Wellcome Collection and Profile are delighted to be publishing Breaking and Mending, the first work of non-fiction from Joanna Cannon, author of the Sunday Times bestselling novels The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie.

Cannon’s vivid, funny and moving book will be based on her own experience working as a junior doctor in the NHS. She will explore the unimaginable shift from the lecture hall to holding someone’s life in your hands – and how it feels as a young doctor to find yourself completely out of your depth, being viewed by the world as ‘invincible’, even when your own mental health is fast unravelling.

Breaking and Mending will be a vital book about life on the wards, stress and burnout, and the humans behind our healthcare. It will reflect on what can be a hard lesson for so many of us, wherever we work: how to ask for help. With mental health problems affecting one in four, and increasingly in the news, this book will also explore why the junior doctors and nurses who prop up our hospitals need access to mental health support now more than ever.

Joanna Cannon worked as a psychiatrist and wrote her bestselling debut novel, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, in NHS hospital carparks during her lunchbreaks. In 2017, she delivered the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ President’s Lecture. Though she returns to the wards as a volunteer with the NHS Arts for Health programme, Joanna is now a full-time writer and in 2018 her second novel, Three Things about Elsie, also became a bestseller and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Breaking and Mending will be published in Autumn 2019 by Wellcome Collection and Profile Books.  

Joanna Cannon commented: ‘There are many small, powerful moments on the journey to becoming a doctor and many occasions when our own mental and physical health can easily fracture. I am delighted to have an opportunity to write about these unseen moments and my own experiences as a medic, and to do this in collaboration with Wellcome Collection and Profile really is a dream come true.’

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