reTHiNK Schizophrenia – Creativity

Film makers, poets, artists, leaders in mental wellbeing, authors, bloggers, and others share their personal experience of schizophrenia and recovery. Individual stories that challenge the myths and stereotypes about schizophrenia.

“Terry Lightens Up” by Jacquie Kidd, Hamilton, NZ
Directed by Duncan Milne

DR. JAMES JONES: Malcolm Dale TERRY: Luke Derrick
STRONG MAN: Chris Hatfield MOTHER: Rochelle Cowie
ANGRY TEEN: Katherine Furnell YOUNG WOMAN: Julie Sim

It’s a fact of life that Doctors are pretty impressive people, and mad people are, well… mad! Right? That’s what Terry thought too, until he received a ‘special’ kind of help from his psychiatrist! It just goes to show that we’re all alike once you get past the social trappings.

Dr. Jacquie Kidd is the mother of Tracy, Elin, Caitlin and Drew, and grandmother of Leah and Kayla. A mental health researcher and educator at Waikato Clinical School and School of Nursing, which are part of the University of Auckland, Jacquie lives in Pirongia with her husband Tony, their youngest son, and an assortment of cats and dogs.

“Terry Lightens Up” was written and performed for the 2010 reTHiNK Theatre Challenge “M.A.D. …it’s a matter of degree”

Produced by Titirangi Theatre and Dramatrain

Filmed by Morningside Productions

reTHiNK is run by Mind and Body Consultants as part of the Like Minds, Like Mine programme to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

What it’s like to live with schizoaffective disorder:

Jonny Benjamin writes an honest account of how he lives well in the presence of this misunderstood diagnosis and has produced this awesome video as an insight into just how normal he is!

Recovery from schizophrenia without medication:
Filmmaker Daniel Mackler’s incredible documentary on those people with schizophrenia that were put in the “beyond help” box by many mental health professionals, and how they recovered without medication.

Trailer #1 for “Take These Broken Wings”, a 75-minute documentary on recovery from schizophrenia without medication. DVD available at: Joanne Greenberg (bestselling author of “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”), recovered for over fifty years. Interviews with Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker, Bertram Karon, and Catherine Penney. Directed by Daniel Mackler.

Here is the interview with him about the film “Take these Broken Wings” (which is also available for lending from Mind and Body).


Susie Crooks – blessed with schizophrenia

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To listen to: May 23, 2011 – Susie Crooks talking to Mike King about his description of ‘suffering’ when speaking about her experience of being ‘blessed with schizophrenia ‘. From – RadioLIVE  Nutters club show, 3:04 min.

To watch: Susie Crooks is a much-loved founding mother of the consumer movement in New Zealand. She is renowned for her straight-talking, gutsy leadership. Amongst many things, she was a prominent organiser of the 2006 inaugural National Nutters’ Conference – the first of its kind – marking a milestone in consumer leadership, moving from participation in mental health services to leadership. From an interview with Susie by 




Sandy Jeffs explains how she’s lived with schizoprenia to R U OK?

Sandy Jeffs was diagnosed with schizophrenia over 35 years ago. While she initially struggled with this life-changing news, she has since changed the lives of many others by sharing her story.


People Say I’m Crazy People say Im crazy poster thumbnail

John Cadigan filmed his life in order to show others what it is like to have a mental illness. His struggle proves that people with mental illness can, not only survive, but thrive. For 10 years, after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, John documented his life. People Say I’m Crazy is the result of these efforts, a film that has become a touchstone for showing the human side of mental illness. Official web site of the film with trailer:


I Got Better

I  got better banner

MindFreedom International‘s I Got Better campaign aims to challenge the dominant narrative of hopelessness in mental health care by making stories of hope and mental wellness widely available through a variety of media. You can view and share videos and written stories.

With this collection of stories and evidence we can spark a new dialogue in our society about mental and emotional distress, moving from hopelessness and chronic illness to themes of resiliency, recovery, wellness, and HOPE.

This film was created by George Clipp for Tell Me A Story, a digital storytelling project of Something In Common and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Intervoice: Hearing Voices…

Interview with Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Intervoice on the topics of hearing voices and the international hearing voices network. Video length 9:48 min.

Ron Coleman has been active in the field of mental health since 1991, when he began to use his own experiences to develop ideas for recovery-centered services. Since then, he has gone on to write numerous books and papers on the subject and was influential in the development of the Hearing Voices Network in the UK.

Ron now works with his wife, Karen, under the banner of ‘Working To Recovery’, a company doing training and consultancy work in mental health, with a focus on recovery-based services.


mary web 2

Mary O’Hagan

Mary O’Hagan is a well-known innovator, thinker and writer. She has used her lived experience of mental health problems and her extensive work experience to develop straight answers to the curly questions in mental health. She is profiled on reTHiNK under Perspectives.

(below are two specific links to blog entries by Mary of interest)

Two Accounts of Mental Distress (Mary’s journal juxtaposed with her clinical notes)

Psychiatric Drugs: The two stories




Overcoming Schizophrenia: How I am Living with it

Ashley L. Smith – her personal blog on her life and experience of schizophrenia. Over a period of years, Ashley has maintained this blog sharing her story of recovery.

“There is life after diagnosis of mental illness, I am proof! I have accomplished many of my short-term and long-term goals which will continue to change along with my ongoing recovery plans and responsibilities.”

“Thank you for reading about my struggles and joys- I hope my experience will motivate you to see strength, hope, and the endless capabilities in yourself, whether you have a mental illness or not. Thank you”

Rediscovering words and writing

A blog post by “Charlie” on the mind UK website.

“When it was first suggested to me that I do a blog, my immediate reaction was “No, I don’t get on with words”.  Which reminds me of my response when I was asked if I was joining a poetry group. “No” I said, “words hurt too much”.  However, on reflection, when I see the chest full of my old diaries, I think maybe that this might help”.

More reading:

Schizophrenia is part of my story”: An article from a Like Minds, Like Mine newsletter
(this link should download or open the pdf file)

Richard was diagnosed with schizophrenia during his twenties and is currently writing a book about schizophrenia and his journey to recovery. “I want to show that life doesn’t end once you’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia – that you can go on to live a life of your own choosing with friends, family …” 

Books to read:

Mosaic and Myth – a collection of poetry, prose, short stories and art work from Toi Ora’s (Auckland, NZ) writing and visual arts classes.

Check out the Mental Health Foundation’s book, App and DVD review blogMany of these items are available to borrow from the Mental Health Foundation Library.

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