What’s Missing from NAMI and Pro-Psychiatry: Lived Experience
Since many psych patients become forced consumers, their advocates have a duty to be educated and concerned with adverse reactions.
Mad Parenting: On Becoming an Unlikely Family Man
I’ve often been told I shouldn’t have kids because I’m “bipolar.” But since my twins’ birth, I’ve been way more stable than I thought I would be, and I’ve found what I’ve always been looking for.
Professional Mental Health Leaders: Experts in Humanity or in Marketing?
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.
Is COVID-19 Making Everybody Crazy?
The response to the pandemic promises a vast expansion of the market for therapists, but such claims carry great potential for harm, adding to the burdens of people with upsetting but understandable, deeply human feelings.
“Please Be Normal!” My Experience Working for NAMI
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.”
“Not all NAMIs!”: Why Even the Best Local NAMI Chapter is...
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.
How Pharma Uses the Charge of “Stigma” to Sell Drugs
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...
Health Disparity Project Cuts Out the Recovery Movement
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.
Trauma in Common?
We need to talk and act on our common dreams for people who are dealing with major mental health challenges. And we need to recognize that we have all been vulnerable to a retreat into extreme views from our respective traumas, to some degree.
Back to Basics: What’s Wrong with NAMI
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.
Smash the Blue Lights: Autism Speaks is a ‘Danger to Self...
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” — What Conversation Are We Changing?
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.
Madness and the Family: What Helps, and What Makes Things...
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?
Do NAMI and MHA Suffer From Anosognosia?
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.
Five Types of Mental Health Advocates
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.
Can Its New Board President Turn NAMI Around?
“The word is out!” That was Dr. Keris Myrick’s reaction when she was elected earlier this month as the new president of NAMI’s Board...
Why Can’t They Hear Our Truth? We Have a Cure.
There is a guy named David Kennedy who, along with other people, figured out how to cut the murder rate of a city in...
How can parents help kids who don’t want help?
Let's not keep missing the main point of the SAMHSA stakeholder discussion We have to LISTEN to people that have opposite points of view...