IF anyone can write a book on mental health recovery, it is Northbridge author Jenny Middlemiss.
The writer, artist and film producer knows exactly what it’s like to live with mental illness, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1998.
For 14 years, she has known the struggle that comes with mental illness and saw something needed to be done to encourage others facing a similar battle.
That is why she set about writing her self-help book Secret Squirrel Business two years ago.
Ms Middlemiss said the “simple guide” covered different aspects of life from when first diagnosed with a mental illness.
It represents other people’s stories and her own journey, which involved coming to terms with the experience of living as a person labelled with severe mental illness.
“I used to be incredibly unwell and needed guidance,” she said. “I have been in and out of wards, told I was never going to work again, and thrown in paddy wagons, so I know how low it gets.”
Ms Middlemiss has come a long way since then and is now a successful author and film producer.
“The two messages from my book are that you’re not alone and that recovery is possible,” she said.
Last week was the official launch of the book, which has been funded by a number of organisations, including the WA Mental Health Commission and Ruah Community Services.
Along with her book is a website that aims to give hope to others living with mental illness and provide insight for the wider community.
The book is free and can be found in bookstore, online at www.secretsquirrelbusiness.com.au and at mental health clinics.