To see a video of this event on the Royal College of Nursing website please click here

In April 1986 a group of women in Bristol who considered themselves both feminists and survivors of psychiatric treatment came together to found the Bristol Crisis Service for Women (BCSW). Organised as a collective and with scant funding, the group drew on the feminist practice of consciousness raising to develop its work. It also took inspiration from the Survivor Movement, that rejected the medical model of mental illness, condemned the barbarity of much psychiatric treatment and campaigned for mentally ill people to have a much greater say in their treatment.

This free public event, hosted by the Royal College of Nursing Mental Health Forum’s Lived Experience sub-group, put the history of Bristol Crisis Service for Women (now Self Injury Support) into the context of women’s mental health activism and the history of gendered stereotypes of self-injury. Chaired by Hannah Cadogan, the speakers were Dr Sarah Chaney, author of Psyche on the Skin: a history of Self Harm, Jeanette Copperman, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the Open University and women's mental health activist and Rosie Wild, Community History Worker at Self Injury Support. We explored what we can learn from the fascinating story of this DIY feminist counselling service, which has been the subject of a two year oral history research project, Women Listening to Women, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Find out more at:

Content warning: This event explores mental distress, self-injury and the life experiences associated with these themes. If you’d like more information, get in touch with us on [email protected]

Read the full terms and conditions for our events here.

Booking for this event has now closed.