What is the I Got Better Campaign?
MFI’s I Got Better campaign aims to challenge the dominant narrative of hopelessness in mental health care by making stories of hope and mental wellness widely available. In doing, so, MFI collected video and written testimonies of former mental health patients and shared these across media. Read all the stories, see all the videos, and read the results of the survey at IgotBetter.org.
I Got Better Survey
From June to October 2012, MFI conducted a two-part Hope in Mental Health survey, which received responses from over 1,000 responses. The survey aimed to answer these questions below about mental health care:
- How prevalent are messages of hopelessness in mental health care?
- What are the sources and contents of these messages?
- What is the veracity of these messages? In other words, do hopeless prognoses and statements about recovery, medication use, etc. generally prove true or false?
- 2/3 of responders reported that having received a mental health diagnosis, their mental health provider articulated that their recovery was unlikely or impossible
- Nearly 70 percent of people who experienced extreme mental/emotional distress (including diagnoses of psychosis or schizophrenia), considered themselves as “recovered” or “fully recovered”
- Over 50 percent of individuals who received diagnoses of psychosis, or schizophrenia, are currently medication free
- Respondents overwhelmingly judged a variety of non-drug alternatives to be more helpful to individuals in mental/emotional distress than standard psychiatric care
- Certain psychiatric practices, particularly forced drugging, are often described as “traumatizing”
Some I Got Better Stories
“Recovery is when you take your mind back, when you become the expert on your mind & body. [This is] when you learn to look at your mind & body as the manifestations of what you need to know to feel okay in existing. When you learn the signs in your body, [such as] that when you feel hungry & anxious it means you are dehydrated, and that when you feel you have so much energy that you could remodel a house overnight, it means you haven’t spent enough energy today and you need to run. [Recovery means] that feelings of highs, lows, and anxiety are always going to come back, and it’s your job to stop and listen and figure out what is the real unmet need. There’s always something. Recovery is knowing that your brain will make errors and it’s your job to pick them out as best you can, not to freak out.”
“Recovery is realizing my own resilience – the strength and survivor in me – coming to grasp my strengths. Overcoming that the system had worked very hard to prove my total sickness and weakness, finding my own voice and power – so I could allow and encourage my own defensive walls to come down so that I can truly relate with others. I know hope hurts when you’re in pain, so find someone who can hold your hope until you can take it back – a person you can trust, who can do this – the best is to find a person who has been where you are now. Whatever has happened in the past, let it go, today is precious and you can affect how you feel right now.”
– Anonymous http://igotbetter.org/stories/anonymous13
“Recovery from mental health or emotional problems means to me that I am off of the merry-go-round ride of psychiatric labels, pharmaceuticals, and abusive and inhumane treatment experienced within the experiment of psychiatry. Recovery to me is being awake and alive and not dazed, confused or in an endless fog, and constantly thinking “they (psychiatrists) are watching me waiting for me to fall” and being afraid to truly feel what it is to be human. It is being my own advocate in every aspect of my life and health care, as well as being an advocate for others who can’t or don’t know how to be their own advocate. Recovery to me is freedom from the control of others who only think they know me, when they really have no clue as to who I really am and what my capabilities truly are. Recovery is living my life according to the ways in which I choose, living it moment by moment, experiencing every up & down, and knowing that I am no different than anyone else. Recovery to me is taking the power back from those who stole it for a time, and keeping it in my control by staying true to myself. It is continuing to seek knowledge from other sources that promote, encourage, and fight for natural approaches to mental health and emotional problems, and supporting them in these efforts.”
– Shelley http://igotbetter.org/stories/shelley
Some I Got Better Videos