Friday, January 18, 2013

Where should $10 mil be spent in mental health?

I was asked to talk at Melbourne University for nursing students. One of the questions at the end of the session was, ‘If there was a grant given of $10 million for mental health, what should it be spent on?’

                There wasn’t time for me to answer as there was a panel of three other people with lived-experience answering. But I did have a notion of what I'd like to spend that money on. And as I travelled home I thought about this more...

                I would like an alternative to the psychiatric system. I would like drug-free, ECT-free safe houses to be established, as an option. I would like there to be people with lived-experience working in these houses and for there to be empathetic understanding Art Therapists available and someone trained in First Aid. I am not interested in being medicalised, marginalised and made redundant. I am interested in enabling people, not disabling them. That’s what I’d like these safe houses to be, a place where people can break-through their crisis, rather than be broken down through medical-based aversion therapy that is currently being forced on people. If people really do want to have brain-damage occur through ECT or neuroleptic drugs, then perhaps some people might argue, like people argue about euthanasia, that they should be assisted to do this harm to their body, if they wish it to happen, to enable potential release of endorphins that sometimes are released to help the body cope with pain. I never got endorphins on neuroleptics, I just felt almost brain-dead and if someone had offered me euthanasia I would’ve said, ‘Okay, do it.’ It made me feel that bad. I like to think. When my neurotransmitters were just down, I felt any capacity I had was gone.

                I also really appreciate the peer-support groups that organisations such as Voices Vic provide. I think this very new organisation is doing something very progressive for our society and deserves some funding.
Here's a blog about alternatives to the psychiatric mayhem and torture,  with much to say about safe houses and has given me the link to this video on such projects:
There's also the Recovery House that Ron Coleman and his wife Karen facilitate in Scotland.
Here's one video of the Soteria project, which was a safe house for people with 'schizophrenia' in the 1970s... Also there's further written info: on the Soteria project 

But really, there's not $10 mil to spend on mental health that hasn't already been given to the legalised drug dealers, drug pushers and drug enforcers. Someone pissed on their hand when they shook it with some official and the official thought the piss was pure gold. I think that's how psychiatrists continue to get their funding, because it just really doesn't make sense otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Powerful points NO about people being ruthlessly medicalised, marginalised and made redundant and we should be working towards enabling people, not disabling them. So caring also to have drug-free safe houses where people can break-through their crisis served by people with lived-experience working in these houses and for there to be empathetic understanding Art Therapists available and someone trained in First Aid instead of automatic forced toxic injections as a first step!!
    Keep at it!!