Independent Living, Psychiatric System Survivors and ‘Mad Matters’

If Peter Beresford says it’s worth reading, then it’s, you know, worth reading.

Authors of our lives

By Peter Beresford

As a mental health service user/survivor, I have always valued the idea and philosophy of independent living developed by the disabled people’s movement. But I have also regretted that it has largely passed the survivor movement by because this has left us vulnerable and exposed. Let me explain.

The philosophy of independent living has gained international significance and had international impact. Building on the social model of disability it has challenged traditional free market views that all of us should ‘stand on our own two feet’ as isolated individuals.  Instead it has highlighted that we are all interdependent and for anyone to be independent, particularly as a disabled person, then they need the support that makes it possible for them to live on as equal terms as possible as non-disabled people. They also need equal access to the mainstream world through the removal of disabling barriers.

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