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Paul’s Story: A Son’s Struggle with Adoption, Schizophrenia and the Mental Health System-bookcover

By: Mardie Townsend

Paul’s Story: A Son’s Struggle with Adoption, Schizophrenia and the Mental Health System

Pages: 186 Ratings: 5.0
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“Mental illness? Who wants to read about that?” Despite one in four people experiencing mental ill health in their lifetime, it is not a popular topic for conversation.  Perhaps this book will change that!

Combining amusing anecdotes, insights from research and heart-rending personal reflections, this book recounts the triumphs, traumas, and tragedies of the life of Paul – adopted child, loved son and brother, schizophrenia sufferer – and of his family. Excerpts from Paul’s own journals and reflections from his family, highlight the ups and downs of Paul’s life. These include his struggle with having been relinquished for adoption, his difficulty accepting the diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the inconsistent and patchwork approach to support for people with mental ill health and underline the tragic waste of human possibility resulting from inadequate mental health care.

An absorbing, poignant and powerful read, this chronicling of Paul’s life and experiences and its impact on his family is incredibly emotive, tackling some difficult subjects with honesty, compassion, and humour. The personable writing style makes this work accessible to a wide audience and the sustained analysis and discussion relating to the need for a higher standard of care and improvements in the mental health system makes the work compelling. Ultimately, it is a heartfelt piece that raises important suggestions for society today.

Mardie Townsend is a retired academic, wife, mother of three and grandmother of five, co-owner of two Beagles, an active community member and a passionate advocate of both environmental and social justice.

For the past 25 years, Mardie has researched and taught in health promotion/public health at Deakin University, leading a program of research exploring the human health/environment interface, focusing particularly on contact with nature as a source of health promotion and healing.

Her ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People’ research is widely recognised internationally, with Mardie presenting at conferences around the world on nature as ‘medicine for body and mind’.


Customer Reviews
1 reviews
1 reviews

    I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. There was no reason to rate it lower, as there were no negatives. There were no errors found, so I would say the editing was exceptionally well done. The book is one of a kind as it encapsulates the story of a man from childhood, enclosing the time within. Each chapter also had a glossary of references to the subject matter, which would help the reader research further if interested. I recommend this book to anyone who might have a loved one with similar health struggles. It might seem overwhelming to not have someone who relates. That is why this book is a perfect fit because the author writes from a place of knowledge and experience.

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