The following is the text of a lecture given to Goldsmiths College, University of London Social Entrepreneurship MA students via video conference on 8th June 2021.

Traditional approaches to mental ill-health have focused on either benign or malign paternalism. Until relatively recently in the UK, the experience of mental ill-health was either something that was hushed up or, when it could no longer be hushed up, something that would lead to a variety of different services or legal devices by which others were considered better placed to make decisions for those who were unwell. When someone passed into this realm…


A short contribution made by Mark Brown to a digital ethics roundtable event on 24th May 2021.

Technology has the capacity to cross boundaries. It can find its way into the secrets of people’s lives like a woodlouse finds its way into a damp home.

What is important is to recognise that the prize is not always worth the destruction required to win it. Public facing technology requires the acceptance and the continued interaction by the public for it to provide any benefit at all. Such technology needs to work with the grain of people’s lives, not against it. This…


In January 2021 The UK Government published Reforming The Mental Health Act, a White Paper setting out proposed changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 which applies to England and Wales.. The consultation period ends at midnight April 21st 2021. What began as David Cameron’s legacy quest, which then became Theresa May’s Burning Injustices ends in what will eventually be an endless barrage of new laws passing through Parliament in the wake of brexit.

The road to this White Paper began some time back in the days before brexit, when David Cameron was looking to cement his legacy. David Cameron’s


You don’t need to act the goat for clout to change the world

The following talk was delivered in a shortened form by Mar Brown to the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network lunchtime seminar series via Zoom on 27th February 2020

The first thing to consider when attempting to use social media as an early career researcher is: why? If you’re already a social media user, which you probably are, how will being an early career research on social media differ?

You already have a challenge. Most people are, just like you, on social media for a whole variety of reasons. Maybe it’s all about looking at boobs. Maybe it’s to read…


Mental health, social entrepreneurship and inequality

A black board with white writing reading “At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decisions”
A black board with white writing reading “At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decisions”

The following is the text of lecture ‘Mental health, social entrepreneurship and inequality’ given by Mark Brown to Goldsmith College Social Enterprise MA students via Zoom on 21st July 2020.

In one way or another, all of my adult career has been about asking the question ‘where does the money come from to make things happen in mental health?’

The global cost to people’s lives of mental ill-health, trauma and distress is immense. We might tend to only see the national balance sheet of the amount of work days missed or the cost of hospitals or care, but the real…


The answer is simple. Do better research and research the right things. But how?

A taxonomic drawing of pitcher plants by Ernst Haeckel’

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Mark Brown to Pathways to progress: Next steps for digital tech in mental health services at Lumen United Reformed Church & Community Centre in London on 27th November 2019

I’ve been asked to speak to you today in an effort to answer the question: “What will it take to get digital tools into regular use in mental health services, and what could researchers do to help make this work?”

You’ll be really happy to know there’s a really simple answer which it took me ages to come up with: make…


Health is always changing. Our job in health is not just to prevent death but to make it worth being alive

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Mark Brown to the ‘Healthy Empowerment Symposium’ part of ‘Gelukkig en Gezond Festival 2019’. in Utrecht on 22nd November 2019.

I’ve been asked to talk to you today about health, about community, about power and about technology. I’m not a clinician or a researcher. I’m sometimes a writer and sometimes a do-er. Sometimes I work on digital projects. Other times I give strategic advice. …


The following is the text of a speech delivered by Mark Brown to the National Survivor User Network’s (NSUN) AGM in York on 24th October 2019.

People love the idea of small local organisations that grow from people getting together to solve the problems they face. It’s often what people mean when they talk about charity, not big massive distant organisations but small, people sized ones. But somehow that enthusiasm doesn’t extend to organisations and groups where the community is those who live with mental health difficulties.

The topic for today’s AGM is The Crisis of User-led Organisations. What’s the…


If people who know mental health don’t get involved in making the future, the future for people with mental health difficulties will be worse.

A large set of led lights shaped into a red heart in a university quad
A large set of led lights shaped into a red heart in a university quad

The following is the text of a keynote speech given by Mark Brown at ‘#MHProud19: Celebrating Mental Health’ at Middlesex University on 17th July 2019.

I’m here to talk to you about the future. The future is happening now. This very second. As I’m speaking billions upon billions of individual decisions, interactions, events and occurrences are happening which are themselves causing billions of further events.

What I’m going to do for you for the next half hour is take you on a little journey into the much discussed and much maligned area of mental health and technology. What I want…


Support, adaptation and security when studying for people experiencing mental health difficulties shouldn’t be a gift. They should be a right.

Graffiti on a wall reads ‘Angry!’.

The following is a speech given by Mark Brown at Universities UK ‘Mental health: A whole university approach’ at Woburn House, London on 11th July 2019.

On June 13th, BBC news reported the results of the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey, noting Only 14% of students reported “life satisfaction”, with “just 18% saying they were happy, 17% saying their life was “worthwhile” and only 16% having low levels of anxiety.”

The headline grabber was the finding that of the 14,000 students surveyed “66% supported universities being able to share concerns with parents or…

Mark Brown

Mark Brown edited One in Four, mental health mag 2007–14. Does mental health/tech stuff for cash (or not). Writes for money. Loves speaking. Get in touch

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