Right now I am working on the Connect Power site build to make an underground railroad to help people out of the mental health system. It will have both unpaid and paid peer support, since people need jobs but also friends. “Peers” are defined on my site the same as done by Loren Mosher in the Soteria project – anyone who isn’t a mental health professional. It’s just not sustainable to have people work out their concerns with one on one conversations where one person in the room has seven years of student loans to pay off.
I still have a lot of details to work out and you can help me if you would like by filling out a potential user / helper survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KQRCJ5X
Here’s also a nice two minute summary of the project:
In the meantime, I am short on blogging time and I wanted to post some ideas that other people can take to develop for this site. I’d love to see someone flesh them out and move forward so these ideas don’t die in my “blog idea” notebook. Some of these ideas are personal experiences and can be done over and over but some only need done once. If you are committed to one of the more science based or one time blog ideas, it might be useful to say which you want in the comments so people don’t end up covering topics twice.
- SAMHSA ought to fund recovery, not disease marketing. So why do they keep talking about how mental health is the coming plague with a huge disease burden about to doom us all? Why did their Brass Tacs peer scaleup grant to expand peer support not have any selection criteria at all for whether the business was scaleable? Why did their Million Hearts Social Messaging grant have two out of the four contract deliverables about getting peers on heart meds instead of getting them off the psych meds that cause an 18 fold increase in heart attacks?
- Peer support is not medical help, it is life situational help because “mental illness” is not a disease, it’s emotional distress. So why do some doctors keep insisting that peer support IS medical help? What is medical and what is life situational?
- Lots of government agencies say they want “consumer” input but don’t know how to find us. How can we use online forums and social messaging to solve the problem that mental health agencies need our input but aren’t willing to pay us for our time? Everyone else in the room in those meetings is on the clock for some agency. What about using more forums like this: http://feedback.samhsa.
gov/forums/77283-closed-You can read through some of the topics archives although this input forum is closed. samhsa-s-strategic-initiatives
- Is mental ilness a chemical imbalance? Of course we know it’s not but it would be extremely powerful to have a list of heavily cited mainstream right wing academic types who have said this. Just a list, no commentary at all, just 20 or statements made by the powers that be admitting they know there is no chemical imbalance. Then we could refer people to this list whenever needed.
- Why people need to be active in their community, why they aren’t, how they can find cheap or free events to do – how to make friends. What to do to overcome “not being able to pass” for a chronically normal person if that’s what’s keeping people isolated.
- Why is pharma paying massive amounts for med frauds but there are no provisions made to help the patients harmed in this fraud? The tobaccco companies had to help individual patients and to pay for tobacco use prevention, but instead NIMH wants to subsidize pharma to keep looking for new meds: http://1boringoldman.
- How did you enter the mental health system? What could have been done instead? How would you have liked it to be different?: http://corinnawest.com/maybe-i-never-needed-a-psychiatric-label-at-all/ If we all do a bunch of these stories, it would have good impact.
- Psych meds are like painkillers – sometimes we need emotional distance but we should know full risks and how they dampen our responses. Maybe mental health “treatment” should be just like the pain management clinic where they teach you how to live well instead around chronic pain instead of just numbing it out.
- Have psych meds ever stopped you from processing grief in some way? Or stopped your development so you are socially or mentally too young?
- We need a blog on service dogs with more information about how to train one or find one and how to win access arguments when they come up.
- How does social media help make your life better?
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.