Blogger and former social worker Gianna Kali discusses her experience going into the mental health system after taking psychedelic drugs, spiritual emergence, decades of treatment with more than 30 different psychiatric medications, and the difficult process of coming off meds, drug withdrawal, and regaining her life. Gianna is the creator of the Beyond Meds blog about mental health and coming off medications. http://www.beyondmeds.com
UK clinical psychologist Rufus May descended into madness -- convinced he was on a spy mission and that animals were robots, he even walked into a family gathering naked. How did Rufus find meaning in these experiences, learn to live without medication, and become a successful psychologist and mental health advocate? Rufus was recently featured in the Channel 4 feature film The Doctor Who Hears Voices. www.rufusmay.com
Is depression a result of poverty? How can community development and economic empowerment affect mental health? Psychology professor Alisha Ali discusses the dangers of turning social problems into medical disorders, including bias in diagnosis, limits of "cultural competency" and "anti-stigma" initiatives, and the experiences of immigrant women. http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty_bios/v...
Labor doula and Icarus Project student organizer Annie Robinson talks about her experience in the mental health system as an adolescent, and how it led to her interest in changing medical birthing procedures and becoming a doula. Annie discusses the trauma caused by doctor interventions in childbirth and its lasting effects on both children and mothers. Anniewrobinson(at)gmail(dot)com; http://www.dona.org/ http://www.motherfriendly.org/
Marykate Connor, founder of Caduceus Outreach Services in San Francisco, talks about her innovative work helping homeless people with mental health problems. She discusses the criminal justice system, the decline of services since the 1970s, medication policies, poverty, and what led her to create one of the most innovative and effective homelessness programs in the country. www.caduceusoutreachservices.org marykate_caduceus (at) sbcglobal (dot) net
Grace Guyol, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and author of Healing Depression and Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs: Inspiring Stories of Restoring Mental Health Through Natural Therapies, discusses nutrition, supplements, and holistic health care for helping people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses. GGuyol (at) aol.com
Psychology professor Randy Frost, author of Buried In Treasures, discusses his work on hoarding, people who collect so much stuff excessively that it disrupts their lives or creates a health or fire hazard, including how to help people without risking adding to the problem through intrusive or drastic intervention. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clinical Psychologist David Lukoff talks about his madness experience and the spiritual transformation it triggered. David went on to become a leading figure in the field of Transpersonal Psychology and works to bring greater spiritual awareness into mainstream mental health practice. http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/
Oregon Mental health counselor Ron Unger discusses his experiences with altered states of consciousness, and how cognitive behavioral therapy can be a useful alternative to medication and mainstream psychiatric treatment. Ron is a longtime organizer with the human rights organization Mindfreedom International, and his website is http://www.recoveryfromschizophrenia.org...
Blacks in the UK are much more likely than white people to be locked up, put on drugs, and mistreated in the mental health system. Social scientist Philip Morgan of London's Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organization (THACMHO) discusses the legacy of slavery, survivor-run advocacy for system change, and an innovative project reclaiming Black identity through historical research. www.thacmho.org.uk