My book, 'Psyche on the Skin: A History of Self-harm' was published by Reaktion in February 2017. It explores the history of self-harm, from the ancient world to the present day, and is available online or from all good bookshops: http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=e2016081116212375. The book combines historical research, critical psychology and cultural studies with reflections on my own lived experience of self-harm. In particular, I emphasise that we can't understand the present without reflecting on our past, and that the history of understanding self-harm as a behaviour can't be understood outside wider social and cultural issues.I gained a PhD in the History of Medicine PhD from UCL in 2013. My thesis focused on self-inflicted injury in late nineteenth-century British asylum psychiatry.
My background is in museums and public engagement. I am part-time project manager (public engagement) on the 'Living with Feeling' project at Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, and I also run the events and exhibitions programme at the Royal College of Nursing. I have previously worked at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Benjamin Franklin House, the Old Operating Theatre Museum and the Royal College of Surgeons Museums. I have a strong interest in mental health advocacy and peer support, and the value of history, literature and the arts in formal and informal mental health care.