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Susan Inman

Author, After Her Brain Broke: Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity

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."
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Vancouver Police Understand Mental Illness

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. While applauding the efforts of police to adapt, shouldn't we also be looking more closely at policies that are creating the chaos of so much untreated mental illness?
08/22/2016 01:53 EDT
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When Psychiatry Gets It Right

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 the thinking process, of contemporary psychiatrists. And it can change the entire way you go about asking for, and receiving, help from a mental health professional.
04/04/2016 02:49 EDT
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Peer Mental Health Workers Need Better Training

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. However, various ideological agendas have led the internationally powerful peer support movement in questionable directions.
01/18/2016 02:47 EST
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These Psychiatrists Dare to Set the Record Straight on Mental Illness

Two recent books by high profile psychiatrists provide readers with background knowledge that is essential in shaping our own responses to one of the biggest social problems of our times: severe mental illnesses. Now that psychiatrists are increasingly willing to enter into the messy public arena, it's up to the public to see what we can do with the information they are providing.
04/21/2015 07:58 EDT
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How We Can Cure Our Mental Illness Illiteracy

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 week to discuss mental illness, but there seems to be a puzzling assumption that we don't actually have to know much about mental illnesses in order to have meaningful discussions. I'm still looking at the website for links to the early signs of psychosis or any information about schizophrenia.
10/09/2014 05:28 EDT
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The Consequences of Mental Illness That Nobody Talks About

Psychotic disorders are frequently accompanied by significant and disabling cognitive losses. Why don't people learn about these cognitive losses? This lack of information has enormous negative consequences. For instance, families who have not been told about these cognitive losses, may have very different interpretations of a family member's difficulties in keeping a room clean or in not relaying phone messages. Parents will respond differently to these kinds of situations if they learn that this behaviour isn't willful, but is symptomatic of an ongoing brain disorder.
08/10/2014 03:13 EDT
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How Nancy Pelosi Broke My Heart

This might come as quite a shock to the many American families I know who can't get treatment for their very ill sons and daughters whose psychotic states aren't 'passing.' These are families whose children have joined the millions of Americans living with untreated severe mental illnesses. They are homeless, victimized, and cycling in and out of jails and prisons.
05/20/2014 12:30 EDT
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The Future of People with Severe Mental Illnesses is in the Wrong Hands

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. While it is impossible to deny that progress is being made, the simple fact is that our world, as it stands, has little desire to label people with mental illness as anything but crazy and dangerous.
12/03/2013 05:41 EST