Hello, I’m Laura-Marie, she her. I help run the Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective for the last five years. Yay, happy collective anniversary!
I’m happy my spouse Ming and I helped form community here in this desert around radical mental health.
I’m a psychiatric survivor and writer. I do meaningful unpaid work.
- fat liberation
- queer liberation
- radical mental health
- autistic liberation
- ecstatic dance
- veg cooking
- trike witchery
- anti-nuclear peace work
- intentional community
I’m always looking for new ideas I can savor, take into myself, share with community, and understand reality with. I’m happy to learn with you.
what is radical mental health
We need huge change in how mental health is treated and thought of. How do we enact this change? One way is to speak the truth about how mental health is for everyone, not just some crazy people over there.
Any person can have an extreme state and big feelings. Mostly power is what determines how distressed persons are treated. Poor people, people of color, fat people, and queer people can have our moods and outlier experiences used against us.
Because we’re seen as weak and lesser-than, culture has decided we’re not worth as much, and the usual freedoms don’t apply. We can be scapegoated, othered, and controlled paternalistically, as if we need to be protected. But the protections offered are usually invasive if not abusive.
We can lose our freedom in psych hospitals easily. Our needs are ignored, and our bodies are harmed forcefully without our consent. This is unjust and bad for society overall. By deeming us too much, bad, and worthless, culture dooms a lot of people and loses the rich brilliance we have to share. Culture dumps a lot of amazing people.
But people such as ourselves could be helpful in many ways, including visionary possibilities. The very people who could help culture become more functional and bright are locked away and pathologized. That’s not good for people like me, but isn’t good for anyone.
let’s keep power to ourselves
One of the goals of radical mental health is to share tools that make sense to the people. Let’s keep our power in ourselves, as much as we can. Doctors and pills might be helpful for some things. But I prefer many choices. We don’t need to hand our power over to doctors who pretend they know everything, when psychiatry is way more prejudice than science.
I’m happy when medication helps my friends. But my experience on a bipolar cocktail was of sedation. Pysch meds made me easier for other people. My own joy and life’s work were not considered.
I was sedated for my own protection, by doctors who were far too busy and disrespectful to see the actual human being before them and find out what life I wanted to live. They didn’t care what my life’s work was or what gifts my ancestors handed me. They didn’t want to help me be the person I wanted to be. They saw me as incapable and not a helpful member of society. I was treated like trash.
faith in regular people
The Las Vegas Radical Mental Health Collective and other groups doing radical mental health have a homegrown approach with a lot of faith in regular people. We’re the experts of ourselves.
It’s not that we’re perfect or know everything. It’s more…I’d rather listen to creative people working for a better world, than listen to rigid doctors who make a ton of money dominating vulnerable people.
Friendship is the best medicine. Love is the best medicine. I want to form community with equals in a non-hierarchical setting, not bow to the superiority of someone in a white coat who endured med school and can afford a lot of cars.
Let’s try new things that help us heal ourselves and our communities. Let’s come together to listen to one another and do mutual aid. We can learn new ideas and ways, to bring back to all the people we care about. We can change culture with a motivation of love, not money.