What I can give is not necessarily what you will get, but along our disagreements, we will find some alternate ways.
It is time we face a crucial question: What kind of society do we want to be? An excluding, judgmental, and punishing one – one who profits from the less fortunate and the most vulnerable, at that – or a compassionate and inclusive one?
Society must be steered towards understanding those whose behavioral patterns are non-mainstream, those who have mental distress and disabilities, some of which are society’s most creative, intelligent, sensitive, and fragile human beings.
Extreme mental distress is a natural emotion, not exclusively a medical problem. Stripping the human being of its wholeness – treating the mind separately from the whole – has wrought confusion, opportunism, and led to a paradigm of mental health which is dysfunctional and failing us.
We have little tolerance for what is different, because what is different scares us. And it scares us because we are not educated to understand and embrace those different from us. This leads us to abuse the most vulnerable, through limited mental health care models, as well as judicial systems that often do not protect them, but on the contrary, punish and condemn them.
As a society, we need to grow in awareness and understanding and lose our fear regarding mental distress and mental health, so we can go beyond an ostracizing societal model, towards a responsible, kinder, healing, and inclusive one.
Inner Fire Residential Healing Community
Inner Fire Healing community, U.S.A.
Inner Fire is a proactive healing community offering a choice for adults to recover from debilitating and traumatic life challenges without the use of psychotropic medications.
We are not anti-medication but rather believe in the choice to find inner balance and healing without the challenging side effects of psychotropic medications. With the help of a psychiatrist and our comprehensive program which calls upon the engagement of the whole human being, we assist people who long to carefully taper to a satisfactory level, who want to avoid medications altogether, or who need support while dealing with the withdrawal symptoms having discontinued their benzodiazepines or other medications
“As our consciousness shifts from that of victim to that of creator, the process of tapping untapped wells within our innermost self leads to healing. For some people, medications interfere with such engagement and growth.”
Beatrice Birch, Founder
The International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, Iceland.
The IIPDW aims to:
Develop research and practice-based knowledge that will facilitate the safe reduction of and withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.
Contribute to evidence-based practices for the reduction of and withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, and facilitate their inclusion in general practice guidelines.
Support the human right to informed choice with regard to psychiatric drugs.
Promote practices that help families, friends, and practitioners support the safe reduction of and withdrawal from psychiatric drugs and take into account relational and social aspects essential to this process.
Mad in America, U.S.A.
Mad in America’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad).
The current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and calls for profound change.
MIA’s non-profit organization promotes such change mainly through two vehicles:
–The webzine madinamerica.com, that provides news of psychiatric research, original journalism articles, and a forum for an international group of writers to explore issues related to this goal of “remaking psychiatry.”
–Mad In America Continuing Education, which hosts online courses taught by leading researchers in the field. These courses provide a scientific critique of the existing paradigm of care and tell of alternative approaches that could serve as the foundation for a new paradigm, primarily marketing the courses to provider organizations and mental health professionals, including psychiatrists.
Through this mix of journalism, MIA aims to provoke an education and societal discussion which could provide the seed for a much-needed reconstruction of mental health care in the United States. Promoting a health care model that emphasizes our common humanity and psychosocial care, robust, long-term recovery and wellness, and de-emphasizing the use of psychiatric medications, particularly over the long-term.
Compassion For Addiction
Compassion for Addiction, Canada.
The question is not: why the addiction?
The question is: why the pain?
Our mission is to change the way people view and understand addiction through the combined methodologies of compassion and cutting-edge science. The aim is to promote the understanding that addiction is the attempt of affected human beings to escape a profound discomfort with themselves and their world.
Cofounder Dr. Gabor Maté’s approach to addiction is based on decades of research and experience working with addicts. He speaks about the social roots of our addictions and how the problem is caused neither by genes nor ‘choices’, but in the lives and experiences of the addicts.
Institute Maïeutique, CH.
The Institut Maïeutique welcomes adolescents and adults suffering from psychological difficulties and in need of care in a structured therapeutic framework.
The Institut Maïeutique is a day hospital with the possibility of therapeutic accommodation. It aims to promote recovery and the acquisition of greater autonomy always bearing in mind the goal of social, educational, and professional reintegration.
A multidisciplinary team supervises the care process through psychotherapeutic, psychosocial, and rehabilitation activities.
El Llindar, Spain.
El Llindar is a space that promotes ending cyclical educational failures of teenagers alienated from the educational and social system. A space that offers qualified formation and work-study programs to the students; guiding, accompanying, and supporting their transition into adult life.
In El Llindar each student, each teenager, is considered unique and receives a tailored education.
Everyone is taught research, participation, and the value of mutual growth.
Problems become opportunities for reflection, incentivizing creativity, and pedagogical innovation.
The relational dynamics of El Llindar are based on affective bonds; listening, trusting, and not rushing. All students are given the time and space they need.
Open Dialogue UK
Open Dialogue, UK.
We co-ordinate the first full Open Dialogue training program to be run outside of Finland.
The first of these three-year programs commenced in London in April 2015 and included teams from four NHS Trusts, as well as teams working in public services in several international countries. We also welcomed independent practitioners and peers onto this program. We started our second full training program in May 2018, and the next full training will start in Spring 2021, details of which can be found here. This training is led by senior Finnish trainers as well as other leading international practitioners/trainers.
What is the Open Dialogue approach?
The Open Dialogue approach is both a philosophical/theoretical approach to people experiencing a mental health crisis and their families/networks and a system of care, developed in Western Lapland in Finland over the last 35 years. In the 1980s psychiatric services in Western Lapland were in a poor state, in fact, they had one of the worst incidences of the diagnosis of schizophrenia’ in Europe. Now they have the best-documented outcomes in the Western World. For example, around 75% of those experiencing psychosis have returned to work or study within 2 years and only around 20% are still taking antipsychotic medication at a 2-year follow-up.
The Family Care Foundation, Sweden
Family Care Foundation, Sweden.
Healing Homes: An Alternative, Swedish Model for Healing Psychosis.
Healing Homes is a program that, in this era of multi-drug cocktails and psychiatric diagnoses-for-life, helps people recover from psychosis without medication.
The organization, backed by over twenty years of experience, places people who have been failed by traditional psychiatry in host families — predominately farm families in the Swedish countryside — as a start for a whole new life journey.
Host families are chosen not for any psychiatric expertise, rather, for their compassion, stability, and desire to give back. People live with these families for upwards of a year or two and become an integral part of a functioning family system. Staff members offer clients intensive psychotherapy and provide host families with intensive supervision.
The Family Care Foundation eschews the use of diagnosis, works within a framework of striving to help people come safely off psychiatric medication, and provides their services, which operate within the context of Swedish socialized medicine, for free.
National Empowerment Center
National Empowerment Center, U.S.A.
The mission of NEC is to carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and and/or extreme states.
As a consumer/survivor/ex-patient-run organization, NEC carries out its mission with authority, as each of us is living a personal journey of recovery and empowerment. At NEC they are convinced that recovery and empowerment are not the privilege of a few exceptional leaders, but rather are possible for each person with lived experience. Whether on the backward of a state mental institution or working as an executive in a corporation, they want people who are mental health consumers/survivors/ex-patients to know there is a place to turn to in order to receive the information they might need in order to regain control over their lives and the resources that affect their lives. That place is the National Empowerment Center.
NEC staff speak at conferences, both large and small. NEC workshops include the eCPR Training workshops, the Hearing Voices Workshop (see the NEC store for details), as well as workshops focusing on trauma, women’s issues in mental health, recovery strategies, alternative/complementary services, and re-visioning mental health systems on a recovery model.
Kelly Brogan MD
Kelly Brogan MD, U.S.A.
Own your body, free your mind.
« I’m here to tell you that you have choices and the power to change your life. You can get healthy and live happily – without drugs. » Dr. Brogan, MD.
Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, Own Your Self. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms.
Our mission is to provide true informed consent around medication-based treatment and empower individuals with tools for radical self-healing.
The good news is that you’re in control. The truth is that only you can get you well. We all need time to validate our suffering, but then we need to step into a place of self-empowerment.
When you know better, you do better. This is a journey of awakening. That means no more blaming ourselves for the past, and instead, looking for ways to grow and improve every day.
Suffering ends where meaning begins. We are here for a very meaningful experience. By turning towards our symptoms, we can glean powerful insights that lead to deeper healing.
Parenthèse Paccot-Dessus, CH
The JAEC Foundation supports the association Parenthèse Paccot-Dessus and its project of renovating original chalets in the Swiss Alps’ beautiful landscape. The project embodies the core values of the JAEC Foundation: Justice, Action, Education, and Compassion.
By giving people struggling with a complicated life-path the opportunity to find peace in nature and reintegrate through a meaningful contribution to society, the Parenthèse Paccot-Dessus association embodies a double mission: Supporting young and old people in mental distress and safeguarding the regional heritage.
In parallel to working in nature (animal care, woodworking, beekeeping, masonry, etc.), these citizens can benefit from a meaningful interlude that allows them to have the necessary significant crucial fundamental awareness and distance for a new start.
The association makes its premises available and leaves the responsibility of supervising the residents to professionals. The association’s resources are used exclusively for the specific needs intended for the restoration of the chalets.