Mad Gifts, Saving Graces, and Works in Progress / October 2014 @ The Eagle Street Coffee Emporium

Flyer_Robert

Friday, October 3rd, 2014, 6-8pm Opening Reception followed by Open Mic

Friday, October 17th, 2014 5:30-7:30pm Workshop on Madness and Creativity

  • Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 8:00pm @ the BeBe Theatre with Mechanical Eye Microcinema & ARMHC, films by Ken Paul Rosenthal and local filmmaker Kira Bursky
  • Works will be shown through October 31st, 2014.

Featuring works by R.S. Dorian, R. Ransom, F. Rhyne, Melissa HoneyBee, the Rise-Up Artists from BeLoved, along with many others. This show will include a very special interactive showing of a collective community work in progress. This show will feature sculpture, installation, and print/paint media on vertical display.

Additional information about events will be posted soon!

Please check out and share the Facebook event page!

Statement of Intent/Organizing and Facilitation Meetings

There will be an additional organizing and facilitation meeting Friday, August 22nd, from 4:00pm until 5:30pm, at the Eagle Street Coffee Emporium.

At today’s meeting, we began working on revising our Statement of Intent, changing some of the language around “confidentiality” – as we currently meet in an open, public setting.

Statement of Intent

The Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective is an informal discussion group and community support network organized by and for people who experience the world in ways that may be diagnosed as mental illness. We welcome diverse perspectives on mental health and honor personal choices.

We ask that participants in the ARMHC be respectful of other group members by not sharing other people’s personal stories or disclosing other people’s group membership without their consent.

We ask that group members be conscientious of personal privacy.

We share responsibilities for running the collective and make decisions as democratically as possible.

We hold zero tolerance for violence within the group.

The ARMHC seeks to be an anti-oppressive space. Language/attitudes/behaviors that threaten, stereotype,  or insult in relation to race, gender, sexuality, physicality, or class/privilege are not supportive of our shared intent.

 

[Note: We will be further discussing what is meant by ‘zero tolerance,’ as well as identify specific practices to support anti-oppressive safe space within the group.]

************************************************************************

At today’s meeting, we developed a proposal and obtained initial support and commitment for the organizing of an art show during the month of October.

At the next facilitation meeting, (08/22/2014, 4pm, Eagle St. Coffee) we will spend some time brainstorming some of the how-to’s of facilitation and holding safe space, and will be discussing some “what if…?” scenarios that can present facilitation challenges, as well as continuing work on our Statement of Intent to more strongly reflect our commitment to being a space where people are welcome to speak about their experiences related to extreme states, without fear being pathologized, advised, analyzed, or criticized.

To learn more about the ARMHC, please visit our About page and feel free to be in touch!

 

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.
Best,
Erica

Mad Together: The ARMHC and Community-Based Participatory Research

 

Last Fall, Erica Fletcher, a researcher from the Institute of Medical Humanities, which is a part of the University of Texas Medical Branch, contacted The Icarus Project with an inquiry about whether or not it may be possible to do dissertation work on radical mental health, community-based spaces for support and narrative exploration, and the ways that support networks are formed in community spaces, both online and in-person.

As an organization that supports conscientious and ethical research relating to mental health, activism, and community healing, The Icarus Project was interested in learning more about how Erica might approach working with the dispersed community to explore mutual aid organizing and the use of technology in radical mental health support networks.

After several months of emails and consultations, introductions and discussions, Erica came to visit Asheville and meet with some of the current active members of the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective (ARMHC) to explore how the proposed research might be supported by working with an active local group as an ethnographer to create documentation of how radical mental health mutual aid has evolved within a specific community research site, as well as other localities, and how technology supports community building, and what makes these spaces effective, vital, and/or problematic.

People involved with the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective have been supportive and enthusiastic about working with Erica to create documentation of how radical mental health mutual aid has evolved in the Asheville community and other localities, and what makes these spaces effective, vital, and/or problematic.

Erica will be in Asheville from July until February, working with members of the ARMHC and other community allies to explore how community-supported mutual aid works, how technology supports community building, and what some of the challenges and subjective benefits of creating spaces for radical mental health within communities might be.

 

She is also interested in talking with other mutual aid organizers, who are currently organizing within Icarus local groups, or who have been Icarus group organizers in the past.

Check out this resource page on ->  Mad Studies, and learn more about Erica’s dissertation work     ->here!

In the meantime, please feel free to contact radmadasheville@theicarusproject.net for more information.


 

May 24th Dialogue Re: Dignity and Mental Health

0524DignityDialogue
[1/2 sheet flyer]
Mental Health Dignity Dialogues
Saturday May 24th in Aston Park, Asheville
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Due to concerns about looming clouds and damp ground leading to poor attendance, event organizers re-scheduled the May 10th dialogue to MAY 24th, a week from Saturday.
We’ve worked hard to create materials to support a good conversation and hope that people will take the opportunity to visit with other folks in the community and talk about what we mean when we say “Respect My Dignity” and how individuals and communities can support awareness of ways that mental health stigma can result in loss of dignity, which contributes to struggles with low self worth and distorted self perception.
Here are some notes of the loose structure of the event, which may be modified based on feedback and need. For the purpose of being able to generate a report of insights gained in dialogue, we may have some various feedback and inquiry sheets that people may voluntarily use to share ideas, suggestions, or statements.
Dialogue on Mental Health and Dignity
Saturday, May 24th, Aston Park, 4:00-6:00pm
4:00 – 4:15 settle in…
4:15 – welcome, overview of the afternoon, thanks to people, acknowledgment that this is the first time Magnetic Minds and the ARMHC have put something together…together. note how cool that is. Thank people for being a part of things.
4:25/4:30 – go over what we’re going to be doing
– small groups of 3-4, in small groups, introduce yourself and let people know why you came out to sit in the park and discuss dignity in mental health.
– use brochure to begin an open ended discussion, first defining dignity…spend some time on how dignity feels to you, and the ways that we might, as individuals,
maintain an internal sense of dignity, respect, and self-worth even if in potentially indignifying situations.
Discuss specific ways that service providers and the public can be proactive in reducing stigma by respecting the worth and dignity of complex individuals with difficult lived experiences and diagnoses of mental illness.
Please write these ideas down!
Discuss ways that individuals can advocate for themselves and assert their right to dignity in ways that might be effective in communicating respect.
What happens when individuals feel indignified? How can we respond – as individuals and as a community – to mental health stigma that denies dignity?
Focus on a few questions, identify themes, or ideas/experiences that a couple different people might share. Common points of understanding that people might come back to or meet at.
5:00 – Brief check in with groups, decide whether or not to dialogue in small groups for another 15 minutes
5:00/5:15 – small groups re-converge in larger group and discusses common themes, not everyone has to speak, but it’d be great to hear about what the process brought up for people.
5:30 – 5:40 – closing of the dialogue, follow-up, mailing list, announcement of how to stay in touch, ways to offer feedback, invitation for people to stay after the vigil of remembrance and commitment to hope for those who cannot be with us.
5:45 – 6:00 – Gather, introduce the space we are holding in honor of those who have been lost, and those who cannot or are not with us today due to suicide or struggle, ask that people hold in their heart a hope that we will collectively find new ways of seeing people who might struggle, new ways of seeing ourselves in our own struggles, and that we will begin to know what helps and what heals, so that as individuals, families, and communities, we might better be able to live our full and dignified lives as people who feel safe and upheld in who we are, always standing as tall as we can, together, finding light.
6:00 – 6:15/6:30 – re-orienting and check ins, farewells, follow-ups, re-folding a chair or two.
Aston Park is located on the corner of S. French Broad and Hilliard in central Asheville.
Mental health activists in eight states are organizing to dialogue about dignity and mental health treatment as part of the annual celebration of Mental Health Month. In North Carolina groups will meet Saturday, May 10, in Aston Park, at French Broad and Hilliard in Asheville from 4 to 6 p.m. Participants are asked to bring blankets or chairs and the first name of someone who has been lost to suicide, who is struggling or missing, for a closing remembrance vigil.
The idea started when a group of people in recovery from mental illness began talking about the need to raise their voices “to promote the dignity of every person and to continue the fight against the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions,” said one of the state organizers. Soon the idea spread to California, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.
Mental Health Dignity Day is a national partner with Creating Community Solutions, which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the White House as a part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health. To find out more visit http://www.mentalhealthdignityday.org .
Local hosts  of the Dignity Dialogues in Asheville are Magnetic Minds, a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance support group, meeting on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons  at Family Preservation Service on Patton Avenue  and the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective which meets on Tuesdays at the Eagle St. Coffee Emporium.
Visit www.ashevilleradicalmentalhealth.net and www.magneticminds.weebly.com.  For information about the Dialogue on Dignity in Aston Park, contact (828) 545-8321 or (828) 575-2549.

May 10th – Dialogue on Dignity in Mental Health – Aston Park

Dignity_May10_flyer1

Mental Health Dignity Dialogues

May 10 in Aston Park, Asheville

Mental health activists in eight states are organizing to dialogue about dignity and mental health treatment as part of the annual celebration of Mental Health Month. In North Carolina groups will meet Saturday, May 10, in Aston Park, at French Broad and Hilliard in Asheville from 4 to 6 p.m. Participants are asked to bring blankets or chairs and the first name of someone who has been lost to suicide, who is struggling or missing, for a closing vigil of remembrance and commitment to uphold hope.

The idea started when a group of people in recovery from mental illness began talking about the need to raise their voices “to promote the dignity of every person and to continue the fight against the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions,” said one of the state organizers. Soon the idea spread to California, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.

Mental Health Dignity Day is a national partner with Creating Community Solutions, which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the White House as a part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health. To find out more visit http://www.mentalhealthdignityday.org .

Local hosts of the Dignity Dialogues in Asheville are Magnetic Minds, a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance support group, meeting on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons at Family Preservation Service on Patton Avenue and the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective which meets on Tuesdays at the Eagle St. Coffee Emporium.

Visit www.ashevilleradicalmentalhealth.net and www.magneticminds.weebly.com. For information about the Dialogue on Dignity in Aston Park, contact (828) 545-8321 or (828) 575-2549.