Full Metal Cardigan
Last week, social services referred their client who, once accepted to our team, became a service user and, on further review by the doctor, a patient.
He was found not to meet the eligibility criteria; he was a survivor but not with the right symptoms, an expert but with the wrong experience.
He was promptly discharged and ended the day as just a person.
Full Metal Cardigan is David Emery s first book and chronicles his adventures in social care, from enthusiastic volunteer to feral frontline worker, taking in abusive popstars, chanting cults, drug runs and interviewing a corpse.
He recounts how he gained international notoriety for cheating in a pancake race, encounters with the supernatural, High Court appearances, accidentally booking someone into Dignitas, one-inch death punches in Woolworths, waterboarding, psychotic psychopaths, plunger-wielding pregnant women and suicide attempts with rhubarb along the way.
This is a humorous look at life as a social worker: in turns both laugh-out-loud funny and mind-boggling
Reviews from Amazon.
I had the pleasure of working with David some years ago. He was bright, keen and very funny, as is this book. He has chosen anecdotes from a veritable cornucopia (and has left out almost as many as he has put in - yes folks, mental health work provides many laughs, from your colleagues apart from anyone else).
The qualities which made David a brilliant social worker shine through; his compassion, respect for others and readiness to get alongside them in dealing with life. But I had no idea that he spent so much of his professional life in a state of abject terror.
Initially I wondered if I would like this book, there seemed to be a touch of us and then but that quickly disappeared as the humanity commitment and good humour of the author shone through. Good to see such an honest look at how awful it can be to work in mental health services either as a manager or front line worker even when wanting to give the most they can. Would love some of the politicians implementing austerity to read this and for some of the people who promote what on the surface appears to be progressive practice who might benefit from a look at what reality is really like.
I very much enjoyed this book. All sorts of adventures, scrapes, hairy situations - told with engaging style and lots of humour. It's a real mix of laughs but also really makes you think.