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Blogs related to changing the mental health system

Updated 18 Feb. 2012: Here are just a few of the blogs with entries that question the mental health industry, and explore alternatives beyond psychiatry.

Icon for Blog in MindFreedom International list of blogsBloggers reflect individual views that are their own, and may be controversial. For blog by MFI director David W. Oaks, click here. Spot a lapsed link? Please tell us. Find a relevant blog missing here? Please submit title, URL & brief blurb:

Link Free Your Mind Campaign Blog
Blogger Nicole Edwards of London says, "This is the blog for my Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film and culture."
Link Furious Seasons
Furious Seasons is authored by a journalist/patient Philip Dawdy who was diganosed with bipolar disorder and who seeks to hold the mental health industry accountable. The author is opposed to outpatient commitment and forced electroshock treatments. [Note: As of Feb. 2012, the author had not blogged since July 2010, posting that he was doing 90 hour weeks. We hope Phil's okay!]
Link Gábor Gombos in India
Long-time psychiatric survivor and human rights activist Gåbor Gombos of Hungary spent last half of 2008 in India working with the MindFreedom sponsor group Bapu Trust coordinated by Bhargavari Davar. This blog is specifically about Gåbor's experience traveling and learning.
Link Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son Journey
Description by the bloggers, who are MFI members: "This blog started out as a way of documenting and publicizing the many alternative therapies that mother and son underwent to treat his 'schizophrenia.' The therapies range from your basic orthomolecular (vitamins) to the truly weird and wonderful (assemblage point shift, Family Constellation Therapy, sound therapy) with lots in between. As important as these therapies were in helping her son in his recovery, this blog also stresses the importance of learning to see your relative as insightful, compassionate, artistic, or simply 'finding himself,' in short, anything but mentally ill."
Link If You're Going Through Hell Keep Going
A story of recovery after psychiatric drugging. The blogger was on a huge list of prescribed psychiatric drugs. In Feb. 2012, the blogger wrote MindFreedom that, "I have been off all psychological drugs since November of 2010 when my kidneys failed from lithium poisoning. I almost died from Haldol poisoning two years prior to that."
Link International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry Blog
International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology [formerly, Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP)] is a network of dissident mental health professionals who challenge the current psychiatric system.
Link Involuntary Transformation: Family Speaks Out
From the blog description: My intent when I started this blog was to talk about my family's experiences with the mental health system. I find that it has for me become a way to share my experiences, observations and opinions about mental health issues in general, and how my son's treatment more often than not, caused further harm. Mental Health Transformation is happening--for some individuals and groups, it is too slow in occurring; and for others it appears to be an Involuntary Transformation."
"Bipolar is mood disorder that has affected many others and my life in the most profound of ways! Through my experience within the constraints of these highs and lows of the expressed roller coaster life. The reflection of emotional rainbow colors twisted into both failures and successes. I live by a sheer gift of grace and hope as I come here to share my journey, articles, humor, and more."
Link Lunatick Fringe Blog
Lunatick Fringe Blog is by Frank Blankship, chair of MFI's Affiliate Committee. He says, "What better way is there to express your mad pride than by turning up your nose at public opinion and expectation with just such an expression!" Lots of categories including ADHD, Alternatives, antipsychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, DSM, Electro-convulsive Shock. "This internet log is, if not daily, a regular account of the struggle for human and civil rights for people at the receiving end of the mental health system. Some of these people have had their rights violated and their lives disrupted by bad laws and psychiatric oppression. Vignettes, anecdotes, facts, figures, personal accounts, news stories, scientific treatises, art, poetry–all is permissable and allowed. Come back, and find out more about what’s going on in the movement to change the mental health system, and restore people to justice who have had their rights denied."
Link Mad in America Team of Bloggers
There is a significant team of bloggers who are exploring alternatives to the current mental health system and skewering the psychiatric industry, and they are posting via the "Mad in America" web site, named after the book by Robert Whitaker challenging the past and the present of the mental health industry. Bloggers include: Laura Delano, Dan Fisher, Will Hall, Daniel Mackler, Ron Unger, Corinna West, as well as Whitaker himself (who also has a Psychology Today blog). And many more.
Link Mad In Vermont Blog: madinvt
The blogger Jean, an artist, writes, " concept of the purpose and function of the blog is evolving so I’ll change this page as my ideas develop. I originally chose the name Mad In Vermont to mimic the title of the book by RobertWhitaker, Mad In America: The Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill."
Link Mental Health Reform in Ireland
A blog dedicated to changing the Irish mental health system. From their about us: " Mental Health Reform will post items relating to mental health services in Ireland. We hope that this blog will help stimulate debate about mental health and mental health services. The blog will feature items from Mental Health Reform Staff, the Director of Mental Health Reform and from guest bloggers including experts by experience and mental health professionals."
Link MindFreedom Blog by David W. Oaks, MFI Director
This web site also maintains a blog related to MindFreedom International and mad movement campaigns and perspectives, by MFI Executive Director David W. Oaks.
Link My Mental Health
My Mental Health is a blog that has a number of entries critical of human rights violations in the mental health system, such as the rising practice of court-ordered involuntary outpatient psychiatric drugging in our own homes out in the community.
Link Naturalgal’s Weblog
The motto is, "A journey away from medication and into healthy eating to stay sane." The blogger describes her effort, in this excerpt from 'About': "After years of suffering from depression, I went to the medical doctors for help. I was told I had a biochemical imbalance. Since my family is in the medical field. I believed the doctors could help me. But with the medication, I only got worse. ... A few years ago I decided I would use nutrition, supplements and other methods of self-affirmation to help myself. This blog will include updates on my eating, supplements and psychological efforts to help myself."
Link Oregon 99 Percent by Coco
Coco is a psychiatric survivor activist who connects to the Occupy Movement here in Oregon.
Link Patient Anonymous
This Canadian blogger with diagnoses such as "ADD" and "bipolar" states that the blog covers "all things psych and neuro and medicine medicine."
Link Paula J. Caplan, PhD
Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D., is a clinical and research psychologist, author of books and plays, playwright, actor, director, and long-time supporter of MindFreedom International. Her blog is one of the leaders for a lot of change in the mental health system, including about vets and about psychiatric labeling with the DSM. She was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, received her A.B. with honors from Radcliffe College of Harvard University, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Duke University. She is currently an Affiliate at Harvard University's DuBois Institute, working on their Voices of Diversity project, and a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Link Psyche Truth
Videos on a wide variety of well being topics, including mental health. The blogger says, "Psyche = Mind, Soul Soul or Mind Truth. I make internet videos of things I am interested in, including but not limited to, health, alternative health, art, comparative religion, science, mental health reform, philosophy or anything else I want to know about. I like knowing stuff. I think you should like knowing stuff too."
Link Psychiatry, It's a Killing
Another blogger recommended this site saying: "Written by a family member of a psych subject, this blogger has been blogging since 2008 about the injustices in the judicial system for psych patients and blows the lid of much of big pharma's shenanigans. Tremendous amount of links are worth a look. "
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We are MFI

Amy Smith, psychiatric survivor, organizer and artist

From her home in Colorado, Amy Smith provides leadership for the movement to change the mental health system in a variety of ways, from events to art work for the Occupy American Psychiatric Association peaceful protests by MindFreedom International. Amy is a psychiatric survivor, who has been psych drug-free since 2008. She is the former director of Colorado’s statewide consumer organization, and the creator of RISE University, an education program designed to illuminate the experience of labeled individuals and their families.
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