"The neo-liberal project has progressively individualised, privatised and abstracted mental health from social, economic and political conditions. Yet mental health must be seen and understood within the overall body of society and as a question that concerns all. Mental health is a common good which concerns all. We thus need to construct a field of action that is collective and diverse and explore counter-hegemonic ideas of mental health which oppose neo-liberal interests. This event seeks to be the precursor to future events, so that collaboration and solidarity can be sought by all struggling to provide and receive care."
This day-long gathering of activist and activist’s organisations, representatives of mental health movements, community organisers, patient organisations, mental health workers and others invites attendees to share experiences, militant tactics, grassroots knowledge and solidarity actions.
Participating groups and individuals will be invited to work collaboratively to form the event and develop contributions that are diverse in format, including but not limited to presentations, workshops, music, film or poetry so that people might best represent themselves and share their insight. The day will conclude with a communal meal outside Arts Catalyst's Centre in King's Cross.
10:30 - Other Ways to Care & Arts Catalyst: introduction
11:00 - London Hearing Voices Network: workshop
11:30 - Mental Fight Club: conversation
12:00 - Frontida: presentation + discussion
12:30 - Mental Health Resistance Network: presentation + discussion
13:00 - Bring-and-Share Lunch Break
13:45 - Psychologists for Social Change: conversation
14:15 - Goldsmiths Gold Paper Mental Health Group: presentation + discussion
14:45 - Lambeth Older Men Drama Group: forum theatre
15:45 - Sascha Altman DuBrul: workshop
16:45 - Asylum Magazine: presentation + discussion
17:15 - General Forum
Also, throughout the day:
• podcasts and videos on the loop by A Place of Safety, Sonia Soans (Asylum Magazine), Mental Health Resistance Network and +
• leaflets and literature on mental health stand by Surviving Work, Latin American Women's Aid, in2gr8mentalhealth, EURIKHA, Still We Rise (Survivor Research), National Survivor User Network, Latin American Disabled People's Project, Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Mental Health Resistance Network, London Hearing Voices Network, Goldsmiths Gold Paper Mental Health Group, Asylum Magazine and +
• drawing and writing table
• crafts, books and toys station (children welcome!)
A Place of Safety? Podcast. Many voices are not heard in British mental health care (and beyond), significant flaws are overlooked. If you are not satisfied with the status quo or just curious, follow us!
Arts Catalyst is a nonprofit contemporary arts organisation that commissions and produces transdisciplinary art and research. We activate new ideas, conversations and transformative experiences across science and culture, engaging people in a dynamic response to our changing world.
Asylum magazine is a forum for free debate, open to anyone with an interest in psychiatry or mental health. We especially welcome contributions from service users or ex-users (or survivors), carers, and frontline psychiatric or mental health workers (anonymously, if you wish).
Frontida: Towards a radical imagination of care is a collaborative project that takes the form of an urban utopia in-the-making so to explore new ways, communities, network, institutions and spaces to provide care and be taken care of.
Goldsmiths Gold Paper Mental Health Group. A 2018 report led by a cross-departmental group of student representatives at Goldsmiths, University of London found that 38% of students reported that their mental health has deteriorated since joining the university. Since February 2018, the Gold Paper Mental Health Working Group has been meeting to address this mental health crisis. We understand mental health to be a common good, rejecting its privatisation and pathologisation.
Lambeth Older Men Drama Group is a community drama project for men aged 50+ who live in Lambeth. The project employs Forum Theatre interactive and playful drama techniques to explore meaning, social activism and personal change in regards to stigma and mental health. Improvisation and storytelling are used to alleviate anxiety, depression and stress. It also acts as a catalyst to promote health and wellbeing and strengthen skills and local knowledge.
London Hearing Voices Network (LHVN) is a network of peer support groups for people who hear voices, see visions or have other sensory experiences. It includes the London Paranoia and Beliefs Network, and together, connect over 50 peer support groups in London. The LHVN is held by Mind in Camden, which is also home to two other Hearing Voices projects: Voice Collective and Voices Unlocked. Voice Collective supports children and young people who hear voices, as well as their families and workers. Voices Unlocked sets up Hearing Voices groups in prisons, forensic secure units and immigration removal centres.
Mental Fight Club (MFC) is a charity that exists to create imaginative and social events that connect people. MFC runs two arts and mental health spaces: The Dragon Café, a weekly pop-up in the Crypt of St George the Martyr Church in Borough every Monday, and Dragon Cafe, a fortnightly creative programme at Shoe Lane Library in the City of London on Wednesdays. MFC's Re:Create Psychiatry programme is a creative platform that facilitates dialogue and collaboration between people with lived experience of mental ill-health and healthcare professionals.
Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) was set up by people who live with mental distress in order to defend ourselves from the assault on us by a cruel government whose only constituents are the super rich and who value everyone else according to how much they serve the interests of this selfish minority.
Other Ways to Care (OWTC) is a network of activists, researchers and mental health practitioners working to map attitudes towards mental health care, challenge structural inequalities and investigate alternative care models.
Psychologists for Social Change (PSC) is a network of applied psychologists, academics, therapists, psychology graduates and others who are interested in applying psychology to policy and political action. PSC believes that people's social, political and material contexts are central to their experiences as individuals. It aims to encourage more psychologists to draw on their shared experience and knowledge to engage in public and policy debates.
Sascha Altman DuBrul is the co-founder of the Icarus Project, a network of peer-based mental health support groups and media project that is actively redefining the language and culture of mental health and illness. He is the co-author of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness, Friends Make the Best Medicine: A Guide to Creating Community Mental Health Support Networks, and the author of Maps to the Other Side: The Adventures of a Bipolar Cartographer.
The event will take place across two wheelchair accessible rooms in Arts Catalyst and an outdoor area. If you have any requirements or would like more details regarding space please get in touch.
Children are very welcome and just outside you will find covered space with some craft materials and toys alongside a publications table. Feel to bring any zines, posters or documents with you to add to this.
Tea, coffee, water and juice will be available throughout the day and there will be a bring-and-share lunch break at 1 pm so do bring any food or snacks along with you - vegan and gluten-free dishes are being prepared and are always welcome!