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Photography Magazine

Guest Columnist - Tracey Calder

Basic Survival Skills


For some, photography is more than just a pastime, it’s a valuable device in their mental health toolkit, says Tracy Calder. 

When a woman suffering from schizophrenia burst into Bournemouth police station and started waving a samurai sword about, Paul Williams knew exactly what to do. Paul has a background in the military, and has worked as a senior mental health specialist, so he was quick to disarm the woman, and was soon tackling the paperwork. Three months later, however, he was in hospital, experiencing what he believed to be a heart attack. After a few hours spent hooked up to various monitors, he was discharged and instructed to visit his GP. His heart was fine, but his mental health was showing serious signs of deterioration. Paul was later diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and severe recurrent depression, and by 2011 he had attempted suicide three times.

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