The Anti-Stigma Thesaurus: Rewriting the Language of Mental Health

Despite how the nursery rhyme goes, words can hurt. They can also be used to reinforce mental health stigma, particularly in crime fiction. Words are powerful – and “with great power comes great responsibility”. The longevity and influence of words can be epitomised in that one quotation, first used centuries ago and popularised by a […]

Hello 2016

Happy 2016! It’s that time of year again. The one in which I tell you about the exciting things that are happening in my writing life right now, and we can anticipate them with glee together. New Amy Lane novels The wait is almost over! Captcha Thief, book three in The Amy Lane Mysteries, will […]

#KillerFest15 – Mental Health and Crime

I was privileged to take part in Killer Reads and Waterstones’ Killer Crime Festival 2015 with a Twitter chat about mental health and crime fiction. There were some great questions and an ongoing discussion afterwards about crime novels featuring protagonists with mental health problems. Please share your recommendations in the comments. [View the story “#KillerFest15 […]

Freudian Script: How Common Are Mental Health Problems?

If you’ve visited this blog before, you’ll know I like to bang on about the accurate and sensitive portrayal of common mental health problems. You may have noticed that I don’t find many good portrayals – in fact, I sometimes find it hard to find any examples at all. Mental health has a visibility problem. […]

Myths about Depression and Suicide

Given the recent tragic death of Robin Williams and the resulting surge in media attention, I thought I would bust a few myths about depression and suicide. EDIT 13/08/14: Amended to capture some of the ugliness that the UK media vomited out this morning 1) “What did he have to be depressed about? He had […]

Sticks and Stones: Mental Health Stigma and Crime Fiction

Crime fiction is entertainment. Writers’ primary goal is to entertain. But what is the impact of the written word on the most vulnerable people in society? Does crime fiction contribute to mental health stigma? What is stigma? The term stigma refers to the negative stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination directed towards a group – in this […]

Freudian Script: Inside a Psychiatric Ward

The madhouse. Loony bin. Asylum. Psychiatric wards are called many things, but what is it really like inside one? Freudian Script continues to give writers an up-close-and-personal view of mental health services in the UK and this week’s post concentrates on the inside of mental health unit. History of the psychiatric ward The first “psychiatric […]

INTERVIEW: Lucy V Hay on Teen Mental Health and Jasmine’s Story

For this week’s Freudian Script, Lucy V Hay (aka the infamous script guru Bang2write) talks frankly about her struggles with her mental health as a teenager and how that contributed to the latest book in her THE DECISION series, JASMINE’S STORY. You drew on your personal experiences in THE DECISION: LIZZIE’S STORY to write about […]

Freudian Script: Police and Crime

Police officers – not the most likely custodians of society’s mental health. However, they are frequently called out to mental health emergencies and they play an uneasy role alongside the mental health profession in enforcing mental health law. In commemoration of National Crime Reading Month, I’m going to explore the often-complex relationship between the police, […]