Helen Spandler is a Professor of Mental Health Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. She is the managing editor of Asylum, a non-profit radical mental health magazine.
She currently holds the Welcome Trust Investigator Award and is the principal investigator on a new research project about the role of MadZines (comics and graphic memoirs created by people with lived experience of psychosocial disabilities) in contesting mental health knowledge and practice.
With over four books and 40 publications to her name, professor Spandler has applied her expertise to a wide range of concerns. She has written about the psychiatric survivor movement, alternate interventions such as therapeutic communities, psychosocial disability, and grassroots activism concerning patient rights.
In this interview, she discusses the importance of placing human suffering before theoretical preferences. She argues that understanding truly listening to psychiatric survivors requires us to get accustomed to uncomfortable truths.