Comments by Iden Campbell McCollum, CPRP

Showing 21 of 21 comments.

  • The intersecctions of this mass shooting are sickening. I think some people are just pure evil. Blaming drugs and diagnoses get us nowhere. He was raised and fed a daily dose of American colonized hate. Politicians have to stop hiding behind the shield of blaming Islam/Muslims/Mentally Ill. The time is now for us as citizens to stand up and say no more hate, no more…no more.

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  • The Campbell Center was a founding partner of the march. I assure you I did not wake up fleas the next day. I do know that in order to get things done you need coalitions and partners. If MLK had listended to J. Edgar Hoover and terminated Bayard Rustin, a black gay, quaker the march on Washington would not have happened. If Bayard Rustin had listened to blacks in the 40’s telling him that whites were not to be trusted he and George Howser would have never created the freedom rides coalition. The civil rights movement would not have happened if Jews, Christians and blacks did not create coalitions. It is absolute nonsense to tell a group of people they cannot partner together.
    I also say that I am not a mental patient, I never recognized as one and I don’t tout myself to be one. I am for folks being off social security, working, and living productive lives. Having families or going to school, living the dreams that they dream. That is what I advocate for and will continue to advocate for.

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  • My apologies for being MIA. Work and meetings have taken over my life. I appreciate your thoughts on racism and psychiatry. I truly believe in my heart that there should not be any connection made to slavery and psychiatry in any way. It is just not a discussion I am willing to have with anyone. I live with the historical trauma from slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. There is nothing I have ever experienced in treatment that can amount to the horrific life span of a slave. I am not saying these conversations should be off limits. Until I am given proof that men and women in institutions, day programs and other types of treatment facilities are being treated as slaves were, here in this country I cannot have that discussion.
    I need to see families being torn apart by auction blocks, I need to see women completing suicide rather than live her lifetime as a slave and I need to see doctors and nurses hanging clients from trees or beating little boys to death because they may have whistled at a nurse.

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  • Thank you Sera for this wonderful piece. It is put to each and everyone to speak up to injustices especially when they cancel out others voices. As you know I am a trans man, I have personal experience on the other side and in the last few years I have had the opportunity to see it through a different lens. I have to say that I am much more of a feminist now than I was when I was female identified.

    Having rock star status can be dangerous for us all, especially if we use to take advantage of those with less privilege in this ‘movement.’ I have see the hurt that many women have experienced working as advocates and I have seen them all away. We cannot continue to loose these important minds, it does us no good and it devalues what we say we are fighting for.

    As for the Michigan Fest I understand where Tina is coming from and I am a firm believer in folks being able to have spaces designated just for them. I only disagree when the space is used to plan destruction such as terrorism etc. I say this because we need to feel safe to say things, and experience our pain amongst those who know and have felt and experienced similar in a cultural way. I would love to see Tina write a blog about safe space and why it is needed. I will leave it at that as to not take away from this blog.

    Excellent piece!

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  • Slavery has no comparison to the mental health movement. Never forget that. White folks need to get it in their minds that slavery was horrific and an apology of the sincerest magnitude is still awaited. And that not one oppression that white people have experienced in this country can ever compare.

    As far as disability is concerned, if a person does not want to have that definition associated with them then you cannot accept the benefits that come with being disabled. Are you willing to tell the millions of folks living off disability to get off, find a job and learn to cope with their sysmtoms? What you are saying is that those millions of folks are lying to themselves as well as being lied to. And psychiatry is helping them live a lie.

    What is your plan? How do you want to help those folks not be labeled disabled and how do you want to move them from SSDI into the workforce? If you know of a better method than peer support put it forth. I’m down with you if you have that method. And it needs to be something that can’t easily be co-opted.

    As I said in an earlier comment ‘I was given this world I didn’t make it’ peer specialist/peer support was created by someone long before I ever knew the words. I’m not the one to ask that question to. Aks the Oregon and California folks who created this movement.

    If people never believed that organizations and systems could be changed there would never be civil discourse. There is civil discourse so therefore I believe that all things can change.

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  • Frank the Destination Dignity March did not beg for money. We did ask for donations to help buy snacks, pay for the stage and other equipment we needed and for music. We didn’t ask for donations for any of the orgs involved. Were some of the sponsors backers of the Murphy Bill? Yes, nothing new there. We invited several orgs. and indiviual activist to speak, activist that had different views but they declined. The march was meant to be inclusive of different viewpoints. If those activist didn’t show up, the organizers are not to blame. I personally invited radical activist who politely declined. It’s just like voting, if you don’t vote your essentially keeping your mouth closed. Be about the change you want, create that action. It’s easy to voice something but much harder to move it towards action.

    Also, the march was not about expanding the mental health system…false. I don’t know who told you that. There was no trying to please everybody, as I said there was not any money or politicians involved. We marched to show that we are people who deserve dignity and that we have voice. I didn’t pretend the march had nothing to do with current legislation and neither did any of the other marchers or organizers. I assume you were not there and you did not hear Oryx Cohen speak about Murphy and the disservice it would cause our community. The march was about dignity not indignity for the 300+ folks there, the three buses that came from New York State, NYC and Long Island. It was about dignity for the people who drove from Delaware, PA, Virginia and NC. Tell those folks they marched for indignity and I guarantee you they will tell you a different story.

    But I expect all the folks who had things to say about this march did not show up and show out. I expect people who have lots to say to be about their words and create action. I’m not a talker I’m a doer.

    I don’t speak for anyone, I do speak for myself, I want to be clear on that.

    My question to you Frank, is how many actions have you put forth other than writing remarks to blogs? Have you gone to Congress to testify? Have you marched anywhere in reference to the Murphy Bill? There is no glory in sitting behind a computer and telling others what they should be doing if you are not willing to do it.

    I appreciate everything you have to say and agree on most points but you are blaming people who don’t deserve the blame.

    I would like to see you in the field with me and whoever else comes out for the next march. If not invite me to yours, I promise you I will be there and not behind a keyboard putting you down.

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  • chrisreed, people diagnosed with mental illness are the largest SSA beneficiary group. The way I see it, if someone accepts the money they have to accept they will counted among the ranks of the disabled. The movements do intersect, however some in the movement want the benefits of civil rights but are not willing to accept others as allies. e.g. disability rights and civil rights

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  • oldhead, thank you for reading and commenting. Bring the modern day MalcolmX out I want to meet them, we need them badly, we need a new MLK and JFK too.
    As Tupac said “I was given this world, I didn’t make it” the para-profession was created the day someone said lets certify them. Even though I would prefer old fashion peer support, its too late. So we now have a para-profession and no one should but us should define what that is.
    I beleive that pschyatry can work to change itself, it wont happen over night but I have hope. This movement is at a dividing point right now, those who want to professionalize peer support and those who don’t.

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  • Snowyowl, I have been studying with Joanna Macy and her curriculum for about 3 1/2 years now. See the links below. I do believe that the Great Turning is happening now. Mad In America and every author and commenter is proof. I see peers/survivors everyday that are writing, advocating, creating programs etc. Demanding change and no longer willing to conform to the medical model that has been given as the only choice.

    I see us, peers/survivors and our allies as the group of people who just may save this world. We see, feel and hear what most folks don’t want to see or hear. Once awakened it’s hard to go back to sleep and I see more and more folks staying awake and deciding to let go of the poison that keeps them from being able to see clearly.

    I see The Great Turning happening with young activist like #BlackLivesMatters, the #TransLivesMatters, #ZeroSuicide and #SoMe campaigns. I see us free, an end to racism, discrimination, and people not dying alone in agony and loneliness, young people not feeling the need to go on murderous rampages. Community where all feel included, and an end to bullying. A place we can all call home and never feel ashamed of being who are again.

    Watching the sun rise s my favorite part of the day. Try it when you are ready. Just find your favorite spot to sit in your home or outside and wait for it to come up. It’s magical!

    Thank you for reading!


    Joanna Macy’s website:

    Network website on the Work That Reconnects:



    Workshop information:

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  • Thank you elocin. I am glad you are willing to learn more about my community and thank you for your thoughtful comment. The young lady you are referring to is probably Jazz. Jazz has been transition since a very young age, she has amazing parents who have let her be who she feels she truly is. She is a wonderful speaker and advocate for young people her age.

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  • Hi, ptery, sorry just seeing this. Thanks brother for the shout out. I started my transition in 2007 as well. Still going through puberty myself. As far as the Gret Turning, you are absolutely correct. We, those familiar with long-term distress and familiar with open dialogue will be the ones leading the charge. As Joanna Macy said “It’s happening now”. Peace and love to you as well. Feel free to email me anytime [email protected].

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  • It’s been one year and exactly four months today that the woman I loved completed suicide. I still open my eyes everyday feeling the ache and pain of the moment I learned I would never see her again. The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) says that there are on average 6 family members left after each completion. I have found that number to be an underestimate. It also does not account for close friends who had extremely close relationships with the person that left. As a person that has who has struggled with suicidal thoughts since the age of 5 or 6 it is something that takes years to work through and each and every time I planned and tried to complete I traumatized myself beyond imagination. I am thankful to be here but somedays my heart aches from my own internal personal pain as well as the pain of losing someone to suicide. Thank you for sparking this conversation.

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