The Politics of Mental Health – A Sussex Activism Inspires! Workshop by Alexandra Molano-Avilan

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“Perhaps one of the least understood areas of human health today is mental health. Tremendous stigma and ignorance of mental health issues still exist all around the world. However, this is not the only challenge faced by mental health practitioners and activists. People with mental health issues are often the victims of political agendas and poor institutions that prevent them from receiving the kinds of support they need.

Sussex alum Alex Molano Avilan gave us startling insight into the politics of mental health here in the UK. She highlighted cases where people with mental illnesses were denied benefits and the treatment they needed because of bureaucratic technicalities, excessive red tape, and a complete lack of knowledge of and regard for their needs. It was a much-needed reminder that even in a “developed” country like England, there is still much injustice to overcome.”

Mattieu Dominic, our brilliant student blogger at Sussex Activism Inspires! – from Activism Inspires Day 3: Subjectivities, History and Politics


Thanks so much everyone who made ‘Sussex Activism Inspires!’ such an incredible week. Videos and photos coming to you ASAP. It was such an honour to be on the week with everyone – keep the testimonials coming! It will help Sussex Activism Inspires! 2 get off the ground. Please get in touch – many thanks!


The Politics of Mental Health by Dan Glass


Supporting Someone With a Mental Illness by Dan Glass


MHFA Print Out by Dan Glass

Thank you so much to Alex! You have inspired so many!

Alexandra is a first generation Colombian immigrant who learned about solidarity and social consciousness via the hard knocks of being raised by a single mum in a council house in Thatcher’s ‘no such thing as society’ Britain. Introduced Marxist-Leninism at 17 years old she has continued an engaged political life in various guises since her Sussex studenthood. This has included working and volunteering for critical “bottom-up” NGOs, community projects for young people and local green movements, historical placement of local female heroes at the local archive and championing mental health awareness.

“I am very proud of my activism during my time at Sussex. I was part of the Colombia and Palestine Solidarity movements – two issues that received very little attention in student politics at the time. I am hugely grateful to have had friends around me who shared my politics, it was a magical time full of fire in the belly and fists in the air. A weekly resident of library square with megaphone to mouth and banner in hand. My experience, which was not entirely positive, taught me powerful lessons about who I am and how I conduct my politics with people now.”
Alex Molano-Avilan