Award-winning author Nathan Filer to receive Honorary degree at Abertay
The award-winning author Nathan Filer will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Liberal Arts at Abertay University’s Winter Graduation Ceremony this Friday (27 November) for his contribution towards raising awareness of mental health issues through his debut novel The Shock of the Fall.
He was nominated by staff in the university’s Division of Mental Health Nursing and Counselling, who specialise in mental health research and mental health nurse education.
The novel – about a young schizophrenic named Matt Homes who is sectioned after failing to cope with his mental health condition in the community – was published in 2013 and received widespread critical acclaim.
It won the Costa Book of the Year Award, The Betty Trask Prize, The National Book Award for Popular Fiction and The Writers’ Guild Award for Best First Novel. It was also a Sunday Times bestseller, and is to be translated into 30 languages.
The book is written from Matt’s perspective and describes his life, his grief at the death of his brother, and his experiences of the mental health care system.
Before becoming an author, Nathan worked as a staff nurse on an acute psychiatric ward, gaining first-hand experience of the mental health care system himself. He then took up a role in mental health research at the University of Bristol.
He began his writing career as a stand-up poet, contributing regularly to festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, and featuring on television and radio.
An outspoken critic of government cuts to NHS mental health care services, Nathan has written on this topic for The Guardian.
He has also spoken about these issues on national radio, and given numerous lectures at universities, conferences and charities – including the inaugural public lecture at the Royal College of Nursing as part of World Mental Health Day.
In 2014 he was named as a Nursing Times Nursing Leader for influencing the way the public thinks about mental illness and mental health nursing.
He will receive his Honorary Degree in the Caird Hall in front of almost 1000 graduands, their friends and family.
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