In July of 2020, I provided a Zoom keynote to Peerpocalypse, which is now the main network for hundreds of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors annually in the USA.
Mad In America, one of the main catalysts for changing a failed mental health system, published my blog spotlighting my keynote, Thursday 8 October here: https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/10/world-mad-pride-disability-revolution/
Also, my personal blog has notes about this keynote, and you can get there here: http://davidwoaks.com/my-keynote-at-peerpocalypse-2020
Free, Recent Online Videos
One of the videos I want to list is a recent celebration by Vocational Rehabilitation honoring their 100th anniversary. VR helped me launch this consulting business. I only gave two words during this video, but it is fun to see and the whole thing is only two minutes: https://youtu.be/1l1jxGVtUFc
With the talented support of my home care worker, Ian, we now have a YouTube channel for Aciu! Institute. We already have a handful of videos and we will post all of them there: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNRB3CnQZ7xOmCg7_YvDnLQ/
We also have Aciu! Videos now on this site, and the page is: https://aciu.info/videos/
These include an interview with dissident psychiatrist friend, Carl Hammerschlag, MD, as well as a special announcement, oriented to the Oregon Country Fair family, from Patch Adams, MD of Gesundheit! Institute.
One of these videos is a presentation by my friend, Rev. Phillip Schulman, who discusses the “spiritual gifts” of the extreme trauma of having a half-ton truck hit you on a bike and causing brain injury. The sound is not the best on this video, but we plan and hope to have others: https://vimeo.com/453740786
Aciu! Or Should We Say AciUU?
Phillip and I are both involved in Unitarian Universalism (UU). Aciu! Institute and I have supported UU mental health and disability social justice leadership in several ways:
- With Merri mae “Kitty” Carlisle, I am now co-chair of the Accessibility Task Force for our local church, UU Church in Eugene Community. Periodically, we hold Zoom public forums on disability issues. We have held a panel, plus the above talk by Rev. Phillip.
- I lead the informal and unofficial Facebook group, UU Mental Health Justice. A few hundred of us now and again network with information about human rights and empowerment in the mental health system, and you are invited to join. Totally separate is the UU Mental Health Network, which is a nonprofit that has been recently started to support the voice of people with lived experience of the mental health system. I am active in it, and I have produced a seven-page document for suggested changes. All the new board members support forming a committee for these and other improvements. While I am not on their board, I am a member and I encourage you to visit their website and join, it is free. We expect their web sesite and outreach will be more oriented to the diversity in our community, including psychiatric survivors.
MFI Affiliates: MindFreedom Oregon
Here locally, each month on the first Friday we have been holding a Zoom for building MindFreedom Oregon as an affiliate of MFI. Others outside the State who support us are very welcome, and we have had participants from Iceland, UK, and Australia!
You can pre-register by clicking the below link and you will then get an automatic invite from Zoom for the meeting:
If you would like a taste of our MindFreedom Oregon Zoom meetings, we have a few Zoom recordings here:
August 2020 featuring MHAO staff about Peerpocalypse: https://vimeo.com/446866121
September 2020 featuring Rethinking Psychiatry activists: https://vimeo.com/465562197
One of the projects we have been involved in is to provide Oregon statewide input for a State Senator’s work group on mental health issues, with an unfortunate reference to “Decriminalization of Mental Illness.” We formed a subcommittee in this work group for the Voice/Inclusion of Oregonians with Lived Experience in the Mental Health System. You can see the first of our grassroots meetings here: https://vimeo.com/449049307
One project we have been involved in is that CareWorks Oregon has stopped being supported directly by the union SEIU. We are very appreciative of the launch support over the years for this project, which united caregivers, family members, and people with disabilities. Locally, CareWorks continues sponsored by Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network. You may get on their announcement list here: https://tinyurl.com/LaneCareWorksNews
Building MindFreedom’s Support Coalition
As I discussed in the keynote, MindFreedom has a Support Coalition of Affiliates (regional networks like MindFreedom Oregon) and Sponsors (independent nonprofits & community groups that endorse MFI). I have been helping MFI as a consultant to retool the network. If you might possibly (even if you’re not sure yet) be interested in building an Affiliate or linking your group as a Sponsor, please fill out this brief private survey, no obligation:
MindFreedom is fighting racism and white supremacy. Chacku Mathai presented a webinar for MFI: ‘Creating an Anti-Racism Framework in the Psychiatric Survivor Movement’. View it here.
Mad Pride World Events: All Year Round!
In my keynote, I talked about supporting Mad Pride events. Then Mad Pride Seoul in Korea contacted MindFreedom for support. I am part of MFI’s Campaign Action Team (CAT) for World Mad Pride. While Mad Pride Seoul chose World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2020, for their main events, we would like to support this all year round, especially next year, 10 October 2021.
MindFreedom website has a new page about this, and how to submit your video of a few minutes about, “What does Mad Pride mean to me?” Just click here:
As I noted in my Mad In America blog, I personally will support this effort with my wonderful wife, Debra, and I. We will Zoom from our bed on Saturday afternoon, 10 October 2020. Aciu! Institute very much applauds and supports MindFreedom’s Mad Pride work. We will donate our time pro bono to activate Mad Pride.
Briefly, a few years ago, a Mad Pride cultural event in Australia meant well, but they made legal claims on the term “mad pride” for cultural events. This legal claim lapsed, and we understand from the renewal that the owners support Mad Pride events in other areas of the world, and seek to encourage that. This should clear things up for more Mad Pride activities all over the globe.
Aciu! Institute has created a Reddit discussion area about Mad Pride. If you are not yet of Reddit, it is easy and free to join. They have hundreds of discussion topics reaching many thousand participants. Our Mad Pride forum has only been used a little, you can join and post here: https://www.reddit.com/r/MadPride/
Mad Pride Seoul in Korea has done wonderfully in reviving Mad Pride. They will no doubt love hearing a supportive message from you. Please email them a congratulations to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We talked about Mad Pride events, including using a bed push. Toronto Mad Pride utilized a little parade with a bed push for years. Here is a YouTube video of their 5th annual Mad Pride event, which was officially honored by the City:
Both of my blog entries for Mad In America and my personal blog have this video for my keynote at Peerpocalypse. I will provide again, be sure to click on Closed Captioning:
Because of my disabled voice, I recommend Closed Captioning. Just hover over the video and click on the “CC” button in the lower right hand corner, then click “English.”
Aciu to Everybody Who Supported My Keynote
A big thanks to folks who helped me prepare, deliver, and disseminate my keynote. As I noted at the end of the Mad In America blog, I will do my best to reply to comments. Most are posted on the MIA blog page and Facebook, but you are very welcome to comment below, here. Aciu!