Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Echoes Of Being An Unperson and inappropriate waiting-room art.

Check out Echoes Of Being An Unperson: Institutions Don’t Help The Mentally Ill by Kit Mead. She talks about her experiences with a depressive break-down and being hospitalised. Her account of how she was treated in the hospital is really disheartening, but, unfortunately, not an uncommon experience. 
Eventually they discharged me with referrals. I had simply waited until I felt less like wanting to die to push for leaving. Nothing they had done had helped with that.
So few of my experiences with "mental health professionals" have been successful. I've seldom left an encounter feeling I was in good hands, or that I trusted their take.
There is no fundamental problem with hospitals and institutions, but instead a complicated and interrelated web of failings. They’re not comfortable enough, the staff do not treat patients as people; these entities exercise total control and ultimately become custodial, often trapping people in a cycle of neglect or mismanagement for their entire lives. They are a dumping ground for America’s unwanted; the abuse within hospital and institution walls was and is rampant.
This isn't news to anybody whose ever experienced mental health services. If you're chronically mentally ill, you've been in and out of places seeking treatment and looking for something that helps, so you have tons of examples of the seemingly obvious ways these places fail their users through a ridiculous lack of common sense.

The first psychiatrist I accessed through a free service I saw every few months in an old, largely empty office downtown. The waiting room had a giant painting of someone in a burning room. It literally looked like a person on fire - in the waiting room of a mental health practitioner. What the fuck kind of sense does that make? It was dark as hell! 

I'm going to try and find it on my facebook ...

Success I found it!

Look at this thing - for fucks sake!

Imagine sitting in a waiting-room, anxious as hell and staring at this fucking thing! 

In Mead's piece she refers to those with mental illnesses not even being included in the discussions happening right now around the return of asylums. This doesn't surprise me. It is however, an absolute symptom of a system created to "deal with" the mentally ill and not necessarily properly treat and support them.

As Mead concludes, what we need is funding for community-based support. What we need is housing. What we need are long-term plans and systems that can support those who struggle, but are able to live productive lives. We need access. We need support services outside of the crisis period. Ann when in crisis, we need intervention that is well-informed and empathetic. 

There is so much work to be done on and around the systems that are in place, and the conversation needs to be inclusive.

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