“Hugging Barbed Wire” was written by Owen (16) about his brother Ross becoming psychotic at 20. Hugging barbed wire was also how it felt to be a parent, desperately hanging onto your son throughout a 3 year psychotic sentence.

A lot went wrong, and I really wish I’d known then what I know now. This is my displacement activity, to get something positive out of the experience, an experience that has included a remarkable reaction from people to whom I have told parts of the story in public. Hence this. We can change the way society thinks -  I’ve seen a theatre full of mental health professionals brought to the verge of tears listening to the music....

Frankly, if you’re going to be mentally ill, make sure it’s something sexy like “Fry’s Syndrome”, advertised on TV as a sign of creativity and intelligence with dark and interesting interludes, (being slightly BP is fine -  unless you’re in oil). Don’t, in a moment of madness, opt for other forms of psychosis or schizophrenia....

Peter Wilson

...but now

We perform anti-stigma Hugging Barbed Wire shows in schools; Ross and Owen have a rock band; he teaches guitar for the mental health services and a youth club, am-dram and a stand-up comedy course; I give presentations and we also perform at various mental health conferences...                       Read more

Ross and Peter bonding in the sun post psychosis - no longer hugging barbed wire, just hugging...


-  Stigma and ignorance has cost Ross 3+ years of his life.

-  Implementing the Mental Health Act in a way that stops professionals    helping intelligent young people is intellectually and morally reprehensible.

-  Our two sons write songs with the power to rearrange your head and, that    could, perhaps, help to promote the changes that are necessary.

  Listen to the music






Find out more

The Site and Material - please contact us...

This site includes unique material (some of it harrowing) that we’ve recorded and developed along the journey to here. We’d like to put it to as much good use as possible.

Please contact us if you’d like access to any of the site material, to discuss projects where we may be able to help - or if you can help us get the music and material out there....

Previously, Ross....

...recorded an album; joined a cult; destitute in  New York; killed his guitar; arrested; forcibly sectioned; escaped; forcibly sectioned; hospitalised; depression; suicidal...  Read more

Ross looking cool on holiday pre psychosis

Hugging Barbed Wire

Owen Wilson (then 16)

View lyrics

Owen singing Hugging Barbed Wire at an open air concert
So, that was my son’s psychosis - contagious and pstigmatic...

The Story and Book

marijuana and veganism bureaucratic convenience

people who quietly care

BBC interview forcing the   NHS to do right by Ross...

Read more

See how Hugging Barbed Wire went @ the Brighton Fringe

Follow huggingbarbwire on Twitter

A Living Memorial to Grandad...

Owen’s song and video say it all. View Aeternam Memoria

See us in Time to Change TV ad..

Time to Change TV Campaign - see us in the ad....

Talking of TV adverts, we were invited to appear in the campaign. Launched in January 2013, this shows that you don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health, that even small gestures can provide life changing support. Take a look at the extended adverts here -

Extracts from Ross BBC interview with Anne Diamond - New York, pants, suicide....

Listen to the full version

BBC listening project