Thursday, November 26, 2020

Initiatives

News, reports, and blogs by leaders of alternative treatment programs, and those organizing legal and political efforts to change our current drug-centered paradigm of care.

Disobedience: What Can We Risk?

It is possible to heal, and at the same time healing also means restoring the part of oneself that can face violence and disobey to protect what is most sacred. I am that sacred, and so are you.

“Knowing Together” vs. “Knowing Apart”: The Importance of Extending Our Network

A kind of epidemic is occurring in the field of psychotherapy and psychology, with its increasing use of disparate approaches, methods, manual-based formulas and different theoretical schools, each having their own understanding and different treatments. Psychotherapy has come to mean everything and at the same time nothing.

Hearing Voices Network Launches Debate on DSM-5 and Psychiatric Diagnoses

The recent furore surrounding publication of the new DSM has provided a much-needed opportunity to discuss and debate crucial issues about how we make sense of, and respond to, experiences of madness and distress. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals have expressed their dismay about the dominance and inadequacy of a biomedical model of mental illness. Whilst we share these concerns, welcome these debates and support colleagues that are willing to take a stand, The Hearing Voices Network believes that people with lived experience of diagnosis must be at the heart of any discussions about alternatives to the current system.

Finding Human Life on Earth

Through the ISPS listserve, I read a blog this morning written by Thomas Insel, director of the NIMH. The way he described people I daily meet in work and in my own life created a rising pulse, so I decided to find out some more about his thoughts and practice. I am not saying that what I read on his blog is unknown to me, but still it made me wonder how on earth is it possible to invest so much money - and resources - in research which is so distant from practice, and so far away from humanistic and holistic ideas and theories.

Open Dialogue Approach Reduces Future Need for Mental Health Services

The Open Dialogue psychiatric treatment approach is associated with reduced utilization of mental and general health services for Danish youth.

Benzo Injury? Tell the FDA!

For World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, we are asking everyone to submit an FDA report about their injury. We have teams of people willing to help with this. This problem has been going on for 60 years, and we can be the generation that stops it, but we need to come together and take action.

Pushing for an Informed Consent Benzo Bill in Texas

Dr. Raymond Armstrong and I are currently working together to push Texas lawmakers to adopt restrictions on the prescription of benzodiazepines and sleep drugs. We feel fortunate to be able to draw from the experience of the benzo movement in Massachusetts, and we are grateful for the information that long time advocates like Geraldine Burns have provided us.

Making Peer Counseling Radically Accessible

I imagined a world in which anyone can hit a button on their phone and be connected with a compassionate and empathetic listener, 24/7. So in 2019, I founded Peer Collective. Today, there are 30 peer counselors on the platform offering 30-minute counseling sessions for just $14.

ECT Day of Protest: Time for You to Take Leadership

Work on the May 16 International Day of Protest Against Shock Treatment is moving right along. This spontaneously-organized, grassroots effort now includes 21 cities in 16 states, plus two each in Canada and the United Kingdom. There will also be demonstrations in Ireland, New Zealand, and Uruguay. We CAN win, and you CAN be a leader.

Hearing Voices Workshop Comes to Vermont

I recently had the great pleasure of hosting a Hearing Voices workshop with Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Many people described this as one of the best trainings they had ever attended. Ron's message is inherently uplifting - after all this internationally known educator was once a mental patient given a poor prognosis. But in addition, they offered pragmatic suggestions for how to think about voices and talk to someone who is experiencing them.

40 Days to Tell the #FDAStoptheShockDevice

Please join us in demanding that the FDA stop the shock device from being down-classified to a Class II device. We have until March 28th, 2016.

Hearing Voices, Emancipation, Shamanism and CBT: Thoughts After Douglas Turkington’s Training

When Doug Turkington, a UK psychiatrist, first announced to his colleagues that he wanted to help people with psychotic experiences by talking to them, he was told by some that this would just make them worse, and by others that this would be a risk to his own mental health, and would probably cause him to become psychotic! Fortunately, he didn’t believe either group, and in the following decades he went on to be a leading researcher and educator about talking to people within the method called CBT for psychosis.

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Hearing Voices Network self-help groups are an important resource for coping with voice hearing, study finds.

Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were "damage," "barbaric" and "torture." We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order. There is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment to the FDA.

LERNing Through Research, Advocacy, and Experience

The Lived Experience Research Network Issue Briefs series promotes change through multiple perspectives. We recently launched our inaugural Fall 2013 edition of the LERN Issue Briefs series. These two-page briefs highlight issues of importance in the behavioral health and disabilities fields.

Peer Respites Hold Promise for Reducing the System’s Reliance on Institutional Treatment

Those of us who are concerned about the state of the behavioral health service system would agree that voluntary, cost-effective services and supports that preclude the need for coerced or institutional treatment should be widely available. Peer respites may be one component of such a system.

Lessons from Soteria-Alaska

Yes, Soteria-Alaska is closing. And its sister organization, CHOICES, Inc., has lost its way. As the person who conceived of both of these and got them going, I have some thoughts that might be worthwhile about what went wrong; what should or might have been done differently; and most importantly, what lessons might have been learned.

“Hearing Voices: The People Who Say Talking Back is the Only Answer”

Journalist Emma Reynolds profiles Amanda Waegeli, Ron Coleman, Nathan Grixli and Lyn Mahboub about their experiences coming to the Hearing Voices Network (HVN). HVN was established 10 years ago in Australia and provided a support group that encouraged people to listen to their voices rather than trying to block them out. The group now operates in 25 countries.

Call To Action: Massachusetts Bill H4062 for Informed Benzodiazepine Use is Official

On February 24th, 2016 Bill HD4554 - An Act relative to benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics was filed by Representative Paul McMurtry in the Massachusetts State House. The bill received 47 co-sponsors during the seven-day open period in which legislators can co-sponsor. This is an impressive and promising turnout.

Shock Device Safe As Eyeglasses? 89 Days to Say No

We now have only 89 days to respond to Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1210. Tell the FDA no to the down-classification of shock devices. Tell the FDA exactly how subjective and damaging the terms “treatment-resistant” and “require rapid response” are, and how they fail as legitimate medical concepts. The known risks of electroshock should not be ignored because one has been psychiatrically labeled.

Rethinking Psychiatry Teaches about Despair, Resilience, and the Great Turning

Rethinking Psychiatry is an independent, grassroots group in Portland, Oregon that advocates for a paradigm shift in mental health care. On January 20, we hosted a film and discussion by activist and artist Barbara Ford. The subject was “Despair and Resilience: How to Face this Mess We’re in Without Giving Up.” Ford also showed film called Joanna Macy and the Great Turning, featuring philosopher, writer, and activist Joanna Macy.

Call to Action: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill is Going to Committee

The Massachusetts Benzo Bill H4062: Informed consent for benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics was just scheduled to be heard by the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse on Monday, April 4th. Less than a week away! The committee will decide whether the bill moves forward to the house and senate, goes to study, or is denied.

CRPD Absolute Prohibition Campaign and Course

For a long time I have been interested in offering a course on CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) to pass on my knowledge to other activists and allow more people to take up the frustrating and passionate responsibility of human rights work. Finally I have come up with a plan that is doable.

The Time to Curb Forced Drugging is Now: In Your State, and Nationally

Is the time ripe for MadinAmerica readers to organize legislative action to curb the use of drugs as chemical restraints?  Recent developments in Congress, in the state of Washington, and in California suggest that the answer is yes.

Hearing Voices Researched at Edinburgh Book Festival

Researchers from Durham University's Hearing the Voice project are attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival through August as part of a study, asking both...

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