Christine Hillingdon was a Psychiatric Enrolled Nurse for twenty-seven years, employed under the South Australian Mental Health system. During that time, she kept diaries which reveal all aspects of working in that position, such as her period of training and dealing with people who suffered various degrees of mental illness, ranging from frightening to downright bizarre and hilarious ... and then there were the patients!
Being a part of South Australia's mental health history, coping with the changes within it, and experiencing its evolution in a steady--but not always comprehensible--way wasn't easy. Despite her trials and tribulations, Christine has seamlessly explored the eccentricity of characters that both lived and worked in the psychiatric field of nursing, with guts, honesty, and a unique wit, in this rare and bravely told epistolary account of her life.
"In what is often a much maligned and misunderstood area of nursing, Christine Hillingdon uses humour and satire to describe everyday people doing an abnormal and thankless job."
Amos Turton (Bachelor of Health Sci.)
"If you want insight into what it was really like to work through Accreditation, hospital closure and bureaucracy gone mad, then this a must-read."
Fiona Bell (NASANSB)
"The Lunatics do seem to have taken over the asylum."
Phillip Hackett (Ex-Psych Nurse)
"Wonderful descriptions, presented with great humanity, compassion and humour. This book vividly captures what it was like to work in a psychiatric hospital during that period of time - and what happened afterwards."
Jude Mann (Mental Health Nurse)
"Thought-provoking. A real eye-opener. Not to be easily put down. Rich in human foibles. A glimpse into a world that is seldom discussed. Well worth a read."
Bruce Tanton (Author, Ex-Psych Nurse)