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Brainstorm of our favorite alternatives from Opal Meeting in Lane County, Oregon, USA

Psychiatric survivor and vet Hugh Massengill addressed the sixth meeting of the Opal Network in Eugene, Oregon on 29 July 2008 about moving from madness to mental wellness. The Opal Network brings together advocates for empowerment of people in mental health system in Lane County. Moderators Bjo Ashwill and Tom Wilson led a brainstorm about our favorite methods to reach and maintain mental and emotional well being. Here is a draft based on notes by David Oaks.



What helps your mental and emotional well being?


  • Opal Whiteley is remembered in this mural in downtown Cottage Grove. Smiling.
  • Breathing.
  • Community and tribe.
  • Relationship with therapist.
  • Getting involved.
  • Vitamins and nutrition such as fish oil.
  • Humor.
  • Nature.
  • Trauma Healing Project.
  • Biz.
  • Showing up.
  • Singing.
  • Hope.
  • Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition.
  • Self-education.
  • Small groups like this.
  • Internal locus of control.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • Awareness in community at large.
  • Exercise.
  • Friendships.
  • Spiritual connection.
  • Stepping into abundance.
  • Realizing I deserve happiness.
  • Focus on how we raise children who are in mental health system.
  • Learning what babies want: love.
  • Friendship.
  • Social networks.
  • Believe we make sense and find others.
  • Self acceptance.
  • Pride.
  • Sanctuary.
  • Yoga.
  • Move your body.
  • Light.
  • Do good, avoid evil, purify yourself.
  • Joy leads to smiling, smiling leads to joy.
  • Uplifting music that connects to your gut, emotions.
  • Meetings like this.
  • Creating something.
  • Baths.
  • Drawing.
  • Criminalizing normality!
  • Sketch, draw, paint, play, act, compose, sculpt, music.
  • Reject conformity.
  • Dialogue.
  • Skits.
  • Garden.
  • To be deeply loved.
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Laura Delano - Psychiatric survivor blogger activist

Laura works as a peer specialist in the traditional mental health system and writes a blog at madinamerica.com, where she is sharing her story of recovery from psychiatry. After living with psychiatric labels for 13 years and taking psychotropic medications for ten of them, Laura says she found liberation in 2010 from her psychiatric diagnoses, from her reliance upon the mental health system, and from the once deep-seated belief that she was sentenced to a life-long "mental illness." Laura says, "I am proud to be a member of the MindFreedom International community for all MFI does to promote equality, justice, and civil rights for people who have been labeled 'mentally ill.'" (See 'Related Content' links below for link to Mad In America web site where Laura's blogs.)
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