Alternatives to the Traditional Mental Health System
Mental health system due for radical reform
A guest column by dissdent mental health worker and MindFreedom Lane County activist Ron Unger says that a range of real choices in mental health care is crucial for for recovery.
Trauma model as alternative
Viewing emotional distress through a trauma perspective can be one alternative to the domination of the medical model.
Alternatives to the traditional mental health system that involve nature and the environment.
An MFI member said, “Here is the site I mentioned to you. I have book ‘Yoga For Depression’ which has been EXTREMELY helpful to me these past months. I checked out her website which is chock full of interesting stuff. Also check out her newsletter esp. one on teens & the dangers of antidepresents.”
Easy access to acupuncture, Freedom Center in Northampton offers free treatments
Freedom Center is a sponsor group in MindFreedom International. This newspaper article is about how Freedom Center, which is run by and for psychiatric survivors, offers acupuncture as an alternative to the traditional mental health system.
Alternative Healing: How to navigate the psychiatric system if you’re caught, and how to present yourself as “normal.”
An anonymous psychologist wrote this article about how to avoid and escape psychiatric oppression if you find yourself caught up in it. Calling himself “Dr. Deceptively ‘Normal,'” this mental health professional is a longtime MindFreedom member who has worked at psychiatric institutions and in mental health settings for years. His opinions are his own. (Pictured here: “Tranquilizer Chair” designed by Benjamin Rush who is widely considered “Father of American Psychiatry.”)
Positive Psychology is Getting a Tryout at McLean Hospital
The major psychiatric institution McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, a Harvard teaching facility, announced it is introducing “positive psychology” as an alternative approach to assist in mental and emotional well being recovery.
Recovery and Mental Health
Full and complete recovery — meaning re-integration into society without dependence on the mental health system, is an achievable goal for every known problem labeled as a “psychiatric disorder.”
Consumer-Driven Services – International
International consumer-driven resources
“Inspiration for a Creative Revolution” by Janet Foner
Janet Foner, board member of MindFreedom International and Chair of Choices in Mental Health Committee, presented this speech on Thursday evening, 12 July 2007, at the MindFreedom International Conference: Creative Revolution: Turning Our Minds Around near Litchfield, Connecticut, USA.
Nutritional and Orthomolecular
This is a folder about alternatives to the conventional mental health system that involve supplements, vitamins, nutrients, orthomolecular approaches, herbs., etc.
Peer mutual support is now proven through studies to, in many circumstances, add to the likelihood of recovery following a diagnosis with some mental health problems.
There are a range of alternatives that individuals have successfully used to address the problem of experiencing extremely distressing voices, thoughts, visions, etc. that others do not experience. While some individuals choose a medical model approach, such as psychiatric drugs, many others have reached recovery or manage their challenges with a wide variety of options and choices. For example, the peer support network Hearing Voices USA is a sponsor group of MindFreedom International. There are many Hearing Voices peer support groups in Europe.
Alternative Medicine Resources
Links to websites providing alternative medicine resources
Review: “Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry” reviewed by Mary Maddock
Mary Maddock of Cork, Ireland reviews the new book “Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry” co-edited by Peter Lehmann and Peter Stastny. Mary is co-founder of MindFreedom Ireland.
BBC News: “More funds for talking therapies”
The English government will spend millions more on “talking treatments” for depression and anxiety.
Finland Open Dialogue
A Finnish alternative to the traditional mental health system for people diagnosed with “psychoses” such as “schizophrenia” is “Open Dialogue.” This approach aims to support the individual’s network of family and friends, as well as respect the decision-making of the individual. Here are two follow-up studies: One is a two-year follow-up and the other, which is the recommended study, is a five-year follow-up.
Bruce Levine’s New England Book Tour
A New Englnad tour to promote Bruce Levine’s new book: “Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy”
Link to info on Chinese herbal psychiatry
Here is a link to a simple “pharmacopoeia” of traditional Chinese medicine herbal blends for mental heath diagnoses from depression to psychosis.
Brainstorm of our favorite alternatives from Opal Meeting in Lane County, Oregon, USA
Psychiatric survivor and vet Hugh Massengill addressed the sixth meeting of the Opal Network in Eugene, Oregon on 29 July 2008 about moving from madness to mental wellness. The Opal Network brings together advocates for empowerment of people in mental health system in Lane County. Moderators Bjo Ashwill and Tom Wilson led a brainstorm about our favorite methods to reach and maintain mental and emotional well being. Here is a draft based on notes by David Oaks.
A New Group for People Who Hear Voices Celebrates Mental Illness Diversity
A weekly newspaper in Portland, Oregon covers “mad pride” alternative medicine, and profiles MindFreedom member Will Hall.
Mental health: Out of the cuckoo’s nest
UK Guardian is one of the most influential English-speaking newspaper in the world. They ran an article about psychiatrist and psychiatric survivor Dan Fisher, and his work for more empowering alternatives in the mental health system such as peer support.
Therapy Without Force: A Treatment Model for Severe Psychiatric Problems
This paper offers real-world examples of how therapists can avoid resorting to coercive interventions while attempting to respectfully help those in severe distress. (Author is responsible for content.)
Events to Promote and Support Humane Alternatives to Conventional Mental Health System
These are calendar event entries about changing the mental health system through approaches different than the traditional mental health system. These are listed for informational purposes only, author responsible for content, and publicizing these does not necessarily mean endorsement of all or part of the event.
Panel on life of R. D. Laing, dissident psychiatrist
Dr. Brent Potter has organized a panel to speak about the life and work of R.D. Laing, the controversial psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and human rights advocate, who Dr. Potter states, “laid the groundwork for therapeutic households, mental health law reform, and the peer recovery movement.”