#reviewthesystem – Andrea Bates

Our mental health system is broken! Our mental health system is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Our mental health system is based on a fantastical yarn (cheers Uncle Hec!), and it is not fit for the purposes our country requires of it. These are not signs of brokenness – they are fundamental…

The Stories We Tell – Stella Carruthers

I recently talked with Marianne Elliott of ActionStation. Marianne is the Director of Story and Strategy for ActionStation, a financially and ideologically independent social justice organisation which works for results through collective action. Interested in “connected people” and the power of combined actions to facilitate change, ActionStation is multi-issue. It works by drawing connections between…

Mental Distress – Sarah O’Connor

This Letter to the Editor was published in the Dominion Post today, 15 April 2017. Mental Distress I was astonished by Children’s safety comes first (April 12) – the layers of stigma and discrimination were breathtaking. No, heartbreaking. In 2017, after decades of anti-discrimination campaigns, we still hear the “not in our backyard” argument. Don’t…

Hard Won Wisdom – Richard Anderson

We are culturally conditioned to feel ashamed of our mental health conditions but I have found that although it is hard work to overcome that sense of shame, it is possible. I have also noticed this in belonging to the peer community for some years now, and beginning to trust the members of several support…

Just Get On With It – Karen Breckon

Just Get On With It. I want everything. I want the Moon and the Sun. I want to drown in my tears. I want to feel the wind and rain start, and still stay outside. I want to blunder my way through to every soft part of my soul. I want a thought that is…

Advertising Psychiatric Drugs on TV – Taimi Allan

Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook her shock at seeing an advertisement on television for an ‘antidepressant’. This started a bevvy of misinformed and, just quietly, some frighteningly stigmatising comments. Whilst unintentional, many of the people who responded either held a lot of self-stigma, probably encouraged by people incorrectly telling them that they…