Madness Radio: Voices And Visions from Outside Mental Health explores 'madness' from beyond conventional perspectives and mainstream treatments, featuring survivors, authors, advocates, professionals, and artists.
Hosted by Will Hall, Madness Radio launched in 2005 on Valley Free Radio and aired more than 150 shows since then. We're heard on KBOO in Oregon (on pause at the moment!), have been syndicated on other stations through Pacifica, and currenrly podcasting on Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes and Google Play. Check our About page.
Madness Radio Producer is Jenka Soderberg. Thanks to past Producers Nina Packebush, Leah Harris and Jeremy Lanzman.
Madness Radio is now an affiliate of Mad In America Radio!
Check out www.madinamerica.com.
Madness Radio is creative commons copyright! Please copy, post, and share freely. And get involved: send topic ideas, leave comments, ask FM stations to air us, leave an iTunes review, or make a donation.
Just in time for the holidays, a chapter from Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness: “Christmas Vacation in the Schizophrenia Factory,” a personal account from Will Hall from a visit back to visit his family for Christmas, first published in 2015.
(Everything is better now.)
You can purchase Outside Mental Health at your favorite independent bookseller or other retailer, and download a free ebook version at www.outsidementalhealth.com.
Can survivors be therapists – and even better at it? Jacks McNamara – poet, trauma healing coach, and co-founder of The Icarus Project – joins Will Hall to discuss the calling to became a therapist/counselor/coach inspired by their own struggles and survivor mutual aid. What makes a “good therapist”? Is mutual aid and friendship enough or do we need professional healers? How does sharing your trauma and oppression with clients affect working as a therapist? What about licensing and credentials – can they get in the way of truly helping people? And is a therapist at heart a wounded healer?
Jacks McNamara is a genderqueer poet, parent, artist, activist, educator, performer, and somatic healing practitioner based on the Tewa land called O’ga P’ogeh, also known today as Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jacks is a Lambda literary fellow, and their first book of poetry, Inbetweenland, was released by Deviant Type Press in 2013. Co-author of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness, Jacks is a neuro-creative psychiatric survivor who has toured the US and Canada offering workshops and performances. Jacks is the co-founder of The Icarus Project, now the Fireweed Collective, offering mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice lens. Jacks is the subject of the poetic documentary film Crooked Beauty. Also check out Jacks’ previous interview on Madness Radio!
Jay Mahler was one of the originators of the psychiatric survivors movement in the 1960s, joining protests with the Free Speech Movement at the University of California Berkeley- the beginnings of protest against the US war in Vietnam – and then dedicating his life to ending forced treatment and protecting psychiatric patient rights. He was a much loved leader in the movement with extensive impact on the lives of everyone involved in survivor / peer / consumer mental health advocacy, in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Jay passed away this May and will be dearly missed, he was a really genuine kindhearted man who touched everyone who knew him. Thanks to Dina Tyler for co-hosting this recent interview with Jay.
Pool of Consumer Champions https://www.pocc.org
Survivingantidepressants.org is one of the leading and longest running communities of mutual and and peer self-help around psychiatric drug withdrawal. Adele Framer – alto strata – founded the site in 2011 and shares her experience and learning on supporting people coming off antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and other medications, including the emerging field of psychiatric medication withdrawal research. (Special thanks to Oddball Magazine for production assistance.)
In this guest podcast, Jason Wright of Oddball Magazine sits down with Madness Radio host Will Hall, author of the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, to discuss mental health abolition, harm reduction, democratic socialism, and more in a far ranging conversation. You may have noticed the world is falling apart, time to think big and outside! (And seriously consider vitamin D supplementation). Check out Jason’s work and the community at Oddball Magazine here:
At the Madness Radio book launch a few years ago writer and poet Susie Meserve read her creative nonfiction essay “A Little Crazy,” included in the anthology Show Me All Your Scars: True Stories of Living With Mental Illness and featuring an intimate (and not entirely flattering) portrait of her boyfriend at the time in 2004 – “schizophrenic” Will Hall.
You’re shut inside and it’s time for a children’s book! For this episode we’ve selected 1999’s The Iceling by Will Hall.
Jyl Ion hears voices, but she refuses to view these non-ordinary experiences as a sign of mental illness. Instead Jyl came off 16 years of multiple toxic medications, talks to her ancestor spirits and has reclaimed access to unsanctioned knowledge. She struggled through the aftermath of sexual violence and was bedridden for two years of illness withdrawing from psychiatric meds – and now emerges as a strong survivor. Today Jyl has turned her voice hearing and her traumatic past into gifts, and works professionally as a forensic medium helping law enforcement solve missing persons cases. Her new book of poetry is called Soft Out Spoken.
Do bipolar and psychosis have a healing potential blocked by suppression, medications, and avoidance? What if we could help people safely and intentionally explore, express, and understand these frightening states? Can breathwork ceremonies open the doors of perception like psychedelics — but without the drugs or risks? Are journeys into altered states too dangerous for people with madness – or just need to be tailored to individual needs?
Sean Blackwell had an overwhelming emotional crisis diagnosed as bipolar that emerged into a spiritual awakening that enriched his life. Today he facilitates and researches breathwork groups: intense focused breathing with blindfolds and music to discover the healing potential at the root of psychiatric crisis. His book and YouTube channel is Bipolar or Waking up. You can also listen to part two of the interview here.
Do early psychosis programs serve healing – or function as surveillance and control? Are treatments for paranoia actually themselves forms of paranoia, based on scientific racism and white supremacy? By defining and enforcing “normal” does psychiatry wage a war on the imagination?
Rachel Jane Liebert is a multi-media artist and Critical Psychology senior lecturer at the University of East London, using feminist research to decolonize modern psychiatry. Her new book Psycurity: Colonialism, Paranoia, and the War on Imagination brings her background as a Pakeha (white/settler) New Zealander to free madness from whiteness and express the imaginative potential of states labeled paranoia.
After taking the psychedelic drug ayahuasca Martha Elisabeth went into an extended altered state diagnosed as psychotic. Her terrifying ordeal ignited a spiritual initiation that eventually brought gifts of awakening, insight, and compassion. How did Martha emerge from her ecstatic journey through a mythic, archetypal world to become an advocate and teacher? What lessons can we learn about the dangers — and potentials — of psychedelics and of altered states of consciousness labeled “madness”? Today she is a mental health case worker in the UK National Health Service, co-director of an interdisciplinary research team, and voice for more humane and spiritual treatments for madness.
What is at the root of world violence? How does psychiatry re-create dynamics of humiliation and shame that drive people crazy? Is there a just and equitable way out of the spirals of attack and counterattack tearing humanity apart? Evelin Lindner was nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work internationally to overcome the roots of violence and war. Her Dignity and Humiliation Studies initiative is showing a new way to treat each other — from our most intimate relations to our international foreign policies — and also in our response to mental health crisis.
Audiobook mp3 of Introduction and Chapter 1 “Persons and Experience”, from The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise, by R.D. Laing, read by Will Hall.
Full book .mp3 (cntrl/rtclck save as to download):
Additional chapters on this YouTube playlist (full audiobook as a single .mp3 forthcoming)
What does it mean to be called “crazy” in a crazy world? Listen to the free audiobook of the Preface to Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness, written and read by Will Hall.
Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness reveals the human side of mental illness. Based on ten years of Madness Radio interviews, more than 60 voices of psychiatric patients, scientists, journalists, doctors, activists, and artists create a vital new conversation about empowering the human spirit. Outside Mental Health invites us to rethink what we know about bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, medications, and mental illness in society.