Film ID:
YFA 1304



Visitor Tabs


Part of the Yorkshire Media Consortium Project, this film consists of the insights from a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic woman living in the community in Bradford.

Title | Ethna - in her own words

Title | schizophrenia, ski-, skizo- frenia, or skidz-, n. a psychosis marked by introversion, loss of connection between thoughts, feelings and actions, and by delusions. - adj. and n. schizophrenic (-frenik). [Gr. schizein, to split, phren, mind.]

The film begins with Ethna Cooper sat on a platform at a railway station whilst the Patsy Cline song "Crazy" plays in the background. She explains that she was brought up in Hertfordshire and that one of her parents was a psychiatric nurse as she sits reading a newspaper on the train.

Title | Bradford, September 1998

Ethna is sitting on a couch explaining that she had a breakdown several years ago.

Title | Hill End Hospital, London Colney, Hertfordshire
October 1998

There are exterior shots of a derelict building and its grounds, which have now been redeveloped into a housing estate. Ethna explains that the building was formerly the mental hospital and talks about her diagnosis, and how her hostility to the staff at the hospital was taken as a symptom.

This is followed by shots taken inside the hospital corridors, where a sign reads "Occupational Therapy". Ethna talks about her boredom and lack of privacy in the wards. Back outside, Ethna points towards the building and explains about the sash windows.

Title | Bradford March 1999

Ethna is sitting in a chair talking to the camera about her work for the organisation MIND in Bradford. She is then seen in the drop-in centre where she is leading group activities and standing by a whiteboard. Ethna discusses the various campaigns that she is working on, including the UK Advocacy Network and External Reference Group. As she talks there are shots of Ethna taking part in various events and roundtables about mental health services.

The next sequence consists of a series of newspaper clippings showing comments made about the subject of mental health by politicians Frank Dobson and Paul Boateng.

Title | Bradford May 1999

Ethna talks in a chair about the media reportage on mental health issues and draws similarities between the treatment of psychiatric patients and the racist language that had been deemed unacceptable twenty to thirty years prior.

Title | Ethna in her own words is part of the A4E Contemporary Video Collection
Produced by Yorkshire Media Consortium
Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England
Archived by the Yorkshire Film Archive

The film ends with Ethna playing an acoustic guitar and singing one of her own compositions about how it feels to be a mental health patient.