A lot of people, perhaps especially Americans, like a quick fix. Unfortunately, for those of us who get the “help” of the mental health system, the results can be disastrous.
At my job with a NAMI affiliate, I heard daily from people who looked at family members with “mental illness” as non-people, non-human, the “other.” In the office, it was no different. If NAMI had a tagline, it would be “Please be normal like us.”
Every time I write about NAMI, at least one person approaches me and says, “But not all NAMIs!” Yes, all NAMIs. Every. Last. One. Because even the best of the local chapters are benefiting from the systemic oppression perpetuated by the dominant group to which they are tied. They all participate somehow in sustaining the imbalance.
From The Epoch Times: Many advocacy groups claiming to combat the stigma of mental illness are actually front groups that represent the interests of pharmaceutical...
Lots of funders are now doing initiatives to address health disparities. But once again we have found that a project designated to help our community has gone astray without even bothering to ask our community what we need. Here's why that matters and what grassroots advocates can do about it.
It seems one mostly needs to already know what they’re looking for in order to find the most established criticisms of this particular organization. And even with knowledge and intent, it can require some fairly persistent Googling efforts to unearth all there is to be found.
There are few around Mad in America territory who would argue against the dangers of the National Alliance for Mental Illness. But as a movement, we often fail to recognize the dangers of their much younger sibling named ‘Autism Speaks’.
Active Minds allows college students to start conversations on some of the most difficult struggles we face in life, but I urge the organization to lead the conversation away from bad science and towards the common struggles that we endure as human beings.
Families are often very important for people encountering severe mental and emotional difficulties. But how can family members really know what is helpful, and what is likely to make things worse for the person having problems? Similarly, for those who want to help families, how can they know what will really be helpful for those families, and what will make things worse?
In the last couple of weeks, I've read two articles in which the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is described as being the “largest organization representing people living with serious mental illness.” Putting aside (for the moment) my issues with the use of blanket ‘mental illness’ terminology; since exactly when did they become a group that represents people who have been so labeled in any genuine sort of way? Until our voices are seen as having equal value and are given equal space, those that do not understand and lack insight into our experiences (whether they possess good intent or not) will continue to be the ones to define our past, present and future in the public eye.
I've figured out there are five types of mental health advocates. We need to respect all five types of motivations and viewpoints in order to support or combat their agendas. The question for us, is how can we each of us maximize our own impact to share awareness of this situation and then impact change? The answer is that each of us has to work from our own passions and interests and talents and skills and motivations.