ways to help

Happy new year from the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health.  Here are some ways to help us thrive.  We’re a mutual aid collective.  Many of us have mental health challenges, hear voices, see visions, experience extreme states, feel big feelings, or engage reality in ways that others don’t.

Some of us have diagnoses, and some of us identify as psychiatric survivors or crazy.  Others of us might identify as neurodivergent, and we might enjoy doing support and disabled inter-dependence.

Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective has been going since 2017.  Wow, this May will be our seven year anniversary.  Is that right?

love and options

We’re working toward a world where love is more important than money.  We need options.  Radical mental health as a powerful way of caring for ourselves and one another.  Paid professionals are part of a system that helps many people and hurts many people.  Some of us want to engage doctors, while others of us choose to avoid psychiatry.  There are many ways that you and I can help one another in a non-hierarchical way., with shared power.

Radical mental health changes the world with kindness and healing culture.  There’s nothing wrong with being different in how we think and feel.  Many of our qualities that are pathologized by mainstream medicine are also strengths.  Being sensitive and feeling a lot is ok.  By supporting one another, we can have good lives outside the usual narratives.  We can define success on our own terms.

Through radical mental health, we can encourage diversity, strengthen one another for survival, and bring more people to the table of humanity.  Too many of us are isolated and shamed for what we’ve lived through.  Radical mental health is a way to encourage truth and being who we really are.

more than support

Some say it’s a support group, but there are agendas besides talking in a format.  Over the years we’ve done ecstatic dance, deescalation trainings in collaboration with other orgs, garden days, art workshops.  We dream of starting a soteria house as a place of refuge for people who are in crisis–a place that’s safer than a psych hospital.  In psych hospitals, many patients lose our freedom and suffer abuse because of the power imbalance.

You could say Food Not Bombs feeds the poor, but it’s also about reclaiming material resources that would otherwise be wasted, respecting houseless and poor people, and making peace through connection and love in action.  There’s a physical act of sharing food, but there are greater goals at the same time.

Likewise, radical mental health is support group style relating, but there’s a vision behind it.  Through free, non-hierarchical care, we’re taking mental health into our own hands and creating a better world.  There’s so much we can do for one another.

It’s a lie that we all need professionals when we have mental health challenges.  Love helps us.  Friends make the best medicine, and I will be there for my comrades as well as I can.

ways to help

LVRMHC is no longer based in Las Vegas.  Yet we keep the name as a gesture toward our roots.  Several of us are west coast, but anyone can be part of what we do.

Here are some ways to help, if you ever want to contribute to the work.

  • table at events
  • create new materials like postcards, fliers, stickers
  • print materials
  • distribute materials
  • make event postings
  • invite radical mental healthers to events
  • write emails
  • remind people to come–txt, msg, call
  • create content for website and instagram
  • post links, memes, art on facebook group
  • work on deescalation training materials
  • organize a hike, potluck, garden day
  • facilitate or co-facilitate a meeting
  • create a facilitation skills training
  • help schedule meetings – pick dates
  • donate for web hosting etc
  • fundraise
  • plan workshops / events
  • analyze alliances with other orgs and strengthen
  • vision collective’s future
  • work toward Soteria house–research, plan, network
  • organize a radical mental health movie screening

Radical mental health is an option besides what mainstream culture offers us.  The option most of us experience of “suck it up as long as you can, then lose your shit and go to a psychiatrist when you have no other choice” is not a workable plan.  There are so many ways to care for ourselves and one another that don’t involve health insurance hell,  being institutionalized, rock bottom arrest, medication with horrible side effects, or otherwise handing over our power.

Thank you for caring for yourself and others in all the ways you do.


next meeting April 9 2022

Hello, next meeting is April 9 2022 at 3p pacific.  Love to all!

We will meet for support, mutual aid, and to spend virtual time together as beings who feel. Thank you for doing mutual aid and caring for yourself and others as you can. Thank you for doing community.

Please come to offer care if you have any to offer, and receive care if you need it, but probably both.  We may smile, laugh, cry, think, and build a new world where love is more important than money.

We are all the experts of ourselves. Our meetings have a facilitator or two, time keeper, and vibes watcher. Please feel free to take a role or choose not to.

Late arrival is ok–early departure is ok. All 18+ who agree to our safer spaces policy are welcome.

Please msg at least half an hour ahead of time for the zoom link. lasvegasradicalmentalhealth at gmail dot com

See you then!


radical care

I like the idea of doing what we can do–no more or less.  I think of it as radical care.  It can be very appealing, to want to do ton, or try to save people.  But that often leads to burn out, and it’s impossible to save people anyway.

Then on the other hand, it can also be easy to get overwhelmed and do nothing.  When I’m overwhelmed, I sometimes want to run away or give up.  Perfectionism can do that to me too–if I can’t do it just right, I’m not doing it at all.

So it feels special, to do something–to find a middle spot where the work is pleasurable and stick with it, for a while.  I’m happy the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective has been going for more than four years, doing what we can do.  Yeah!

how to respond

When someone in our everyday lives or at a meeting expresses huge feelings, big life problems, self-destructiveness, or other intense issues, how do we respond?

An important part of radical mental health for me is to react honestly, caringly, and not with standard wellness cliches.  I want to listen, meet someone where they are, validate, ask how I can help, and give them space if they want it.  The person I’m talking with is someone I deeply respect.  People are allowed to make the choices about their life.

Certainly I don’t want to rush in and try to fix things.  Nor do I want to say, “This is no big deal.  This doesn’t matter to me.”  I want to find a sweet spot that’s sustainable and makes sense for all involved.

I need to be kind to myself also.  How to help others in a way that’s not at my expense is a lifelong lesson.


I’ve had friends and relatives who committed suicide, and that’s intense grief.  I’ve gone through regret, did I do enough, should I have done this or that differently.

The way I treat people is really important to me, including how I care, who I choose to make time for and prioritize.  When I was young, I had very few friends.  As the years pass, I have more friends than I know what to do with.  How I decide who to pay attention to and give energy to is a huge thing to learn.

But I know that I can’t save anyone, a person’s life is theirs to take, and I’m responsible in the sense that I loved them and was part of their life.  But I’m not responsible in the sense that I did my best, and their life was full of many factors other than me.


I often think of proximal cause and distal cause.  For example, you could say a landscaper got skin cancer because they didn’t use sunscreen or a hat often enough.   Or you can say it’s because the chemicals they work with made too many free radicals, capitalism required they work way too many hours, or sunscreen prices are unregulated and they couldn’t afford it.

Likewise, when someone commits suicide, you can say it’s because of the bad news they got the day before, or too easy of access to harm-methods.  Or you could say our culture is dysfunctional, they were isolated by fear, or they had very few tools in their toolbox.

You could stop someone from jumping off a bridge, which is dramatic, but they might just do something else the next day.  I’d rather help create long term well-being by meaningfully being there for someone for many years, than step in at a magical moment for a dramatic save.

I like to work on big systemic issues as well as the small ones.  I want to love my friends and family how they want to be loved, but I also want to change the world.


The work of love has to do with one on one, being there for people, listening, giving, hugging, reaching out, being real, and being vulnerable to an individual.

But the work of love also has to do with being real and vulnerable with the whole world.  I want to connect with individuals and be a good friend, but I also want to do what I can to transform culture.

Adjusting myself to the world is a smart thing to do, when I need to for survival and happiness.  But part of being radical is wanting to change the world.  Racism, misogyny, domestic violence, war, exploitation, hate against queers, harm to mother earth, and many other problems are Not Okay.  I can’t just look the other way, or adjust myself to the destruction.


It’s a lot to balance–my well-being, how to interact with the people I know, how to change culture to be more just and work better for all of us, not just a rich few.

I’m happy to do what I can, treat people with respect, be who I really am, and do radical mental health as long as that makes sense for me.  Thank you for what you do also.

Radical care is a beautiful calling.  Thank you for everyone who answers the phone. —Laura-Marie