Susan Inman
Susan Inman's memoir, After Her Brain Broke, Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity (Bridgeross, 2010), has been recommended both by NAMI and by EUFAMI, which are the world's largest organizations advocating for families coping with mental illnesses. In Canada, it has also been recommended by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, and the BC Schizophrenia Society. As well, it has received very positive reviews in numerous professional journals, including the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Susan's articles about mental illness have appeared in a variety of publications including the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Province, The Tyee, the BC Teacher Newsmagazine, and CMHA-BC's Visions magazine. Susan is a past president of the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society's Vancouver/Richmond branch and a past vice-chair of Vancouver Coastal Health's Family Advisory Committee (FAC).

While a member of the FAC, in 2006, Susan drew up plans for a family conference focusing on meeting the needs of family caregivers for people living with severe mental illnesses. Susan has continued to actively participate in organizing this unique annual event which offers families, people living with illnesses, and staff an opportunity to learn about cutting edge scientific research and about evidence-based psychosocial rehabilitation programs.

While continuing to provide ongoing assistance to her daughter, who is recovering from a severe schizoaffective disorder, Susan is a very active public speaker about the situations of families coping with psychotic disorders. Susan taught secondary school in Vancouver for over 20 years. She received her BA from Swarthmore College and her MA from UCLA.

Susan recently received a Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal which is "a visible way to recognize outstanding Canadians." These medals "provide an opportunity to honour exceptional Canadians for their contributions to their fellow citizens, to our communities and to our country."

Entries by Susan Inman

Advice To B.C.'s Politicians On Mental Illness Policies

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2017 | 1:29 PM

With a May 9th election approaching, people in B.C. are hearing good news about increased funding for mental health services. The B.C. government has accepted federal funding of $655 million linked to mental health services over the next ten years. As well, the current Liberal government is promising...

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Families Coping With Schizophrenia Don't Have a National Voice

(13) Comments | Posted March 21, 2017 | 9:03 AM

Families who care for people with schizophrenia once had an organization that gave them a national voice. They no longer do. This lack of national representation impacts not just our own situations; it also hurts the people we support, because they are often unable to advocate on their own behalf.

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The B.C. Mental Health Act Protects My Daughter

(45) Comments | Posted January 13, 2017 | 5:31 AM

Provisions in British Columbia's Mental Health Act that protect people with severe mental illnesses are currently under attack.

A challenge filed in B.C.'s Supreme Court argues that both inpatient and outpatient involuntary treatment are violations of people's human rights. The plaintiffs are two individuals who...

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Vancouver Police Understand Mental Illness

(8) Comments | Posted August 22, 2016 | 1:53 PM

We hear about horrific situations in Canada when interactions between mentally unstable people and law enforcement lead to tragic outcomes.

Less well known are the longtime efforts of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to meet the needs of the 30% of their calls that deal with mental illness....

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When Psychiatry Gets It Right

(3) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 2:49 PM

I've been waiting a long time for a book like How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist.

Written by psychiatrists David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden, this book is the most thorough account I have seen of the thinking process, or what should be...

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Peer Mental Health Workers Need Better Training

(85) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 1:47 PM

A growing trend in the delivery of mental health services is the use of peer support workers. Peers, who have themselves experienced some kind of mental illness, can help meet some of the many needs that people with the most severe mental illnesses have. They can help in relearning how...

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We Should Look To The U.S.'s Legal Struggles Over Mental Illness Policies

(9) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 9:36 AM

The future of people in the United States and in Canada with the most severe mental illnesses looks a bit brighter this week. That's because last week a U.S. Congressional Subcommittee narrowly passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, known in Congress as HR-2646.


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What You're not Hearing About the Hearing Voices Movement

(61) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 9:40 AM

Recently the Hearing Voices Movement (HVM) has been receiving a lot of very positive press in Canada. The Globe and Mail, CBC's Tapestry program and the University of British Columbia's alumni magazine TREK have offered similar kinds of stories. The public finds...

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Canada Can Learn From California's Mishandling of Mental Health Policies

(8) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 12:26 PM

We often hear that the inadequate level of funding for mental health care in Canada is the biggest factor in so many grim outcomes for people with mental illnesses. It's easy to think that if we just put more money into some kind of mental health services we could solve...

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We Need More Mental Illness Literacy

(84) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 5:42 PM

As the American Psychiatric Association (APA) meetings wrap up in Toronto, it's a good time to consider the current situation for people living with schizophrenia and the families who help them.

The APA sessions didn't report any dramatic new treatments available for people with schizophrenia. Instead, the focus...

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These Psychiatrists Dare to Set the Record Straight on Mental Illness

(40) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 7:58 AM

For most of the 20th century, when fanciful, non-evidence based musings of Freudian psychoanalysis reigned supreme, psychiatry's practitioners remained mysteriously aloof both in and out of their offices. Now that psychiatry has achieved its rightful place as a medical discipline, psychiatrists are daring to share more of their personal journeys...

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Why Canadians Should Care About the Battle Over U.S. Mental Health Laws

(22) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 11:47 AM

During the new session of the U.S. Congress, legislators will be considering the proposed "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act." The decisions they make can have a big impact on mental health care in Canada.

If the bill passes, the U.S. Substance Abuse and...

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Caregivers for People With Schizophrenia Are at the Breaking Point

(9) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 10:25 PM

A landmark international survey has concluded that families caring for people with schizophrenia are at a breaking point. The ongoing survey is being conducted by EUFAMI, a European-based association of organizations supporting families coping with severe mental illnesses.

EUFAMI has collated the responses from people in seven...

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How We Can Cure Our Mental Illness Illiteracy

(14) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:28 PM

Despite the good intentions of Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 5 - 11), it's pretty hard to learn some of the most basic information we need to know about mental illnesses.

Many organizations, including the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) encourage us to take this...

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The Consequences of Mental Illness That Nobody Talks About

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 3:13 AM

Psychotic disorders are frequently accompanied by significant and disabling cognitive losses. These cognitive difficulties can persist even when other symptoms (delusions, hallucinations) are well controlled by anti-psychotic medications. Well-researched cognitive problems include difficulties with short term and working memory, focusing, sequencing (essential for planning), judgment and problem solving....

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CBC, Stop Telling People With Mental Illness They Don't Need Medication

(14) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 8:29 AM

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation should consider the potential fallout from its June 7th Sunday Edition in which radio host Michael Enright enthusiastically endorsed the perspectives on mental illness of his guest, journalist Robert Whitaker. Both the on-air interview and CBC's follow-up article can easily persuade people...

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How Nancy Pelosi Broke My Heart

(10) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 12:30 PM

Like many bi-national Canadians, I have strong ties to my country of origin, the United States. I realized early on that American families were much better organized around helping people, like my daughter, who live with severe mental illnesses. During these years I've also realized that the U.S.'s influential mental...

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Researchers Should Seek Families' Input on Mental Illness

(48) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 10:43 PM

People trying to help their family members struggling with severe mental illnesses don't have access to researchers. It's no surprise, then, that researchers ignore topics that reflect their perspectives on how to improve the mental health system.

In case any grad students, mental health services administrators or academics want to...

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The Future of People with Severe Mental Illnesses is in the Wrong Hands

(56) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 4:41 PM

Planning for the future presents serious problems for parents of people with significant disabilities; when those families are dealing with psychotic illnesses, the future is especially frightening.

Organizations have become skillful at lobbying for humane supports for people with most disabilities. However, for people impacted by the most severe mental...

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Mental Illness Education Still Gets a Fail

(8) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 12:29 PM

All kinds of well-meaning mental health messages are now offered during October. Nevertheless, too many parents don't realize that this next year is going to bring terrible news into their lives. Almost 4 per cent of the population develops schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and...

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