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At Opal 6 we brainstormed about what helps us reach mental wellness.

Hugh Massengill addressed the sixth meeting of the Opal Network in Eugene, Oregon on 29 July 2008 about moving from madness to mental wellness. 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, which we will add to from participants in the meeting. Sorry if we missed your favorite, but we're sure there are thousands!



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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Leah Harris

Leah Harris, a second generation psychiatric survivor, discovered MindFreedom in 2000 when she was 25 years old. Her first act in the mad movement was to tell her story of oppression and resistance, and to help edit stories for MindFreedom's Oral History Project. Since then, she has been working in various ways to help achieve the vision of MindFreedom: an end to all forms of psychiatric oppression, healing of all forms of "normality," and the creation of vibrant, colorful communities that honor and celebrate diversity, difference, and the full range of human experience.
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