Dr Kanthi Perera’s new book offers insight into navigating the stresses of mental ill health

Friday 18 Jan 2019

Dr Kanthi Perera is a senior clinical social worker currently working for North Metro Mental Health, where she is a HSUWA workplace rep.

In 2005, Kanthi was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study innovative programs that address loss and grief in the context of mental illness in order to minimise the distress and trauma experienced by both the person with the diagnosis and his/her family

Recently, Kanthi published a new self-help book based on the insights gained from her doctoral research, entitled Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health.

Ambiguous loss is characterised by a lack of clarification and closure. It often occurs in the context of mental ill health, as symptoms, diagnosis, intervention, and the responses of others can be unclear or fluctuatingThis loss is rarely openly acknowledged or supported by the wider community.

“Research on stress and trauma has found that no other form of loss is as unmanageable and traumatising as the stress of ambiguous loss,” said Kanthi.

Kanthi’s work and interest in losses and grief associated with mental ill health date back to the early 1990s, reading carers’ and consumers’ contribution to the Burdekin Report on the human rights of people with mental illnesses. This grew over the years as she heard the stories of her clients and their families through her clinical practice.

Hopeful Voyager offers practical advice for those experience mental ill health and their families, as well as for health professionals.

Since the publication of the book, Kanthi has already received feedback from people affected by mental health and their significant others. “They had not heard of this concept before and they found the book unique because through metaphors, it illustrates the inevitable stress they are going through.” 

“The 21 activities in the book helped them identify stresses and work towards managing them,” said Kanthi 

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book, you can order via this website.

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