Review: Changing Minds: The Go-To Guide to Mental Health for You, Family and Friends

Changing Minds: The go-to Guide to Mental Health for You, Family and FriendsChanging Minds: The go-to Guide to Mental Health for You, Family and Friends by Dr Mark Cross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A well-written and engaging book, based on the television documentary series by the same name, that explores a topic that unfortunately is still not spoken of nearly enough in Australia – and it should be!

The lead author, Dr Mark Cross, explores the major areas of mental illness that impact on Australians, mixing the imparting of information with the stories of those who have been afflicted by these diseases that still carry such stigma with them. The result of a compassionate and passionate presentation of the reality of mental illness drawn from Cross’ twenty-five years of medical practice as a psychiatrist across three continents.

For those wanting to know a little bit more about the various major disorder groups, this book is a godsend. For those who have been afflicted by one of these illnesses, or whose family member or loved one has been afflicted, this book makes it clear that a) you’re not alone, and b) there is help available out there. Cross’ compassionate presentation does a lot to destigmatize what is all too present in contemporary society, and which should not be considered in a way different to any other disease.

This book is almost compulsory reading for any Australian, but especially any Australian whose work, job or vocation has the potential to bring them into contact with people who live with one of the conditions outlined in this book.

From the blurb:

This compassionate and insightful guide will demystify mental health issues and help anyone concerned about themselves or loved ones.

Leading psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross, from the acclaimed ABC TV series ‘Changing Minds’, feels strongly that everyone should have easy access to information they can trust about common mental health problems, whether for themselves or to help family or friends. The result is this empowering guide which aims to cut through the myths and taboos about mental health and offer clear, practical help. It covers a wide range of common issues, from bipolar, anxiety, personality and eating disorders, to depression, post-traumatic stress and schizophrenia, and includes how to get help, what treatments are available and how to live successfully with a mental illness. Most importantly, it shows how carers and families can help a loved one through what can be a very challenging time. Since almost half of all Australians will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime, this book is for everyone.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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