Voices for Choices is the first of its kind. Courageous individuals speak out about their experience with the mental health system’s use of force and coercion. They share about alternative approaches and healing modalities they have explored and their effective approaches to organizing and activism.
The public perception is that stigma surrounding “mental illness” is reducing with time, but the experience of these individuals tells a different story. Depression and anxiety are gaining media acceptance, but for people attempting suicide or experiencing intense emotional distress, resulting in a diagnosis of psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or other DSM labels, the stigma is stronger than ever. Many people wished to participate in this project but were unable.
Their explanations are clear indications that this stigma persists. The reality is, hiding, keeping secrets, and the inability to be one’s genuine self is compounding the problem both for individuals and the collective. My name is Jim Flannery and I am proud to be part of the team behind Voices for Choices. It is our goal to break the silence, connect with one another, heal, and organize to drive a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system. This is the journey of the healer and the activist.