Sunday, August 7, 2022

Comments by VancouverUUminister

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • Tough to wrest away the agenda when parents without big pharma, psychiatric guild and media resources are living day to day. Perhaps many are just waiting for someone to host a parents’ support group in a home, community center, church, mosque–a group of parents telling their truth, one that states explicitly it has no big pharma and psychiatric guild ties– and is offering a safe place to let it rip.

  • Thank you David for this post.
    Marcia’s “Rethinking Psychiatry” conference several years ago introduced us to Robert Whitaker, Will Hall, et al. Her work, and that conference, convinced us that we could get off our butts and start doing something in Vancouver, BC (Canada). I am the minister of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (UCV) and our family, and many in my congregation, have tales of woe dealing with the conventional “mental health” system. And we have been honoured to have Marcia as a guest in our home in Vancouver.
    After that “Rethinking Psychiatry” Symposium, attended by my spouse Diana, we started hosting public education events with Robert Whitaker, Will Hall, Rob Wipond, Laura Delano and others at UCV, events that have attracted audiences by the hundreds eager to hear and learn about how conventional “mental health” and psychiatry have gone seriously awry, and learned that there effective alternatives that promote recovery, human flourishing and that have deepened our appreciation for human diversity.
    In Sunday worship services, I have preached about our “mental health crisis,” “unusual beliefs,” and “psychcocracy and community,” and my congregation has been very receptive and appreciative.
    For three years now, Diana and I have facilitated a twice monthly “Madness Radio” listening group, and this past year, we have scheduled weekly “Hearing Voices” and psyche drugs tapering groups that meet regularly at UCV, as well as movie nights where we’ve shown documentaries by Daniel Mackler and others on Open Dialogue, Healing Homes, etc. And Will Hall preached (!) at our church, and afterwards met with UCV teenagers. (He was a big hit with them!)
    There has been some push back from reactionaries in the BC Schizophrenia Society and elsewhere, but my Board of Trustees has been rock solid in their support for my preaching and our public education classes, working groups, and events.
    We look forward to hosting an upcoming education event (September 28th) on “School Surveillance and “Mental Health” Screening: Weak Science, High Risks, Hidden Harms,” with MIA’s Rob Wipond and Micheal Vonn, Policy Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. And more are on the way, including a conference and workshops on the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its consequences for Canadian law, and for policies and practices in our “mental health” systems (October 24-6).
    I guess what I’m trying to say Michael, and anyone reading this MIA post, is that at least this Unitarian minister and congregation have benefited from the path-breaking, courageous work of Marcia’s Portland “Rethinking Psychiatry” group and its events. And I want to especially credit my spouse Diana for lighting the fire up here and for her skilled, dedicated work in promoting our programming and for the way she truly values human diversity.
    And if you have a passport, any and all are welcome here!
    Cheers, Rev. Steven Epperson
    Unitarian Church of Vancouver (Canada)