Behind the Label. Great new website with lots of great resources and ideas from Rachel Waddingham. Consultant, trainer, prison reformer and voice hearer.
I ended the last century in a psychiatric hospital, diagnosed with schizophrenia and with little hope for recovery.
Seen as a ‘revolving door patient’ with a severe and enduring mental illness, I lived my label – not my life. I bought into the idea that schizophrenia is a life long mental illness and that the best I could hope for was to manage my symptoms with life long neuroleptic medication.
Life, I’m glad to say, doesn’t always turn out the way you think.
Through a combination of luck, the kindness of others and my own, not inconsequential, stubborn streak, I have finally ditched the psychiatric labels and see myself as a survivor. I manage a London-wide mental health project, am an independent trainer, speak at conferences, am a trustee for National Hearing Voices Network and ISPS UK and live a life that I truly love. I no longer take neuroleptic medication, and choose to live with alongside my experiences. If you’d have met me 10 years ago, this is a future that you would never have imagined for me.
About Behind the Label Website
Although I use this site to share some of my thoughts and reflections on my own ongoing journey, it’s not just about me.
Working in the mental health field, and being lucky enough to meet some amazing people along the way, means that my brain cells are brimming with ideas and questions that I would be glad to use to open up a discussion or debate. I’ve learnt that there is never one way of seeing the world, or making sense of extreme experiences.
This site also gives me the chance to share resources, websites and downloads that I think may be useful. The internet is a wonderful tool to access a massive amount of information, but finding the pearls amongst the gravel can be a challenge. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, hopefully this will be of use.
Training & Consultancy
I am an experienced trainer with over 12 years of experience in the mental health field. If you’re looking for someone to speak at an event, run a workshop for your organisation or help you think about new ways of working – please email me to discuss your options.
My specialist areas include: psychosis, trauma, dissociation (including DID), self harm, distressing & unusual beliefs, recovery, resilience, mental health in prisons/forensic units and working creatively with young people who hear voices.
Thanks for visiting Behind The Label. I’ll be updating it each week, so do pop back when you get a minute.