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open source radical mental health

The way we do meetings, with the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective, is open source.  That means you can take that format and use it to make meetings on your own, in your groups, or do whatever you want with it.  We don’t own the format or want to keep control of it.

Open source-ness is important as DIY, anarchy, and reducing power disparities.  Sharing is vital for resisting capitalism for fun and just being kind, helpful human beings.

Information wants to be free!  And meetings want to be free!  Here’s hoping you will learn from the format and transform it, to do meetings the way you need to.

[Radical mental health collectivers grin for a screenshot during a zoom meeting.]
the format

There’s a format for the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective meetings.  They go like this–here’s a sample agenda.

welcome–thank you for coming

safer spaces policy https://lvrmhc.org/2019/05/01/safer-space-policy/

roles–timekeeper, vibeswatcher, facilitator, one-on-one-er

first checkin–name/alias, pronouns, question such as what is your favorite pizza topping, what do you most want to learn, what’s your biggest weakness (to get all our voices in the virtual room)

material mutual aid moment–what you have to offer, what you can ask for

what is radical mental health moment

mention of the Soteria house dream

housekeeping stuff like proposed ideas, next meeting, new website, new sticker

substantial checkins, up to 5 minutes–how you’re doing, what you’ve been thinking about, how you’re feeling, what you’re looking forward to, what you’re up to

ask if everyone’s ok being photographed–take a photo or screenshot

topic discussions–pick two or three topics, based on commonalities in checkins

checkouts–question such as what’s your favorite winter thing, best thing you learned today, what would your name be if you were a dog, favorite Lego shape

variations

We had two meetings to talk about community, and we used this same format but simplified for the topic.  So we did a welcome, safer spaces policy, and checkins were directed toward community experiences.  Then there were some questions about community that could be answered for the longer checkin, and topic discussion about the aspects of community that we most wanted to talk about.

The art workshop that Brittney held about racism had its own format.  But there was a similar attitude of care, listening, sharing power, DIY, authenticity, and deep honesty mixed with kindness.

go forth and love

Thank you for the ways you help the world.  I hope this meeting format is helpful to you in doing what you need to do for the well-being of all.

Thank you to the friend who asked about using the format to facilitate another meeting and sparked these ideas!

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welcome

Please join the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective to form community, do mutual aid, listen, share, feel emotions, consider new ideas, and be who you are.

Radical mental health is about needing something besides standard care of handing your power over to a professional. Even if we all had access to the best possible health care, the mental health system is severely flawed! Lots of money is made off vulnerable people.

Not saying medication and doctors are never helpful–saying that more options are better. Some people need help besides mainstream psychiatric solutions, which are med-based and can mean locked facilities and the sacrifice of freedom.

Thank you for caring for yourself and others by showing up to something more homegrown, loving, authentic, and free.

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podcast

Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective members Ming and Brittney were interviewed for this podcast Before You Kill Yourself.  They talk about ocd, communication, what radical mental health is, philosophy of the collective, how to care for ourselves.  Lots of important ideas about who we are and how to heal ourselves.  Please give it a listen!

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art workshop about Black Lives Matter and radical mental health

We had an art workshop on June 12th about radical mental health and Black Lives Matter.  It was wonderful because bright people spoke about their personal experiences with racism, protest, police violence, guilt, disability, healing, and what we can do to help the world.

Brittney led us in a warmup, which I loved.  I had paint someone left behind and made this art.

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Then Brittney asked us to envision justice and make art depicting how we see justice.  I see justice as very bodily, made of love, located in the world but originating as love, mammally and warm.  So I made this depiction of justice as it seemed to me, that evening.

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Here is Ming holding it also.

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Hopefully you can join us for our next art workshop over zoom, or our next regular meeting.  Please let us know if you would like to lead a workshop!  We welcome ideas and feedback.  Mad love to all.

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good times lately

pride2019hey!  how’ve you been?  the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective has been busy.  we meet regularly, we tabled at UNLV’s Pride celebration a few days ago.  we tabled at Co-Zi zine fest at the Center.  Brittney spoke at Justice for our Desert about the collective and what we do and offer to people.  I hope more collectivers join us.

some events are coming up, like a park day and rock workshop with Priestess Terri.  please see our facebook page for events.  or contact us to get on the email mailing list.

https://www.facebook.com/lasvegasradicalmentalhealthcollective

good wishes and mad love.  hope to see you soon!

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”–Kurt Vonnegut

IMG-7374 - Edited

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zine

 

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A zine is a homemade magazine.  Zines are a DIY way to spread ideas, art, and beauty.  Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective has a new zine, two years in the making.  Featuring beautiful art and writing about community building, what radical mental health is and isn’t, our collective, other-care, the Las Vegas Street Medics, and a few poems, it’s a $2 donation, all funds to recoup printing costs then support the work of the collective.  Please get in touch if you would like to trade!

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justice for Jonas

Our friend and collective member Jonas was attacked and arrested by North Las Vegas cops just before Easter in an act of racism and unprovoked violence.  Please consider visiting his Go Fund Me to read about what happened in his own words and contribute or share.

jonas

https://www.gofundme.com/twz5p-help-needed-with-legal-fees

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safer space policy

We decided to have a safer space policy for respectfulness and beneficial behavior.  So we found an example and changed things to suit our collective.  Then we read it together, and more changes were suggested, then made.  Please read it and make sure you agree.

Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective–Safer Space Policy

LVRMHC strives to be an accessible and safer space for all attendees, organizers, and volunteers and for everyone to feel comfortable and safe regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, physicalities, disabilities, and marital status.

LVRMHC participants agree to maintain a safer space by following these guidelines:

– Respect physical and emotional boundaries

– Respect differing opinions, beliefs, and perspectives

– Always get explicit consent before physically touching another person, taking their photo, or crossing other personal boundaries

– Be aware that the original intent of your actions and words is not always how they will be received, and respect those you are engaging. Be willing to adjust your behavior to promote a safer space.

– Please have openness to dialog.  It’s okay to make an honest mistake, but not to insist and create a persistent problem.

The following actions will not be tolerated:

– Racism, sexism, ableism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, religious intolerance, ageism, sizeism, shame or negative judgment based on physical appearance, and all other forms of discrimination

– Theft of money and property

– Physical, verbal, mental, or other forms of abuse

– Sexual harassment, inappropriate/unwelcome comments or behavior

– Disruptive or disrespectful behavior

– Causing a participant  to feel unsafe

– Misgendering will not be tolerated. No one should be questioned for what bathroom they are entering, using the facilities in, or exiting.

If you don’t follow these rules, you can be asked to leave.

Should you find a participant’s behaviors oppressive or in violation of the safer space guidelines, LVRMHC organizers encourage and invite you to reach out to us. We will respect the needs of any person voicing concern about problematic behaviors and address it with all parties involved.

LVRMHC supports survivors and is willing to make special provisions before or during events for any individuals wishing to do so.

Should an issue arise between participants before or during any of our events, LVRMHC organizers will be available to address the needs of any individuals and help mediate any situation that comes up as part of our safer space guidelines.

If you have any feedback, requests, or ideas to make our events or safer space policy even safer, please reach out.

 

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film: Son of Macista

I met some filmmakers–we meet so many filmmakers and journalists, here.  it’s to the point where I usually don’t talk to them anymore–I get Ming to do it.  

but these ones were extra nice.  we were at the Goddess Temple, having lunch at the pavilion, and somehow I think Emile told me he had a film I should see?  

it was about an episode that was called bipolar.  his dad helped him get better, and this beautiful film is about that.

it made me cry because I wished my dad could have loved me like that, when I needed help.  or any time. can family make the best medicine? can love help us be well?

https://vimeo.com/17871752

I hope you get the chance to watch it because it’s not very long but very moving.  I could really relate to the description of paranoia–strange how terrifying gadgets can be.

also I could relate to the tension between wanting to be cared for and needing support, while at the same time needing to be recognized as an adult.  and the fact of the parent’s mortality. and wanting to make art about our mental health experiences.

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trying

Hi, it’s me, Laura-Marie.  Today Ming and I were at the weekly peace vigil at the federal building, here in Las Vegas, and some visitors were there to join us.  A sweet lady from Fallon, Nevada had come to vigil with us with her friend who lived here long ago.

Sweet Lady wanted to know what Ming and I do, so we talked about the different groups we help run.  We do Nevada Desert Experience and Las Vegas Catholic Worker (though we are not Catholic) as well as Las Vegas Street Medics.  And we’re on the council of the Goddess Temple out at Cactus Springs.  Oh, and we do political prisoner letter writing night too.  We’re busy!

I was telling Sweet Lady how our Radical Mental Health Collective has been meeting for more than a year and we support one another and want a soteria house.  She seemed glad and enthusiastic about it.

I always think how you never know what conversation with who will set off what result!  So I talk openly about what we do and spread ideas of what we believe in hopes that I’m planting good seeds.  Or will make a nice spark.