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Jean Winter / The Halfway House

Memoir
  • Jean Winter / The Halfway House
The Halfway House is based on my own experiences with the public and private psychiatric systems. Mental illness is a complex subject and the effects are debilitating, for the sufferer, close relatives, friends and to society in general. This fictionalised memoir tells the story of four people who suffer with a mental illness. The individual characters are on separate journeys until they live together in a ‘halfway house’; then their lives and goals become intertwined. The Halfway House describes their assimilation into the wider community. The book describes the main character, Gardenia, struggling to find meaning with her mental illness. She daily questions her sanity. Gardenia tries to adapt to changing circumstances, to face and confront her fears. She also tries to understand the conflict between accepting self and mainstream society’s idea of normality. Issues of reality and insanity are explored. Gardenia realises her mental anguish is closely related to the treatment she received in the past at Felixstowe, a public mental health facility. Projects and therapies are undertaken at the ‘halfway house’. Psychological approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy and stress management techniques can help alleviate mental suffering. Medication can also play a part. There is an element of shame and guilt that permeates mental illness. Isolation, misunderstanding, and stigma have detrimental effects. Generalised labels and definitions make acceptance difficult, especially trying to understand a disorder that can’t be seen physically. Recovering from trauma, confusion of diagnoses, misinterpretations and generally wild assumptions and accusations play an integral part in the humour of The Halfway House. I hope that understanding, compassion and education will help those who suffer a mental illness to be accepted and finally be granted peace.
978 1 76109 047 9, 150pp

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Paperback

9781761090479
$27.50

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