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The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About
‘Expansive and generous … brimming with kindness, revelatory accounts and wit. The book itself is a thing of grace.’ Rick Morton
‘Elfy brings empathy, reason and generosity to a book Australia so desperately needs.’ Zara McDonald
An investigation into the failings of Australia’s mental healthcare system, grounded in a personal story of a mother–daughter relationship
Journalist Elfy Scott grew up in a household where her mother’s schizophrenia was rarely, if ever, spoken about. They navigated this silence outside the family home too; for many years, this complex mental health condition was treated as an open secret.
Over the past two decades, we have started talking more about common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. But complex conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychosis have been left behind, as have many of the people who live with these conditions or who care for them.
Part memoir, part deep-dive investigation, The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About is filled with rage at how our nation’s public discourse, emergency services and healthcare systems continue to fail so many people. It is also a work of care, telling the little-heard stories of people who live with these conditions and work at the front lines of mental health. Above all, this timely, compelling book is informed by hope and courage, breaking down taboos and asking big questions about vulnerability, justice and duty of care.
‘Absorbing and mind-opening, this is panoramic in scope, while offering a deeply intimate portrait of fierce familial love and care.’ Benjamin Law