Visions for a Liberated Anti-Carceral Crisis Response


From Medium/Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu: “Imagine you call for support during a mental health crisis, and the person or organization on the other end had the capacity and skill-set to show up creatively, uniquely, with a menu of options — and most importantly, met you where you’re at without imposing expectations or a standardized, liability-driven version of care?

This is how I have been navigating my care work for over a decade (and now, more ‘formally’ in my work as the Director of Project LETS) . . .

Sometimes when someone reaches out in crisis they need $100 to fill their medication prescription before they go into withdrawal. Or they lost their insurance and need access to medication — now. Or they need alternative housing for the night or the week. Sometimes, they need to be on the phone with someone for 3 hours to share their story. Sometimes intervention is needed in the form of de-escalating a crisis or mediating a conversation or offering a group the ability to process something traumatic. Sometimes someone feels unsafe and wants a person to stay in their home with them until the feeling passes.

. . . There is no one answer to crisis response. There is no one program that will solve the problem of distress. We are forced to endure a society that is deeply out of balance with our needs as humans. This will manifest inside of our individual bodies, but it doesn’t mean the problem is individual.

. . . With this in mind, here are some thoughts I have about how to offer humanizing, self-directed care to folks experiencing crises.”

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    • Not to mention, the “mental health system” is run by “control freaks on ego trips.” And I … of course … do have medical, legal, and “antidotal” evidence of the Jesus and God complex problems, of too many psychologists, psychiatrists, pastors, and social workers.

      Governments, that were dumb enough to give the right to play judge, jury, and executioner – as the “mental health professions,” for any reason any psy “professional” chooses, were inappropriately given – made the huge mistake of getting rid of the rule of law, and trusting in the “omnipotent moral busy bodies,” about whom C.S. Lewis forewarned us.

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

      The bottom line is, Western civilization has bad systems – the so called “mental health system” – being among the worst of those bad, and scientifically “invalid,” systems.

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