A new study examines the benefits of collaborating with mental health consumers in research.
Judgments of the so-called ‘angry consumer’ deeply reinforce divisions within mental health policy and services. The only way we can engage in meaningful co-production is not to gloss over histories of collective exclusion and disempowerment and all the pain and anger that goes with it, but rather to validate and work through difficult emotions.
The problem with being a consumer is that we get consumed. I’ve been the bacon at far too many mental health picnics. Someone’s salary gets paid, someone’s program gets funded, someone’s career gets enhanced, someone gets accolades for being so altruistic and such a great savior — and me, what do I get? Exposed, laid bare, and isolated.