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Mindful Occupation Intro Sticky

A forum for people involved in the Occupy movement to talk about mental and emotional health issues on the ground, building a radical mental health analysis within the Occupy movement, discussions arising from the Mindful Occupation reader/zine, etc.

Mindful Occupation Intro Sticky

Postby silverelf » May 18, 2012 2:28 pm

This subforum is for discussions around radical mental health and the #occupy movement (and protest movements in general) including discussions coming out of the Icarus co-sponsored/written Mindful Occupation booklet, bringing a radical mental health lens and focus to various movements for social transformation, do no harm protocols for street medics interacting with individuals in various mental/emotional states, supporting ourselves and others when faced with police violence, etc etc etc.

Many people involved in Icarus have also been involved with their local #occupy groups: some with great experiences, some with terrible experiences. As well, there are a ton of healers, street medics and others who ant to engage critically with the disease/illness model of mental health and wellness, etc but may not have the language to do so.

Our hope is this forum can be a place for discussions around support, consent, mutual aid, mental & emotional health, etc that might be occurring in various other fragmented ways across the US and around the world.
Do not spend a lot
of time in an asylum writing cruel poems
if you can help it, one Artaud is enough.
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Re: Mindful Occupation Intro Sticky

Postby furstone » May 20, 2012 11:37 am

Hey, All - here's a copy/paste reply to someone who asked how we were going to use Mindful Occupation/community mutual aid in relation to Occupy Asheville and beyond, what the focus was going to be, etc.

"It has been a beastly busy week and things are falling by the wayside here and there. The past couple nights, I've planned to stay up late and catch up and then I've fallen asleep. Ah, does all eventually get done.

As for AVL and Mindful Occupation, yeah - peer support, but more specifically collective mutual aid for activism and working together...a space to check ourselves on communication, perspective, and process frustration/activist angst/negativity - as those factors play hugely into activism fatigue and really seem to hinder our effectiveness re: outreach and successful collaboration with other groups.

So, it's not peer support in the traditional sense of people who identify as having lived experience with madness/extreme states/the mental health system supporting other people who similarly identify re: topics and issues around managing our wellness/experiences in ways that work for us, but it is definitely peer support.

I did a lot of one-one with the direct occupation here, and still do a lot of one-one with people in the movement, and my goal in doing so was/is not only to support the individual - but also to support their participation in activism and to try to help support a more broad ethos of community mutual the effort to erode some of the divisive, destructive and counterproductive stances that we sometimes take when under ego/emo duress/not having our needs met/in conflict - as those reactions are typically system/trauma-driven and system/trauma-reinforcing...dis-liberating.

Mental health plays a huge part in collective function, as we all got stuffs and we are all learning/un-learning and that can be intense.

I am really interested helping people to find ways to sustain vitality in their activism and to find ways to participate that work for them within the context of who they are what's going on their lives, heads, and hearts.

So, yeah, definitely peer support, but more broad activist community-oriented, than individual-oriented.

However, recognizing that many people need peer support on a more individual level and might not be keen on collaborative processing, I hope that we'll be able to strengthen some of the one-one support networks here and help folks to identify additional resources to meet their needs.

Also, I do a mutual aid/support group at a community safe-space called BeLoved (they're amazing) and a lot of the folks who use that resource are actively/chronically houseless and have some pretty huge barriers to wellness/liberation. The M/O info. about how to collectively cope with being outdoors and police vulnerable is really useful and could strengthen the efforts to organize among the houseless. Some folks are trying to get an ACLU case going against the APD, for the routine human rights/civil liberties violations against the homeless here. It's been pretty ugly for a while.

That pretty much sums up the aim of M/O in AVL. I'm in the process of making a spiffy banner and am going to have an outreach/inreach table at the park-party next weekend. So far, it's been a good organizing experience.

After the direct occupation broke up, in mid-February and they changed the GA schedule, I really minimized my face-time with Occupy - I still kept in touch, showed up at May Day for a minute in solidarity, shared info. with them and let a couple people stay in my spare room for a bit...but, I wasn't really engaged with Occupy for a while. M/O has offered me a way to re-participate in/more effectively support the movement and that's awesome.

Mad Love and thanks again for follow-up,

No child on this earth was ever meant to be ordinary - a. dillard
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Re: Mindful Occupation Intro Sticky

Postby HeyDroolli » Mar 14, 2014 2:10 am

I have been fascinated by the information I have been coming across as far as collective mutual aid and healing.

I really would love to find out how to bring together people who've experienced oppression, institutionalization, trauma, collective trauma(ptsd?). I really feel like there has to be models for radical mental health support groups to have a language that can comfort people who are not necessarily familiar with activism or being a self-identified Mad person.

I have found myself connected throughout my life with folks who've been to prison, have ptsd from wars and all kinds of traumas, oppression through institutions like jail, hospitals, and healthcare systems for folks with disabilities(mental illness/cognitive/physical). A lot of the people I've felt a real bond with, I think could benefit from radical mental health but, it's hard to articulate to folks the benefits of radical mental health support groups. I really want there to be a lot of outreach and joining in the collective healing of oppressed human beings.

As far as what you've been talking about what's going on in Asheville, concerning advocacy and peer support for the houseless populations, makes me feel hopeful. I was involved briefly in the homeless outreach network in Asheville.
There is so much pain and need for collective support that the labels and categories people are put into can get confusing for me.

I find in New Orleans, there is such a lack of any mutial aid and support. The city and people are trying to heal from trauma, a long history of trauma. There is so much pain. Music and art and traditions have been historically the mutial aid and collective healing tools for new Orleans I've come to realize. Unfortunately gentrification has been horrendous. Transplants buying up the government and land are ravaging the poor and oppressed. However, there have been folks since Katrina working hard to help build back their communities that I would love to partner with but don't have the know-how. I'm just a mentalcase from nj who feel born again in this magnificent place.

I struggle with cognitive issues. My mainstream labels of 'ADD' 'residual brain trauma' effect me greatly and has effected me being able to feel comfortable in activist communities that I feel like there is so much emphasis on speaking a certain way and a vocabulary that is kind of specific to me for activism, college experience, and forms of capital relating to cultural knowledge, sociology studies, and whatever.
I feel silenced a lot because of my racing thought, cloudiness in my brain, and difficulty retrieving words, and short term memory. I can be trying to express ideas and simple words will be lost that effect my communication. It is distracting and anxiety provoking to myself and others I think.

I realize I'm jumping from topic to topic and I may need to copy paste some of these ideas in other forums where I can get feedback that I really really would appreciate on these subjects.

I am trying to organize an Icarus in New Orleans right now. I feel like I'm alone in my enthusiasm and overwhelmed by it. I have so many ideas and desire for subjects related to mental health, healing, and activism.

I have been put on add meds on and off for years now and currently just went off of them due to the awful mood swings related to them and just want to treat the cognitive problem more naturally.

so SOS I need help with this stuff if anyone wants to help with any of this.

Mad and Mentally constipated,

Droolli Angela in nola
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Re: Mindful Occupation Intro Sticky

Postby Arcadius » Jul 19, 2015 11:39 am

Hello Drooli,

I can offer little advice about the meds and mood-swings, but maybe trying to write down your thoughts might help? If you are looking to organise things this is definitely a good way to start: writing down your ideas and then once you have something concrete to refer to, maybe write down the plans that will naturally follow? This way you have some organised framework of reference whenever you need to (esp. if you in the course of your organising, need to speak to large amounts of people).
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