Suzy helps Eastenders
Published: 29 May 2009 10:32
ANYONE following the Eastenders story line involving Stacey Slater"s denial that she is suffering from mental illness and amazed by how real it all seems has Helensburgh woman Suzy Johnston Syrett to thank.
Suzy, who has recently wed her partner Michel Syrett, and published her highly acclaimed second book, The Snowglobe Journals - sound bites from a mental illness, has been one of the team advising the Eastenders writers on the story.
Suzy said this week: 'MDF The BiPolar Organisation is very much involved with the BBC"s Eastenders storyline with two of its characters developing the condition - first Jean and now her daughter, Stacey.
'As a member of the charity I was asked to offer some insight as I developed the condition at the same age as Stacey.'
Suzy, whose illness developed fully while she was studying at St Andrew"s University, has been in and out of hospital care but has still managed to make a name for herself as a campaigner on mental health issues and she is so respected that her new book carries a foreword by the famous psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud.
He writes: 'Suzy Johnston has accomplished an audacious and rare undertaking in penning an unusually frank account of a psychotic breakdown.
'If that was all she has done the book would still be worth reading - but something much more important is being undertaken here.
'Despite all the research effort that has been invested all over the world, the medical model still struggles to capture the psychotic experience.'
He concludes his foreword: 'It"s only when the wider public and policy makers come to understand how dreadfully difficult managing psychosis sufferers is, that proper resources might at last begin to be diverted to properly treating this serious and common medical emergency.
'This, and for a whole host of other reasons, is why this book is so very important.'
After graduating, her deteriorating health saw her being hospitalised six times and following her recovery, she first became involved in mental health awareness programmes in 1999 when she joined the education team of the Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health. Giving talks to senior secondary pupils, social workers etc and writing about having mental illness for student psychiatric nurses led to the writing of her autobiography "The Naked Bird Watcher" which was first published in the Spring of 2003. "To Walk on Eggshells" by Jean Johnston is the carer"s account of Suzy"s journey of recovery. Spring 2009 saw the publication of "The Snow Globe Journals" - a more probing and searching account of Suzy"s battles with mental illness.
She is involved with the Scottish Executive"s "seeme" Campaign that addresses stigma and discrimination whilst raising awareness.
Suzy has recently married her partner Michel Syrett, an award winning journalist and a well known writer/lecturer on business management and creativity who has a bipolar disorder and who also cared for his father who had manic depression for 15 years.
He is past chairman and founding trustee of MDF The BiPolar Organisation, the UK"s principal national charity representing people with a bipolar diagnosis. The author of some 20 books and reports he has also written and spoken extensively on mental health issues.
l The Snowglobe Journals is available at Bookworms in Helensburgh.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
8 Mar 2014 09:30
HELENSBURGH wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid took centre court alongside tennis legends Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Pat Cash and Ivan lendl at London’s World Tennis Day Showdown.
6 Mar 2014 16:30
A LIVE debate on Scottish independence featuring political heavyweights Mike Russell MSP and Jackie Baillie MSP is a sell out.
6 Mar 2014 13:00
REPRESENTATIVES from the Post Office have encouraged members of the public to have their say in plans for a new modern premises.
3 Mar 2014 10:00
Gordon Reid saw off competition from youngster Alfie Hewett to win the men’s singles title at the USN Bolton Arena Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.
26 Feb 2014 09:00
LOMOND Roads Cycling Club got the new season off to a roaring start in the early season Icebreaker team time trial.
23 Feb 2014 09:00
ARGYLL and Bute under-15 netball squad enjoyed a successful tournament in Edinburgh recently, picking up victories and a great deal of credit from tough oppenents.
19 Feb 2014 17:30
Gordon Reid won his second successive doubles title at the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament over the weekend as the British number one and Dutchman Maikel Scheffers claimed their third title in four tournaments together this year.
19 Feb 2014 17:00
A RHU man has had positive feedback from his Men’s Shed idea for the Burgh area.
17 Feb 2014 09:30
A GROUP of Helensburgh ladies are taking on a gruelling challenge to raise money for Scotland’s Children’s charities.
13 Feb 2014 10:00
The special screening of Sunshine on Leith by the Cove and Kilcreggan Film Society last weekend brought out record numbers and raised an amazing £1000 for the Jamie Taggart appeal.
31 Jan 2014 09:30
YOUNGSTERS from Helensburgh raced to success at the weekend’s Dunbartonshire Country Championships.
25 Jan 2014 08:30
Helensburgh Athletic Club’s Michael Miller and Alex Burns were in action at the Emirates Indoor Arena on Saturday, competing alongside a number of Commonwealth Games hopefuls as well as some of Scotland’s top young athletes last weekend.
23 Jan 2014 09:00
A DRINK driver who caused chaos in Helensburgh town centre has been banned from the roads and placed under supervision.
22 Jan 2014 16:00
Gordon Reid’s quest down under to claim his first singles Grand Slam title came to an end on Wednesday as he was knocked out of the Australian Open by world number one Shingo Kunieda.
22 Jan 2014 08:15
The final of Helensburgh Curling Club’s McArthur Stanton competition recently took place between the teams skipped by Ian Mowat and Preston Fleming, with Mowat’s rink crowned champions after an entertaining tussle.
18 Jan 2014 10:00
‘MURDER most foul’ has taken place on the banks of Loch Lomond – and budding detectives have been called upon to help solve the virtual mystery.
16 Jan 2014 08:15
Gordon Reid completed the perfect start to his Australian Open preparations by becoming the first British player to win a men’s singles Super Series wheelchair tennis title at the Apia Sydney International Open in Australia.
15 Jan 2014 17:00
HOPES are high that the popular Kilcreggan Youth Cafe will be able to open for business again this year.
12 Jan 2014 09:30
Helensburgh gold squad swimmers brought 2013 to an end by competing in various West District events, performing well throughout the competitions and achieving some excellent results and a number of club records.
11 Jan 2014 15:00
WAVES crashed into the Helensburgh coast as residents and business owners rallied to protect their properties from fast moving flood waters.