Dr. Mike Watts
Expert through Lived Experience, TCD and Grow Mental Health Ireland
PSI-STAR Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Lead
Before retirement Mike was National Program Coordinator of GROW Mental Health, Ireland’s largest mutual help organization in the area of recovery from mental illness. He has lived experience of psychosis, treatment and recovery, his own and other family members. As part of his recovery Mike did a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Family Therapy and a Doctorate studying the role of peer support in recovery. The findings of this study were published by Routledge Press in 2017 (Watts and Higgins). Creative writing, philosophy, art, music, song writing and public speaking have been part of his ongoing human development. Mike was the first service user representative on Ireland’s Mental Health Commission. He was part of an advisory group of experts by experience created by Amnesty International. He has been lead interviewer in a number of narrative studies including one based on people’s experiences of coming off long term, prescribed psychotropic drugs. He is a visiting lecturer in Trinity College and the University of Limerick and runs a popular workshop on Narratives of Recovery. Mike is a member of his local forum and part of a working group aimed at creating an atmosphere of recovery in his local department of psychiatry.