Radical Mental Health Series

Upcoming Events

Introduction to Radical Mental Health Workshop + Discussion
Thursday, May 14th from 6:00 - 8:00pm EST [Facebook Event] [Eventbrite RSVP]

May is "Mental Health Awareness Month" - a month-long educational anti-stigma campaign that can be isolating for many people who identify with alternative mental health movements and / or don't feel represented in the predominant media surrounding the month.

This May Inside Our Minds is happy to bring a virtual community workshop and discussion on radical mental health! What exactly does radical mental health mean? What makes it "radical"? Why doesn't everyone identify as living with a mental illness? Why do some people use terms like Mad, Crazy, Psychiatric Survivor, or other unfamiliar terms? In this virtual workshop, we will give a brief presentation on radical mental health from our organization's perspective and understanding. We will then leave time for questions and a community discussion on the topic.

Access and Accessibility Info

Communication on Zoom calls can be in the form of audio/video, audio alone, and/or text, with the option for live closed captioning. There is no fee for joining the Zoom meetings. Please contact us if you have any accessibility needs. If you have any day-of questions, please private message our Facebook page or text the Inside Our Minds text line: (412) 438-3278.

Series Information

Introducing for 2019 - Inside Our Minds’ Radical Mental Health Series, monthly workshops in the Pittsburgh area that will focus on a social justice perspective of mental illness. This series was made possible through funding from the Opportunity Fund.

Radical mental health is a dynamic and innovative term that describes how individuals and groups are finding new ways to understand and conceptualize mental health, mental illness, madness, and trauma. Radical mental health supports more inclusive and diverse perspectives on mental health, prioritizing the voices of people with lived experience of mental illness and madness as educators and experts. Those of us who identify as having lived experience face significant discrimination, oppression, and sanism in our society, yet our concerns are often unheard due to social exclusion and a lack of general public awareness. The Radical Mental Health Series addresses this problem by educating the public and providing a space for open discussion of radical mental health, sanism, and intersections.

With this new series, we hope to reach new community members in the Pittsburgh area and build a community of support for people with lived experience of mental illness and madness, where people can learn about their rights, personal freedoms, and shared experiences. We hope this event will bring together people with and without lived experience of mental illness and madness, to promote shared understanding and anti-oppressive practices in our society.

Past Events

Collectivist Support for Suicidal People with Jess Stohlmann-Rainey and Emily Sheera Cutler
Through engagement in a challenging discussion about what it means to provide anti-capitalist support for suicidal people, participants will help create guiding principles. We will use the foundation of mutual, free, intersectional peer support approaches to support people experiencing mental health crises. We aim to create supportive networks outside the confines of hospitals, interaction with law enforcement and government system. We recognize historical abuses of systems involved in “suicide prevention” and are committed to using this time to connect with and center the voices of those with lived expertise.

Recording available upon request.

Enduring the Present to Make Way for the Afrofuture with Coley Alston
Operating from the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality, this workshop will explore ways to support and elevate Queer and Trans Black youth. This workshop will note several ways that Black QT youth experience violence, explore coping mechanisms for chronic violence, and offer ways that adults can support their survival and future ideation of those most vulnerable to premature death.

View the Livestream: Part 1

Unpacking Madness and Fatness: Cure & Control vs Autonomy & Freedom with Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman
Let’s talk about health. How do you define health? What does health look like? How do you use health in your every day life? During this workshop Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman will discuss how health is a social construct and how our understanding of health is anchored more so on shame and morality than avoiding mortality. We are taught at a young age that certain bodies and brains (and this isn’t a secret, we ALL know what these individuals look like) have intrinsically more value than others, and that attaining and accessing these bodies and brains should be our primary goal in life. This mentality further argues that if we are labeled “unhealthy” in order to belong we need to be “cured.” Even if we can’t be. Even if we don’t want to be. This workshop unpacks the social construct of health specifically through the lens of madness and fatness with the explicit goal of redefining cure, control, autonomy, and freedom.

View the Livestream Part 1, Part 2

Carceral Ableism: The Crux of Mass Incarceration with Dustin Gibson
This workshop worked to illuminate the inextricable links between ableism and racism by uncovering a history of violence towards Disabled people, including multiple forms of incarceration and the disablement of low/no income communities. It also offered abolition of police and prisons as a way forward in creating a world in which disability is accepted and treated as a natural component of the human experience. 

Learn More About Dustin's Work Here
Check Out The Suggested Readings: Deborah Danner - Living with Schizophrenia; Leroy Moore Jr - The Real Jim Crow (Poem & Statement To Reinstate Disability Component In History; Remedy - Intro [ Roll Model ]

Beyond Forced Treatment: Alternatives to a Coercive Mental Health System with Mike McCarthy
This workshop offered an opportunity for attendees to learn and ask questions about forced psychiatric treatment. Attendees learned what constitutes forced treatment and how our system currently justifies its use. Mike presented legal and moral arguments against the use of forced treatment and discussed alternatives.

View The Livestream Here

Experience Mapping: Understanding Your Story Through Art with Sara Tang
This workshop was a guided creative exercise for participants to chart personal experiences (mental illness, madness, chronic illness, disability, childhood, medical, traumatic, or positive experiences, etc) in a map format, and then create an expressive art piece and visual poetry piece based on their experiences.

Missed The Workshop? Check Out Sara's Upcoming Events Here