This video explores the work done with the ‘Squid Group’ and the use of ‘Chosen Family Trees’, which was a practice innovation to find a way to ‘thicken up the roots’ of the Tree of Life for people isolated from lineages of support due to migration, violence and mental health issues. The Squid group is still meeting every month and continues to find ways to re-story what it can mean to utilise lived-experience of mental health concerns to contribute to the lives of others.
Jennifer Swan works as a mental health social worker in private practice in the Port Adelaide area of Adelaide, South Australia. She began studying and working with narrative ideas in 2009 and has developed a particular interest in co-researching the lived-experience of mental health workers and finding ways for this knowledge to influence and challenge unhelpful ways of working within the mental health field. She has worked with people across the intersections of class, ability, culture, gender and sexuality to examine how the idea’s of ‘worker’ and ‘client’ identities are influenced by privilege and marginalisation using collective narrative practices such as the Tree of Life, Recipes of Life and the Team of Life.
If you would like to contact Jennifer please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 423 332 969.