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Postby Inel » Oct 09, 2007 10:05 am

wowie-zowie our very own asheville section in icarusland! thanks!

Ok so this week is "Mental Illness Awareness Week" in NAMI's world. I just got a hold of their map of actions and hope to round up some folks to make an appearance and get some flyers and postcards at some of these places they will be doing their thing. Wanna get screened??? Is it time to pull out the old lab coat and clown nose? They're focusing on colleges and will have literature on "how a school can start its own NAMI on-campus affiliate." Yikes!

Oh, the theme is "Building Community. Taking Action." (you bet we'll be taking action.) They'll be giving out buttons and silver ribbons for "Bipolar Appreciation (whoops they mean awareness) Day", so if you see folks wearing these it is a good cue to start a conversation with strangers. What color should our ribbons/armbands be? Striped, polka dotted?

Info displays will be at YMCA and our own group's home the YWCA (we can work with that).

Tuesday-Warren Wilson College
Wednesday-the VA Hospital
Thursday-UNCA, Mars Hill College and Montreat College
but the biggie that is not to be missed will be
Wed 10/17-A-B Tech 9-12n

This is some scary shit! We need to get our hands on their current round of propaganda and it is super duper important we get some resources to counter their campaign out there this week and beyond. I'm already feeling bad for the kids who are just in it for the free starbucks coffee and snacks and end up walking away feeling something is terribly wrong with them and they need fix themselves with pharma.

So join me here in Asheville or look at your local NAMI newsletter to find out what they have planned in your town.
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Postby scatter » Oct 09, 2007 10:47 am

Building Community. Taking Action.

i love it.
this is so exciting inel! you all are doing such good work!
and MgR is priority mailing off a package full of Celebrate Mad Gifts postcards and other goodies from the icarus office today. i'll be in there tomorrow sending off more packages so if anyone out there wants a special Mad Gifts package for Mental Illness Awareness Week you just let me know.
you all are such the radical mental health pioneers down there in asheville. it's hard for me not to just in my mind right to this time next year when we're really on it and partnered with mindfreedom and active minds and whoever else and we're sending these packages all over the country.
i want to see the materials NAMI has put together for organizing on college campuses. if any of you get ahold of that info and feel inspired to post it on the campus icarus forum it would be much appreciated.
"Bipolar I with Psychotic Features", but somehow that just doesn't seem to capture the essence of the whole dilemma.
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Postby Inel » Oct 10, 2007 12:05 am

So we were talking tonight about our plan of action for the coming days. I'm really into being screened and going through the process and asking some questions about my options and see what I'm told. Even thought of somehow recording the interaction. Now this is where I need help if anyone is inspired to give me some good questions to ask after they figure out I fit the profile.

It is unclear who will be present where and I'm a bit recognized in this community (even with the bad haircut), but a couple of other folks not so known in these circles will be along to step up. Even got our student who will be asking lots of questions about campus organizing and getting some materials.

So, again, after I get my free coffee and snacks and enter inel in the raffle and move on to getting screened, what should I ask or tell? I've got some ideas, but I'd love some input from your smart brains.
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We've Been Screened!!!

Postby Inel » Oct 17, 2007 9:48 pm

Big turn out of folks milling around getting screened and stuff today. Who knew so many college kids were into mental health...or was it just the free pizza??? Wonder if I won the raffle? I was number 167, my comrade 166. It was chaotic! If you didn't have an anxiety disorder going in, you certainly had one when you left.

So we both answered our questions honestly in our four part quiz..."The Hands" Depression Screening Tool, The Mood Disorder Questionnaire, "Carroll-Davidson Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screen", and "Modified Sprint (sprint 4) PTSD Screen". I scored in the upper percentile on most of them. I'm very proud. My friend was none of the above popular disorders, so I'm sure she got more creative results. We both got taken to the little room with real nice ladies. She got the school counselor and I got some PhD from private practice. She said, "I'm very concerned." I played along until she directly asked about my diagnosis and current treatment plan. She held her "concerned" posture until she figured out why I was there. She was actually really pretty cool and was into the whole alt treatment thing and receptive to my own direct questions and concerns regarding screenings, our cultural context and pharma.

On the big table of information I slipped in a stack of Icarus postcards. After we were screened, we ran around flyering campus. When the NAMI gal realized our affiliation, she said someone was asking about the Radical Mental Health Collective and she directed them to the free paper listing for our group...she took our flyer so she'd have the info to share.

We got the low down on NAMI's campus organizing. Doesn't seem much official is organized, but they did have a one page handout with the contact email Basically groups need to have 5 members to start, be sponsored by the local NAMI affiliate and their school. Others present on the table were, Active Minds, The Depression Center, American Psychiatric Association, and some others I forget...oh, and the Icarus Project.

i like this picture because i feel like my mood is tested every day...
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Postby Agustina » Oct 17, 2007 10:10 pm

Last edited by Agustina on Oct 19, 2008 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Inel » Oct 17, 2007 11:39 pm

investigación (?)

basically testing, asking leading questions to see if one is diseased or disordered or afflicted with some kind of mental problem.

sample questions include stuff like...

have you been feeling blue?
have you been feeling hopeless about the future?
have you ever felt more confident than usual?
are you easily distracted and have trouble concentrating?
do you feel restless, tired, easily annoyed, tense, or worried?
are you bothered by unwanted memories or nightmares?

that sort of thing.

i got a blank test/quiz for take home fun (the guy who gave it to me got to feel naughty when he gave it to me).

agustina, i'm sorry i don't speak your language. (i wish we lived closer so you could teach me the names of flowers, trees and vegetables in your language.) hope that helps in your understanding. i think you are extraordinary! thanks for asking.

the thing about these screenings that feels really wrong is making people feel like they are sick for having human feelings.
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