“Upstairs in the Crazy House” is an inspirational autobiography written by a service user and mental health advocate of the Canadian Psychiatric system, Pat Capponi.
Pat gives a graphic and moving account of the unbelievable poverty and conditions endured by mental health service users. In tandem with this Pat also narrates her experiences as a victim of appalling child abuse who subsequently finds it difficult to fit in to “normal” life.
With a failed marriage and career behind her Pat finds herself discharged from a psychiatric hospital to a half-way boarding house where her empathy and compassion for the boarders saves her from suicidal thoughts, putting her energy into protecting service users rights, advocating for improved housing as well as fighting for changes at government level on mental health policy.
Pat went on to serve on many committees and continues the fight for service users rights.If you have seen Working Like Crazy, you will have seen Pat in her trademark cowboy hat.
When David and Kathryn visited us in April, David gave us a copy of this book, her first. She has gone on to write many more books, including crime novels, and continues to be an activist in anti-poverty work.