Hannah Walker was brought up on the Isle of Wight, where she also went to school. She was Head Girl and Captain of Sports, and won a place at Warwick University to read Philosophy and Logic. Reality intervened and she was commissioned into the RAF as a Personnel Officer. She won the Sash of Merit at Officer Training for being the most outstanding cadet and went on to serve in Germany, Gibraltar and various UK stations. Promoted to Squadron Leader at the age of 29, Hannah ended up at the Ministry of Defence in London, working in the Central Operations Staff. Hannah had the first of many breakdowns in London and was eventually diagnosed as being bipolar. She was unceremoniously chucked out of the RAF, got married and retrained as a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. She did most of a degree in Applied Psychology and Computing before her head blew up again and she separated from her husband. Undaunted, she went to work in an acute psychiatric ward, where she managed to remain for 6 years, before being chucked out after yet another breakdown. She is the Chair of the Dorset Mental Health Forum, a pan Dorset charity which exists to improve the lives of service users in the county.
Hannah is the co-editor of the book “Our Encounters with Madness”, published by PCCS Books, which is becoming a set text for nursing students. She hopes psychiatrists might read it as well.