In 1999, Simon Swinson, then aged 35, had a psychotic episode which changed his life.
To that point he had lived without a mental illness diagnosis, despite feeling he was living a ‘dysfunctional’ life.
“My journey is one of missed opportunities for the first half of life and from then on — proper diagnosis, treatment, and relative success,” he said.
"I was missed in the diagnosis process so it wasn’t until I … suffered a major psychotic episode that I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
"I didn’t really have the insight at the time to know what it was that I was lacking.
Book aims to better prepare nurses
Mike Hazelton, a professor in mental health nursing at University of Newcastle, worked with Professor Lorna Moxham from University of Wollongong and Flinders University’s Professor Eimear Muircochrane to write a new book for nursing students.
The text was co-written by people with direct experience of mental illness, referred to as ‘consumers’.
“These days it’s important that every health professional has a strong background in mental health,” Professor Hazelton said.
"It would be fair to say that every text book in our field written in the last decade or more has at least a chapter in which you get to hear from the person with lived experience.