By Louise Roxanne Pembroke.
Survivors Speak Out
ISBN 1 898002 02 9
In 1989, with the support of the mental health charity, MIND,
and the Kings Fund Centre, Louise Pem broke organised a conference
In this book she has built constructively on the experience of
This has involved gathering together a number of personal
statements on self-harm, including three which were presented at
that conference, and placing them within a critical analysis of
The pain involved in the exposure of the processes involved, as
well as the often oppressive responses, is made more bearable by
some sharp wit in the text and in the accompanying drawings.
The personal statements are followed by an assessment of
professional responses to self-harm, an examination of the social
consequences, and a consideration of possible alternative
There is an interesting, if rather brief, description of work
undertaken by the Bristol Crisis Service for Women which is
followed by some helpful advice for people who self-harm; friends
or relatives; psychiatric or counselling services and staff in
accident and emergency departments. The book ends with a list of
contacts and resources.
The publication is aimed at anyone who has been through the
experience of self-harm, as well as those who work with them. I
would highly recommend it.
Robert Brown is head of approved social work training
programmes in south London, Hampshire and south west England. He is
also a Mental Health Act Commissioner.