News stories from Counterpoint

Safe Haven: 20 Years of Support

RANDOLPH – Twenty years ago, a unique collaboration was born here: a home that was run by psychiatric survivors with clinical support by a community mental health agency and family member volunteers.
Safe Haven was a federally funded national program for homeless adults struggling with mental health stability.

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Commentary

Coercion in Survival Benefits

Coercion in Survival Benefits

At this year’s Alternatives conference in Washington, Calvin Moen, Kaz DeWolfe and I gave a presentation on the elements of psychiatric coercion that members of our community face in accessing survival benefits.

This was an effort on our part to broaden the scope of discussions that occur in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement to consider coercion more broadly.

All the people who attended our workshop were recipients of survival benefits and had a great deal to contribute to the discussion. They spoke to the precarious nature of life on benefits, as well as to the degree to which participation in the benefits system limits their ability to determine the conditions of their care.

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“Alternatives” — Plural

“Alternatives” — Plural

This was my second consecutive year attending the Alternatives conference. Like last year, I distinctly felt that there were (at least) two separate conferences happening concurrently.

One of these conferences centers the experience and perspective of a user of mental health services who is in recovery from a mental illness and has joined the peer workforce to serve others who are experiencing what they have gone through.

The other conference centers the experience and perspective of a survivor of psychiatric harm who works to resist and dismantle the coercive and forceful psychiatric system and to reinstate the human and civil rights of those who have been deemed mad.

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