This booklet was made by a group of radical mental health activists from all over North America.
We envision a vibrant movement made up of locally based community groups and professionals in the field, a movement that understands the importance of language and telling stories and knowing our history, a movement that has reverence for the human spirit and understands the intertwined complexity of these things we call mental health and wellness. We understand the importance of economic justice, diversity and global solidarity. We see the critical need for accepting, even celebrating, mental diversity, while evading the trap of fitting into a society that is obviously very sick. Fundamentally, we recognize an urgency: if we are going to shift the current paradigm, we need a movement that has both the political savvy to understand how to fight the system, and the tools to take care of each other as the world gets even crazier.
As creative folks skeptical of the conventional social system, what does it mean within our extended community for someone to be "mentally ill" or struggling with traditional labels such as "clinical depression," "bipolar disorder," or "schizophrenia"? How helpful is the modern psychiatric paradigm that revolves around medicine and mental disorders and how much of it is really just a function of powerful pharmaceutical corporations, public funding cuts, and a society that equates productivity with health? Are there other frameworks for understanding what it means to be "crazy?" Are there alternative ways to heal? How do we begin the process?