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Citizenship and the politics of identity 

Citizenship and the politics of identity
Chapter:
Citizenship and the politics of identity
Source:
Postpsychiatry: Mental health in a postmodern world
Author(s):

Patrick Bracken

and Philip Thomas

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198526094.003.0015

In Chapter 9, we try to describe how our ideas have influenced our work as psychiatrists. Postpsychiatry, as we have said already, is not a new form of ߢtherapyߣ. We are not attempting here to describe ߢcasesߣ. Instead we focus here on the broader, community-based aspects of our work in Bradford. We begin by describing the city, its history and origins, and the important historical role played by migrant workers in the last 200 years of the cityߣs history. We outline the work of Sharing Voices Bradford, which demonstrates the value of community development in creating safe spaces (or ߢethicalߣ spaces) in which different understandings of, and responses to, madness and distress can be articulated. We believe that such an approach has the potential to bring particular benefits to Black and minority ethnic communities. But it does not stop there. The idea of safe spaces in which people can explore their own understandings of madness applies to all communities. This is amply demonstrated by Rufus Mayߣs work with Evolving Minds, in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. We revisit the concept of citizenship and describe how Bradford District Care Trust has set about working towards a citizenship agenda. This is a courageous endeavour, but one fraught with difficulties and problems.

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