campaigns.

Exploring the history of asylums and psychiatry; the relationship between disability and broader liberation movements; alternative models of care; the relationship between art and mental health; law and the decarceration of mental health, Mad World is a radical and hopeful antidote to pathologisation, gatekeeping and the policing of imagination.

Micha Frazer-Carroll is a columnist at the Independent. She has previously edited for gal-dem, the Guardian and Blueprint, a mental health magazine that she founded. Micha has also written for Vogue, HuffPost, Huck and Dazed. She was nominated for the Comment Awards’ Fresh New Voice of the Year Award, and the Observer/Anthony Burgess Award for Arts Criticism. She is invested in using journalism to challenge systems of power.

‘An inquisitive and nuanced look at a topic that we talk so much about and yet still don’t really have much of a holistic grasp on’

- ‘gal dem’

‘A radical antidote to the constraints of our current conceptualisation of mental health’

- ‘Dazed’

'Really brilliant...this is by far the best introduction to mad politics I've ever read.'

- Robert Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Education at Sheffield Hallam University

'In these urgent times, activists are often seeking guidance on radical approaches to mental health. Mad World offers a welcome and refreshing guide to a progressive politics of mental health – an indispensable resource for activists today'

- Hel Spandler, Editor, 'Asylum: the radical mental health magazine'

'Wow! An honest, urgent and lovingly researched invitation to rethink our assumptions about madness. 'Mad World' is an invaluable toolkit, not just for dismantling oppressive health structures, but for building the systems of care we desperately need. This book is a gift and that gift is hope.'

- Aisha Mirza, founder of Misery mental health collective

'An urgent introduction to a new radical politics of mental health which embraces the messy, unruly nature of our collective vulnerability and interdependence. Frazer-Carroll exposes the underlying truth that capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with our wellbeing. Mad World teaches us how to transform the ways we understand madness, illness, and disability to build a better world.'

- Beatrice Adler-Bolton, co-author of 'Health Communism'

1. Asylums
2. 'Knowing' Mental Health Today
3. Mental Health in a Maddening World
4. Why Work is Sickening
5. Disability / Possibility
6. Diagnosing Diagnosis
7. On Disavowal and Disorder
8. Art for Mental Health
9. Law and Disorder
10. Other Possibilities

Published by Pluto Press in Jul 2023
Paperback ISBN: 9780745346717
eBook ISBN: 9780745346724
Audiobook ISBN: 9780745348490

192 pages

129mm x 198mm

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