Youth Suicide with Leah Harris
First Aired: 10-24-2007 -- 3 comments | Add comment
Psychiatric survivor and leading advocate Leah Harris reads her powerful poem “I Was a Teenage Mental Patient” and discusses how communities can work to prevent suicide by looking beyong mainstream approaches and rethinking our alienating school system.
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3 comments on “Youth Suicide with Leah Harris”
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I just would like to thank you, Will. You talk about those experiences in such a valorizing way. After years of searching I am now convinced that the medical system has nothing to offer. It is just a business of getting people out of the way no matter in what even worse state you get people by doing this. Nobody ever treated me as if I were the person who could tell what was better or worse. I was treated as if I was deliberately causing work although I strictly speaking never did something difficult (such as yelling or aggression). I was just looking for people who would perhaps know how to survive what was going on. Because of these negative experiences I am totally anti-psy today. It’s a good thing that other people’s experiences are not necessarily as bad as my own. But this makes contacts really difficult. I tried to get in contact with some kind of anti-psy organization and ended up talking to a guy who told me that I should have been selling myself more effectively in those contacts with so-called professionals. I certainly do not have the energy to make a good show in order to be treated in a better way nor do I have the energy to contact people who tell me everything was my own fault. It certainly wasn’t. Most ‘recovery’ projects to my knowledge are unfortunately very close to hospitals, in a way only making the patient more compliant to what psychiatry does by making him talk to another patient or ex-patient. I feel very sad that there is a consense here in treating people whatever you like as far as it suits health service needs. There are no places to rest for a while without being put under the pressure of this or that psy-ideology and authority. There is nothing that could help people to get on with their own lives in their own way.
It is valorizing what you do in your show, because you are not talking about people causing delibarately distress to other but of people who are in real pain. Nobody ever recognizes this. I hope you get enough support to go on with your shows!
Will Hall, I just want you to know how grateful I am for Madness Radio. You get it and the people you interview get it. Your interviews have been very, very helpful to me. There are just so many good things about your interviews, to name a few: yourself, your interviewing style, the one hour which allows for a thoughtful dialogue, your guests, the valuable resources provided, and more. From the bottom of my heart I say thank you. Roland
Thank you Roland, I appreciate it! — Will