Submitted by sandpiper on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 10:34pm
Icarus Community Conference Call 2/15/09
(West Coast- seems to be still sleeping)
Say name before speaking
We’ll go for 1 hour/folks are welcome to stay on the line after
If there is background noise, *6 will mute you *6 will un-mute
We will use screen names/preferred names in notes
Practice stepping up/stepping back—Make sure everyone has time to speak.
Gianna—What is purpose of this conference call?
Inel—Historically, it has been a place for those organizing and volunteering with Icarus around the country to connect and share what they’ve been up to, ask questions, share resources and envision the future. Anyone involved with Icarus, on any level, is welcome on the call. These calls offer another medium for us to network and connect with one another. The calls are guided by those who choose to come, and what they bring. There is usually someone from the organizing collective on the call available to answer any questions folks may have about work behind the scenes.
Check In/Share who you are, what’s happening in your world:
Steven—Currently in Atlanta, moving to Vermont for new job working in alternative mental health. Stepping out of traditional MH framework. Believes strongly in mad pride movement. Happy to leave city for a quieter reality.
Gianna—Excited about new paid position in cool International recovery group working with leaders who began this movement. It is a web based position, soliciting writing from folks who have recovery success stories. Been sick from withdraw, used Beyond Meds blog as resume. It’s awesome to have people appreciate me/my work and accommodate my needs.
Steven—Just got a new bike that makes me feel really alive.
Question to all—What makes you feel alive?
Inel—Overwhelmed by the question. So many things. Just got back from the gym, never thought I’d be one of those people, but I like the happy brain chemicals I get from exercise. All of you/our connection, being able to open my windows and feel the wind blow, creativity/making things, seeing life return as buds and bulbs pop up, gardening, compost. Happy to be here.
Rachael—Not feeling so alive. The city puts a damper on everything and being so busy with work. Local group recently showed “Angel At My Table” at Bluestockings. It was nice to do stuff with people outside the local group. Want to get more involved in radical mental health organizing, but it’s hard to break away and work after work.
“Angel At My Table” movie was long, about a New Zealand poet diagnosed with schizophrenia. Had a lot of triggers in it.
Someone suggests “Tarnation”.
Daniel Meckler’s, “Take These Broken Wings”.
Strangedoll mentions Asheville’s Mad Movie Matinee series (no longer happening). Web forum thread has movies we watched together.
So many amazing movies out there.
Zach—Wondering what is my worldview in relation to Icarus? Flirted with TIP in the past. Has been a way to understand self and pay attention to other views. Feels like an outsider in it. Personal life is a long story, no external flags to raise, mostly internal process. Alternative mental health is interesting. Psych system rigid and has all the flaws of our culture, is ruthless, with no space for feelings. What is mental illness? Is it personal experience, social or individual problem? Probably both individual and society need to solve. Psychiatry has nothing true to say about it, so anything outside that is interesting. Icarus may not know exactly what it is doing, but at least it has more humility.
Gianna—Also struggles with fitting in, in any group. Finds good elements, understands groups like TIP to be amorphous with tons of people with different views. All groups have own flavor/tone. I find individuals and pieces of each that I connect with and challenge me to grow. No reason to have to embrace all or nothing.
Zach—The word “Radical” is kind of scary, it evokes violence. Prefer the word alternative.
Strangedoll—Also has issue with word “Radical”, evoking acting out/being difficult, everyone has judgments about that word. Curious about how it is related to local, radical mental health collective.
Gianna—Word can be alienating. Need language that is inclusive, is important to think about. Personally, likes the word, but thinks it is easily misunderstood.
Angel—Glad to be here, but having difficulty being on the phone right now. Need to check out. Brief intro: Just accepted position co-coordinating campus outreach. From Bay area, background with radical mental health is personal. Organizing experience is with queer, social justice, anti-violence. Love speaking with people/organizing is very personal.
Question: How are campuses organized?
Began with a NYU pilot programming, spreading out to other campus environments. Creating a model building off what has already happened. Providing alternatives to what exists at colleges.
Language has power. Interested in talking more about the term “Radical”.
Will keep folks informed about what’s up in campus/outreach, expand section on site.
Welcome and congratulations to Angel from all!
Clarextina—Low energy, not much to offer, but wanted to connect.
(Clarifier—Both Clarextina and Rachel are rock star organizers of NYC local Icarus.)
Currently down on psychiatry today, going through an accidental withdraw. Angry with doc for not warning and sick as a result.
Steven—Lots of online communities for Effexor withdraw, withdraw is intense and it can be validating to know others experience. Found gum chewing to be helpful.
Gianna—Beyond Meds blog is a chronical of withdraw story. Look at “About” page for general info and sites specific to SSRI’s. Feeling for you.
Appreciation for what everyone has to share!
(Low flying geese chime in from a lake in Georgia.)
Steven—For those who find city noise to be overwhelming, highly recommends noise- canceling headphones as helpful.
Interested in the conversation about language and use of the word “Radical”.
Words can be attractors/resistors.
Zach—Evokes political left wing. Don’t believe in established system. For me, I moved closer towards the center/not polarized. For alternative mental health, political left wing is not where the answer is.
Gianna—People who often support us are affiliated with the right. Maintaining an open mind about finding allies anywhere. This issue can transcend politics.
*Reminder to make space for those who have not yet shared.
Sandpiper—Having phone anxiety. Happy to be here and just listen.
Strangedoll—Also just happy to listen.
Big thanks to Steven for facilitating! Thanks also to the geese!
Really cool to have more people on the call and a diversity of voices.
Public Service Message from Inel:
These calls happen monthly on the third Sunday. Next call will be around spring equinox. We need people to facilitate and do outreach for these calls. Having diversity of voices will help keep these calls vital and relevant. If folks want to get more involved in volunteer capacity with Icarus you can email supportATtheicarusprojectDOTnet. Beyond these monthly calls, reach out and connect with one another for support and networking, via web forums, private messages, exchanging phone numbers, etc.
Zach—Feels the benefit without the commitment. Call helps steer my own ship with input from the outside.
Sandpiper—Appreciated what everybody shared. Loves how people took turns and how everybody contributed. Great call!
Rachael—Great call! Excited about connecting with Angel and help organizing Hunter.
Clarextina—Thanks All! Like how smoothly call went. Really appreciate the personal support.
Gianna—General group anxiety. Glad I called. Nice meeting!
Steven—Was nervous before the call. Appreciative how folks made me feel really welcome.
One-Two-Three…All Say Goodbye!