Science and Values

We are fully determined to create a system of completely effective mental health care worldwide. Are you with us? We think medications and labels for people experiencing emotional distress should be almost entirely eliminated. They should not be applied first, for everyone and forever, to people moving through extreme states.  We do not currently have any kind of effective mental healthcare system in our country.

We need mental health exit ramps, we need human ways to help each other in crisis and through adversity, we need compassion and love and friendship in times of struggle. We need each other. Here is what we believe, what we work to put into action to build effective mental healthcare solutions:

8 ideas we want to share with the whole world to improve effective mental healthcare:

1. Emotional distress can and should be temporary and transformative. (Thanks to Vocal Virginia’s Firewalkers project and Leah Harris for these ideas.)

Kathleen Dake from Jefferson City, MO models her UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt showing ways people end up system that may or may not provide effective mental healthcare.

Kathleen Dake from Jefferson City, MO models her UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt showing ways people end up system that may or may not provide effective mental healthcare. Click this image to get your shirt.

2. Psychosis is an event not a person. (Thanks to Duane Sherry for this tweetable statement).  See my explanation of people who ride a bicycle across America in 9 days without sleep. We do not currently have effective mental healthcare solutions to allow for temporary existential or spiritual or biographical crises without often making the problem much, much worse.

3. We are not anti-medication, We are pro fully informed choice, and effective mental health care solutions must include information about real risks and results of taking medications. (Thanks to Frank Blankenship of MindFreedom Florida for this tweetable statement.)

4. Psych meds function like emotional painkillers, and should be marketed as brain disabling drugs with the same mechanism of action as illicit meds, but just a different side effect or addiction or risk profile. (Thanks to Peter Breggin for looking into this problem creating effective mental healthcare when few else did.)

5. Emotional distress rarely, if ever hits someone “out of the blue.” I believe the ways into the mental health system include but aren’t limited to:

  • Past trauma experiences (Thanks Ken Braiterman and Beth Filson for teaching me this.)
  • Lack of social connections
  • Job fit or career goals (Thanks to Randy Johnson who did the best a boss could for me.)
  • Grief, Loss of hope
  • Spiritual unrest (Thanks to Tessa Manning for promoting “spiritual emergency”.)
  • Drug Use
  • Nutrition , exercise, or sleep habits
  • Being an antiauthoritarian (Hat tip to Bruce Levine.)

6. There are very rarely any chemical, genetic, or structural differences between people who end up with mental health labels and those who don’t. I believe this is a biographical not a biological problem for most. This is why we need biographical and not biological solutions for most people.

The UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt shows ways into what may or may not be effective mental healthcare. The Connect Power shirt shows the way out. Click this image to get both shirts.

The UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt shows ways into what may or may not be effective mental healthcare. The Connect Power shirt shows the way out. Click this image to get both shirts.

7. My job is to get people effective mental healthcare, which may or may not include any contact with the traditional system. My job is not get people into the mental health system, my job is to get them out. Services must be without coercion or force and freely chosen by all participants. Complete recovery means all this goes away.

8. The ways out of the mental health system are by talking to someone who’s been there before and finding what gives you Personal Power. People can get strength and motivation from sports, exercise, gardening, nature, art, poetry, music, spirituality, mindfulness, animals, social change, activism, or anything else. (Credit to Pat Deegan for the Personal medicine concept.)

Let’s invest in effective mental healthcare:

If you believe in many or most of these ideas, what can we do to implement them? We are building a business to promote these ideas worldwide. We want to provide jobs where we provide mutual, bidirectional help out of the pit of adversity. (Cheers, Shery Mead.)  We want to build an online community where all people going through adversity connect very inexpensively with people who know the way out. What we need are programmers and web developers to make this possible, and a bit of funding.

The Details of the Revolution:

Share your Commitment and Your Needs:

What are you doing or what to you want to do to eliminate labels and medications? I want to hear everyone else’s plans. What do you need? What if everyone committed to ending labels and meds for emotions put their goals and their needs in the comments below? We can link a lot of people, solve a lot of problems, and gather an incredible amount of support with this one discussion. We are the change we wish to see in this world – we are the evidence. We have walked through the fire and come out stronger on the other side. We know how to do this. We are one of the richest communities in the world.