Here is some feedback from health students from the University of Southampton after Human Library volunteers spoke to them about their experiences of mental ill-health and addictions. (March 2014)

  • This was the highlight of the course. I was apprehensive about it at first but it was enlightening and the best way of understanding mental illness possible. (Other)
  • I really enjoyed this part of the course as it put all the theory we’d learnt into practice and actually made you properly think about the personal experiences of living with a mental health disorder. (Other)
  • This workshop was the most enjoyable, enlightening and valuable part of the whole module possibly incorporate more of these kinds of workshops to help students develop a broader understanding of the disorders taught in lectures (Other)
  • I was glad to have attend this workshop as it put the theory of what we have been learning in lectures into its perspective. I believe that this workshop truly encapsulated the essence of this course – The Human Brain and SOCIETY. This workshop allowed us to learn form those in society who live with the neurological disorders and impairments but also who they overcome them. (Other)
  • This workshop was amazing and, despite some issues covered being quite sensitive, I did not feel uncomfortable. The experience was fascinating and put the topics covered in lectures into context. Neuro-biology needs to be understood as relating to human beings, and not just cells and chemical reactions in the brain. (Other)
  • Excellent. One of the best experiences I’ve had since being at university. (Other)
  • The workshop was interactive and gave me opportunity to learn about mental illness from the people who are experiencing it. Perhaps the room could be organised in way where there will be less distractions from other groups since all the speakers are speaking at the same time. (Other)

Some comments from people taking part in Human Library events:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover. People are always worth getting to know.”
“My book was really interesting to speak to and listen to. Very worthwhile, I learned that people with substance abuse can take different approaches to recover – 1 is not always the right approach for everyone”
“It reminded me that the war on stigma must continue. Thank you for your openess and generosity of spirit”
“A unique insight into post natal depression and bipolar that you can’t get from a text book. Thank you to C for being so honest and open.”
“My brother was diagnosed with BPD 2 days ago – so it felt as if it was fate to meet and discuss the stigma, the therapy and how it affects everyday life. This really helped and I feel more prepared to help and ensure that I can support him. Thank you so much.”
“I’ve learnt that this type of event could be a very good way of challenging discrimination.”
“I had no idea about this condition and can understand the stigma attached to it. The human book was very interesting and I have now learnt about Fibromyalgia. A very remarkable lady.”
“So amazing – really challenged my prejudices. My human book was excellent. I really felt I could step into her world.”
“This is one of the most inspiring experiences I have come across in a long time! Learning from people with first hand experience is critical in the march towards eliminating prejudice from our society. The human library is simply a must be visited library with a great deal of potential to bring about a better society.”
“Very beneficial. One of the best insights to finding out more about various mh problems/illness ..… if not the best – a library all health professionals should visit”
“I have learnt about the changes and challenges that transgender people may experience.”
“Very thought provoking – a real insight.”