My Darling Derry

Letter-poems about Derek Richter

founder of The Mental Health Foundation

by Sally Festing

"In response to mental health issues experienced by his two siblings, my father Derek Richter became a noted neuro-psychiatrist and founder of the Mental Health Research Fund (now Foundation). 

For more than sixty years, the Foundation has funded pioneering research and challenged the status of mental health in the UK. 

After his death, I inherited hundreds of family letters, diaries and medical notes that are the source of my poems.

They reveal how the personal life affected his dedication to discover the cause and treatment of mental illness, and how this became the driving force of his life". 

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