Setting some intentions for the end of the year…

Erica Hua Fletcher, Ph.D.

Hey Folks,

It’s so good to be back in Asheville! I had a wonderful trip back to Texas and have found some clarity on my next steps working with the ARMHC and TIP. I must say that I have enjoyed reading the email discussion threads from this week, and I’m super pumped about all the momentum in the Collective and members’ interest in co-organizing and sharing facilitation roles. Seeing everyone come together like this and caring for each other as we figure out the next steps for ARMHC is incredibly moving. And to support some of the ideas people have been tossing around, I would be happy to contribute to discussions on implementing a phone tree, creating an organization ‘zine, and organizing documents in a Google Drive.

To do that work and finish up interviews, I’m going to set some working days on Mondays and Thursdays in the next few…

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New Meeting Location at Kairos West Community Center

Next Tuesday, November 4th at 4:30pm, ARMHC members will meet at Kairos West Community Center (742 Haywood Rd in West Asheville). Kairos West is located near the corner of Haywood and Brevard Rd., between the aquarium store and the Salvation Army Teen Center and across from the music venue ISIS.

Here are some things our new location will offer:

-comfy couches & chairs

-a communal environment–we can bring our own snacks to share, and they have a coffee maker we can use.

-semi-private meetings & plenty of room, both in the front room and in a private space in the back separated by Japanese screens

-right on the bus line (W1-yellow line, bus stop at Haywood Rd. and Brevard Rd., easy access from the Vermont stop and the Sulphur Springs stop)

-free parking in the back

-potential broadening the diversity of Collective members (Kairos West does outreach through their free food market on Saturday and lets folks from the West Asheville community know about their regular weekly events)

-more volunteering opportunities with an awesome community center

When the leaves keep falling from the trees…

Erica Hua Fletcher, Ph.D.

This month seems to be slipping away from me. The change of seasons has been quite welcomed, and as the nights become cooler and cooler I can’t help but anticipate firing up our wooden stove and roasting marshmallows and watching the leaves turn yellow and crimson this fall… But I also can’t help but be reminded of all the work to be done in the coming months.

So far, I’ve transcribed 8 formal interviews, attended 12 Collective meetings, filmed and edited 6 short videos, hosted 2 research updates at my place, and participated in a handful of other Collective organizing meetings and events. And yet, there are many more interviews to be scheduled locally, and I’ve only begun working to recruit the two other groups I hope to reach during my fieldwork—the local Icarus chapter organizers/facilitators across the nation (and beyond) and Icaristas who contribute to radical mental conversations via…

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Potluck/Research Discussion

Erica Hua Fletcher, Ph.D.

I really enjoyed folks coming over to my home and hanging out yesterday! I love dinner parties, and hosting one always makes me feel more settled in new places. So thanks for being awesome and bringing over some delicious food! Below is a ~25 minute YouTube video I made for folks who weren’t able to come out last night. Our conversation/presentation was much more extensive (about an hour in length), but this video summarizes some of the key points of the history chapter.

Feel free to share the video with others (perhaps we can upload it to the IP website?) and send me any comments you may have about the chapter, questions about the research thus far, and suggestions for potential research directions to pursue in the future.

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On Public Disclosure

just a few thoughts during the thunderstorm…

Erica Hua Fletcher, Ph.D.

One of my new friends/research participants here told me that my first post wasn’t personal enough. Not that it needed to be, necessarily, but that it might be something that I should think about working on. I laughed uneasily: we had a couple previous conversations on how I didn’t like being on camera or being recorded at all, even though that is what I am asking of him and the rest of the group to do as a part of my dissertation project. I knew that he was right, and that there is a whole slew of literature on situated knowledge, the practice of placing yourself and your past experiences within the research you produce. Still, sharing about my personal life has never been my forte, especially discussing the struggles of dealing with extreme mental states.

And yet, that is what people in the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective and…

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First blog post from the field

Hey Everyone,
I’d love to get your feedback on the research thus far and whatever suggestions/advice you may have on the dissertation project. Let me know how you would like to be involved and what questions you have about the radical mental community that we can begin to ask together! Hope to see you all soon at the meeting today.

Erica Hua Fletcher, Ph.D.

It’s so strange to think that I’m finally beginning my dissertation fieldwork! Although it has taken a lot of elbow grease and paperwork to move to Asheville and begin research, in many ways, I still feel as clueless as I did when I was beginning my first year in grad. school three years ago–there are still so many more books I could read, lectures and conferences to attend, papers to write, and other hurdles to jump through in order to prepare for what is to come… I keep telling myself that I’ll never truly feel “ready” per se, but that I just need to buckle down, put myself out there, and start doing the work. So far, that advice has only partially stuck.

As of late Sunday afternoon, I’ve finished the first draft of the first chapter of my dissertation (thanks to Nicki for her edits!), and I’ve sent the chapter off to one of my…

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