Jo spent 28 years as a psychiatric patient, including several years detained in hospital, and was very much attached to and dependent on psychiatry and the medical model for her survival, it seemed. Making the decision to discharge herself and separate psychologically from their hold and the myths she told herself about being 'ill' was extremely difficult and painful for Jo but she knew she had to do so to grow and for her own integrity and wellbeing. She continues to experience distress which can be very debilitating but she now relates this to her experience of childhood trauma, attachment deficit and societal pressures and demands. She is committed to reform of health and social services by using her own experience of psychiatry, nursing, counselling and social work to show the healing power of positive caring relationships and the damage of being labeled, pathologised and institutionalised. Jo has a background in collective advocacy and community education. She has written several books, including memoirs, essays, articles and themed poetry collections; and has spoken at over 300 events. She lives and loves in Edinburgh.