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University on Watch: Audiobook Launch

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AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW

CHAPTER AUDIO FILE

It has been three years since I first published University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy in 2019. Since then, a second edition and remastered edition. In a few short weeks, the audiobook edition will launch. Given the audiobook launch, I felt reflecting on the book project was important. In summary, I have mixed feelings. I am thrilled with the level of authorship but disappointed over the dissemination of the writing. Given that the book didn’t circulate in the mental health community as I had hoped, I continue to wonder about the book’s relative impact. And so, I am left wondering why, given all the positive reviews, why aren’t more people picking up my book. 

 A tiny part wonders if this is because people can’t find or locate the book. After all, they are searching for the wrong author’s name. I wrote the book under the pen name J. Peters. After all, privacy, libel laws, and all sorts of problems (many legal and other professional) were and still are at play. I imagine that people looking up my writing may have searched under the wrong name and could not locate my book or know I wrote this book, given its listing under a different author. Without knowing J. Peters was my pen name, how would anyone know otherwise? 

To support my claim, I gesture to the book’s review on Reedsy: 

“Using a pen name makes sense here, as the author often distinguishes between J. Peters, the person he was during his break, and his “healed” self. J. Peters tells his story of deciding to apply for doctoral studies at the school where he has yet to complete a bachelor’s degree and the downward spiral he experienced as he became delusional and had a schizophrenic break. The irony is that Peters always thinks he knows best, even as he seeks validation through entry into the graduate program.”

Mental health memoirs seem to vary a bit regarding writing styles. At this point, I’ve surveyed the gambit of mental health memoirs, specifically, stories of recovery. Generally, recovery autobiographies fall into a few categories when it comes to the writing styles: clear, lucid language, but without a real ‘story’ or plot, unclear and confused jargon that feels like the author is overcompensating and reaching to seem intelligent or healed, or a well-written story in everyday English. My book doesn’t fit the mold. I wrote university on Watch from the vantage point of the prosumer. The book utilizes written formal language that is both technical and congruent with the book’s content and helpful to the reader, offering added meaning for people to take away when reading the book. 

Most memoirs will cover the dark, hellish precipitating events leading to hospitalization. Most, if not all, memoirs about psychosis and schizophrenia leave out the epiphany and new insight and protagonist awareness. University on Watch is a hellish, ‘schizoid’ and insightful. After three years of reflecting on the book’s impact and dissemination in the mental health community, the only problem I have discovered is that you must first read the book to get the insights within its pages. The masses haven’t taken the time or energy to get a copy of the book and read it. 

With this said, I must wonder, why? I know first-hand that many folks don’t understand schizophrenia, and if they do, it’s so unrelatable to their own experience that it doesn’t seem worth reading the book. My experience represents less than 1% of the population. That isn’t a vast audience; if my readers are looking for something, they can think they will relate. And yet, the book could not be more relatable. Like any creative non-fiction book worth its dust jacket, University on Watch isn’t about one man’s journey with a stigmatized and less common diagnosis. The book is about youthful hope, yearning for more, and triumph over failures and mistakes beyond our control and doing. All people are guilty of such thinking and finding themselves in unfortunate circumstances at one point or another in their life. 

I suppose this is why everyone reviewed the book so well! After all, a reviewer must read to write a review. Every consideration has been overtly positive, even translated into other languages. The studies have come in on several platforms, blogs, readers, and organizations, including the Schizophrenia and Psychosis Action Alliance, psychosis advocacy, and policy reform leader. 

So, if you have not read University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy by J. Peters, please do so or let the anticipation build and wait for the audiobook’s release!  

About the Author

J. Peters

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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