Tuesday, 11 January 2011

January Newsletter.

Dear Friends,
We hope that the New Year has started well for you and that you have exciting plans for the weeks and months ahead. For us the year is starting well indeed, as we are looking forward to improve the work we do and take on board more minds.

One of our resolutions for the year 2010 was to network with other active service users/survivors/mental health campaigners groups (you name them the way you wish!) and that has worked wonderfully. The Pageant organised in partnership with the Survivors History Group last March, which included valuable contributions of members from THACMHO (Tower Hamlets African Caribbean Mental Health Organisation) and Core Arts among others, and the link created with the Mad Pride movement and their incisive campaign against welfare benefit cuts are just a few steps that have allowed FEEL to reach out for people living outside the Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The ideal for the year 2011 will be to solidify these connections and united, campaign for our beliefs. Of course we wish for having more people to join us, that are passionate about making a difference in this ill and often damaging system.
Steve Jobs said: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe, otherwise why else even be here?

We cannot stop the wars around the World, but perhaps we can make good use of time & energy for those problems in the community we live in that touch us closely.

So... we have planned an event to take place on Saturday the 12th of March 2011 3-6pm at The Kingsley Hall, for a chance to network and hear as many voices as possible; a brainstorm that will allow to bring voice to the laudest complains that circulate about the psychiatric system that need attention and action. My ears tend to hear a lot about people being over-medicated and in-wards poor and/or abusive attitudes ...and bear with me, I don't hear voices; these are voices from REAL people, really living these situations.

The proposed cuts on benefits is an issue that needs lots of attention too, seeing the current state of things.
The process has been described to be against human rights law by some lawyers on the TV News.
Denise Meckenna will kindly join us, offering a presentation with advice on how to deal with the re-assessment process of benefits eligibility. It will be worth for people to listen carefully to the precious information that Denise will be sharing.

At our December meeting we were suggested by Tony Ian White to have a statement that, being the type of untypical group we are, can introduce ourselves to new members. So, here is a draft that Tony has offered to write and we will be discussing about it at our monthly meeting, next Monday the 17th (6.30-8.30 pm). Have a read through it and let us know what you think.

'We are an independent group who through our ethical approach dispute the fundamental assumptions and practices of psychiatry. We view the outward symptoms of mental distress as valid descriptions of a lived experience (expressions of anguish experienced throughout impossible life situations) that should otherwise be valued as cathartic and transformative. We consequently consider alternative and complementary medical and social approaches to health and wellbeing, meeting regularly to contribute to discussions and debates. Promoting renewed hope, choice, empowerment, social inclusion and achievement, we gather as a focus to challenge an apparently oppressive and rigid system of diagnosis and treatment.'

Looking forward to seeing you next week!

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