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

October Events: Workshop on Madness and Creativity, Film Screening, and Coffeehouse Show with The Rotating Diagnosis

Friday, October 17th, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Madness and Creativity Workshop

Eagle Street Coffee, 39 S. Market, Asheville, NC

IMG_3384Come spend some time with the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective, make art, and share your perspectives on the relationship between art, creativity, struggle and healing. We’ll have papers and pencils, pastels, tape, wire, markers, and maybe even a hot glue gun!

There will be a couple of lightly facilitated activities that people can partake in if they so choose, opportunities to engage in a open-ended process of creative visual/representative articulation of feelings and states of being, and make a “What I live for…” take-home magnet/reminder icon…

You can also check out the lovely Mad Gifts, Saving Graces, and Works in Progress exhibit and add your token of remembrance to the ever-evolving collective work in progress which is being shown.

Come say hey to Subhuman and stay for the Open Mic, too!

[We may even be able to persuade members of the Rotating Diagnosis to play us some curative and catalytic melodies!}


Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 8:00pm at the BeBe Theatre [20 Commerce St.]

Special screening of two independent films exploring themes of mental health, alienation, and healing with Mechanical Eye Microcinema & ARMHC, featuring We’re Okay by local filmmaker Kira Bursky and For Shadows by Ken Paul Rosenthal

Friday, October 31st, 6:00pm @ the Eagle Street Coffeehouse

Mad Gifts and Saving Graces Closing Reception, with The Rotating Diagnosis and Open Mic


Join the ARMHC Facebook group and Google group for updates or email for more information!

For Shadows and We’re Okay: A Special Screening of Independent and Experimental Mental Health Films on October 21st

On October 21st,  please join Mechanical Eye Microcinema and the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective for a one-night screening of two extraordinary independent films that were created as a means of telling stories around internal/external experiences of alienation and belonging, life/death existence, and healing.

Here are all the pertinent whens, wheres and whats of this awesome event:

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 8:00pm at the BeBe Theatre [20 Commerce St.] with Mechanical Eye Microcinema & ARMHC, featuring We’re Okay by local filmmaker Kira Bursky and For Shadows by Ken Paul Rosenthal. $5.00 suggested donation, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

We’re excited that local filmmaker Kira Bursky will be able to join us for the screening, which will be followed by an informal discussion and conversation with Kira about her work as a filmmaker and an all-around artist that is doing some amazing creative work out in the world.

Here is some additional information about the films, but maybe you could just come see the movies!

Here is a link to the Facebook event:

Please let folks who may be interested in attending this special, one-night screening know that it is happening!


We’re Okay is a powerful fantasy drama about teen depression and sexuality. Delilah has decided to _________ on her 18 birthday, but her friend Lena surprises her with a birthday party. We see how Delilah is truly feeling in her stop motion animated circus world mind.

For Shadows is a contemplative, multi-layered memoir that explores the process of coming to terms with one’s shadow while unraveling the tangled roots of self-harm. The home movies of a child’s formative years and an interior landscape of traumatic domestic memories are excavated and re-constructed alongside sound clips from archival mental hygiene films. Ken Paul Rosenthal (creator of the Mad Dance Trilogy) is an artist-activist who lives in San Francisco and gathers breathtaking, heartbreaking, and fascinating footage on a near daily basis.

<p><a href=”″>For Shadows – Trailer</a> from <a href=”″>Ken Paul Rosenthal</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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


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!


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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