We had a wonderful day at UBC’s Allies in Health Community and Patient Fair!
We participated as panel presenters at two sessions. Jude Swanson and Susan Katz joined two other community speakers at a presentation on ‘What works and What Doesn’t’ in the Health Care System. 

In the afternoon, all four of us, Susan Katz, Susan Trapp, Jude Swanson and Margo Robinson spoke to an oversold crowd about our experiences of mental health care and recovery.
This was the fourth year of the Fair, an opportunity for patients/care recipients to directly meet with and inform health care professionals about our conditions and what has helped and what has hurt.
We are grateful to the UBC Health Care Communications Department for making these annual events possible. Without them, the patients’ voices do not enter the training of our health care professionals.
The message, of partnership between patient and provider, is powerful and enduring.
Our gratitude to PeerNetBC for supporting our ongoing writing program as an independent writing 
co-operative for mental health consumers.
Thank You!


• Over 35 community organizations with a vast range of services
• Learn about valuable community resources
• Chat with patients, patient family members, consumers, and the groups representing them
• Free refreshments • Drop in any time
The Recovery Narrative Project writers will be sharing a booth with PeerNetBC! We’ll be there to answer questions you have about mental health experience and recovery, and we’ll be selling both of our books!
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Date: Wednesday October 31, 2012
Time: 10:30am-4:30pm: **Note: our group will be away from the PeerNetBC table from 12:45-2pm presenting in a closed panel presentation.
Location: Life Sciences Centre West Atrium, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, UBC Campus
From 10:30-4:30 on Wednesday October 31, 2012 to learn about community health organizations and resources available to health professionals. The Fair will include patient panels, community exhibits and prizes.

More information about our books at the UBC Health Care Communications Department:

More information and directions for the Fair:



Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Center for Mental Health Services, the Voice Awards honor consumer/peer leaders who have played a vital role in raising awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and promoted the social inclusion of people with behavioral health problems. their exemplary leadership and advocacy, these individuals demonstrate that recovery is real and that people with behavioral health problems are valuable, contributing members of their schools, workplaces, and communities.
The awards also recognize TV and film writers and producers who have given a voice to people with behavioral health problems by incorporating dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of these individuals into their scripts, programs, and productions. These dedicated, insightful, and influential professionals have helped change how TV and film viewers understand mental health and substance use disorders and accept people with behavioral health problems.
Each year, the Voice Awards features a theme that supports SAMHSA’s key strategic initiatives and is integrated throughout all facets of that year’s program. In 2012, the awards program will spotlight the strength and perseverance of athletes who face unique challenges in managing mental health and/or substance use disorders while continuing to train, compete, and remain in the public eye. Consideration is being given to consumer/peer leaders who educate the public about the behavioral health challenges of athletes and help empower them to begin the journey of recovery. Additional consideration is being given to TV and film productions that accurately and respectfully portray the behavioral health struggles of athletes, their resilience, and their paths to recovery.

Book Launch Part Two; the ripples of recovery…..

Evening the frayed edges: the ripples of recovery.  That is the title of our SECOND anthology!!!  This time 5 writers belonging to the Recovery Narrative Project have put together a sequel to our original book.  Of course we will be hosting an exciting book launch to introduce this book to our Friends, Families, Peers and Supporters!  Details to come soon.  The date of the book launch will be Thursday April 12, 2012.  Check back here soon when all the details will be posted.  We’d love to see you there at our second BOOK LAUNCH!!!

More about our panel at the UBC Health Fair

“I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to share my story about my journey with mental illness and living in recovery.  I would welcome another opportunity to share my story and I think the other panel members would as well.  Please  feel  free to contact us.”
A Recovery Narrative Author and Panel Member

Thank-you to UBC Health Fair

A few of the authors from the Recovery Narrative Project were able to go to this years UBC HealthFair.  Thank-you to all the attendees (Students, Faculty and Others) of our panel presentation who came to listen to our perspectives about living with a mental illness.  Recovery is a journey so we have not recovered from mental illness, but instead are learning to recovery with a mental illness.  Thank-you again to those who picked up a copy of our first book.  And also thank-you to everyone who stopped by at our booth to chat and share their ideas/perspectives.  Hopefully we will see each other again….

And kudos to the group that organized and facilitated this Health Fair.   We feel it was an awesome day!

Two exciting announcements…..

On Wednesday November 2, 2011 three of the authors from ‘EVENING the frayed edges’ will be speaking in a panel about ‘Recovery living with a mental illness’ at the UBC Student Health Fair!  Further details will be posted soon!  The topic of our panel presentation fits well with our books on recovery.  Did I say books?  That’s right, the Recovery Narrative Project did publish a book on recovery with mental illness and now we almost have a second book ready for publication!  We feel both books compliment each other well and we our looking forward to sharing our stories…..

Again more details on our second book (Evening the frayed edges: the Ripples of Recovery) to come soon!

Summer, what summer?

Next May, June and July you will not hear me complaining about the heat and sun.  Why?  I have gotten to experience almost no heat or sun yet this summer.  I kinda miss it.  In fact, I miss it a lot.  My appetite usually shrinks.  I get out for long walks.  I even escape to forests so I can get some time away from the heat.  Not this year.  Last summer I took someone up to Lynn Canyon so they could experience this beautiful corner of the lower mainland.  After a hike, I stuck my head in the cold creek that carves its way through the rock of Lynn Canyon.  That cold water just energized me.  Anyway, I am being energized this May, June and July.  Doing what?  Well, can not say quite yet but I’ll give you a hint.  There maybe more frayed edges…..

Language can be a framework…

Do people living in our communities while accessing mental health services want to be known as ‘Consumers’, or ‘Clients’ or some other label?  Language can certainly help the framework of how issues are looked at.  The term ‘weapons of mass destruction’ certainly helped build a framework for decisions made by many countries in terms of choosing to get involved in a war.  Even how those military actions were framed depending on the group sharing its opinions.  Was it a war, military action, democratic liberation?  The Recovery Narrative Project’s first book (yes, we MAY 😉 be working on a sequel!) EVENING the frayed edges was an opportunity for the authors to use our voices to begin to build frames.  These are frames for us to share our lives, share our experiences and share our opinions about recovery and living with a mental illness.   As writers we were able to build some frames but it is just as vital to see how those frames (and the words within) resonated with our readers.  Hopefully, others will learn from our writing the way we were able to learn about writing, publishing and distributing a book!