Reviews

Coping with a Mental Health Crisis

The focus of this slim volume is different approaches to mental health from the broad perspective of viewing such events as a psychospiritual crisis.

The focus of this slim volume is different approaches to mental health from the broad perspective of viewing such events as a psychospiritual crisis.

Seven steps are noted as ways in which healing and growth can occur, encompassing different elements of psychosocial support, validation, reduction in ‘toxic’ or stressful incidents, and active practices, such as mindfulness and meditation, among others.

While not always mainstream practices, with the exception of mindfulness, the core ethos of these approaches – self-kindness, creativity and healing – provided useful reminders for me to pause and take space in my own busy life.

The same may be true for staff and the people they support in their increasingly busy and stressful work and home lives. The book is accessible and wide ranging, though some of the approaches described as potentially helpful remain controversial, including detoxification and homeopathy. However, the book promotes choice, individualisation and the potential of hope – all useful elements in whichever field of psychiatry staff are working in.

The most powerful element was the use of personal narrative to illustrate different aspects, not least from the author’s personal journey. In this way, the book explores different ways of viewing mental health and crisis as opportunities for growth and change, while also acknowledging the potentially devastating and distressing experience and effects of such crises.

A useful adjunctive viewpoint for those interested in psychospiritual aspects of mental health and wellbeing.

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