radical mental heath goals
I was explaining to a friend some goals of the radical mental health collective. There are usually layers of what we’re trying to do, with any project.
Some basic intentions for the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective are to support one another, connect with other people who have similar mental health experiences, offer alternatives to mainstream psychiatry, make friends with vibrant people who see the world in different ways. Start a soteria house, make art and garden together, have a safer space to be social that’s free.
All that’s super-true, but I was telling a friend some other motivating ideas.
- build emotional intelligence
- help people learn or re-learn how to trust
- help us speak our truth
- normalize strong feelings
- normalize support
- honesty about feelings, including self-harm
- strengthen mental health in homegrown ways to help relationships improve
- honesty about our own lives
- emotional skill
- strengthen ourselves to avoid crumbling when something goes wrong
- strengthen ourselves to avoid hurting others
Having better relationship skills so we don’t abuse people or stick around to be abused is a great goal. Making a pocket of happiness, if only for the hour and a half of a meeting, can have good consequences that reverberate out.
Many homeless people lost their job, struggle with acting normal under capitalism, or have issues with substance use. But a lot of housing is about relationships. If we can maintain healthy relationships, we can have a better chance at maintaining our housing. So radical mental health, as a way to give us better relationship skills, is a way to prevent homelessness.
Similar with misogyny, transphobia, racism… I’m not saying radical mental health is the solution to all of life’s problems, or the cure for violence. But happy people who feel steady, supported, and have things to look forward to don’t need to do violence.
When I think of the most racist person I’ve ever known, he wasn’t a happy, well person. He had so much loose anger, and had never examined many problems he had. Emotionally, he was unskilled.
So I don’t have scientific evidence that radical mental health stops racism. But it makes sense that if you can consider others, discuss feelings, and truly listen, you won’t need to hurt people, whether through racism, misogyny, hatred of queer people, ableism, or any other way.
Radical mental health helps us work toward many kinds of healing. Being skilled about feelings, communication, and inter-dependence will help with many aspects of life. I feel stronger from it.