Mair Elliott is a Young Patient Activist and is Chair of Hafal, a user-led charity for people with a mental illness and their carers. She has won multiple awards for her youth work, has given a TEDx talk, and is now working on a book about autism and mental health for JKP.
In this guest blog, Mair puts a call out for contributors to this book, as both she and we want to ensure it is as representative and diverse as it can possibly be.
“Autism and mental illness are often medicalised, seen through the lenses of research and clinical settings, and talked about in terms that disregard the human elements. This project/book aims to give autistic people and others a real and human narrative of neurodiversity. I want autistic people to read this book and feel recognised, validated and part of a community. Whilst this wouldn’t be considered a traditional self-help book, the ideas and experiences of what has helped each writer can go towards helping autistic readers.
The impression I would like non-autistic readers to have after reading this book is of the human nuances of autism and mental illness and to have a greater understanding of what it means to be an autistic person struggling with mental ill-health.”
The book will consist of essays from autistic people about their own experience of mental health and mental illness with emphasis on the real-life experiences of being autistic, having mental illness and tips on maintaining or re-gaining a level of mental health.
I am looking for autistic people to write an essay each based on their own experience of mental illness and mental health. Topics could include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, or anything that comes under the ‘mental illness and mental health’ topic.
Writers don’t need to be previously published and I am happy to assist anyone who doesn’t feel confident in writing but would still like to contribute.
I need autistic writers from across the world (not just UK based) and of all different shapes, colours, sizes, genders, abilities and support levels. Intersectionality and having a diverse range of contributors is important to me.”
If you would like to contact Mair to find out more about this project or to get involved, you can do so via Mair.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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