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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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Bhargavi Davar, PhD, psychiatric survivor leader in India

Bhargavi Davar is a survivor of psychiatric institutions who is working in Pune, India, with a Ph. D. in the philosophy of psychiatry. Dr. Davar is an author of several books and articles critiquing the foundations of psychiatry in India. She said, "MFI has been a great source of inspiration for us in India, particularly the unique international efforts in consistent reporting on globalising psychiatry as an EMERGENCY."
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