Happy Mad Pride Day!
July 14 – A Universal Day of Liberation from old stereotypical thinking about mental health and mental illnesses. To challenge mental health discrimination and prejudice. To educate and enlighten and declare ourselves. To celebrate who we are, educate ourselves and others and remember our history. To break out of denial. To stop being afraid. To end our silence.
To be proud.
Wow, is "Mad Pride" ever a red flag issue, though? At least on this continent.
Not in England and other countries, where "madness" is an increasingly acceptable word to describe having a diagnosis of a psychiatric or "mental illness" and that's very significant.
Just click onto the comments to my last post, In the mood for Mad Pride 2009 to see an intriguing discussion that took place over the weekend. Not quite a repeat of what happened in the comments to my post about 2008 Mad Pride Week. That really upset people. Big time.
So, we're making progress. One step at a time.
This morning, I received a Facebook invitation from Mary Ellen Copeland of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery to join her group called "Mental Health Recovery and WRAP© – Wellness Recovery Action Plan". Copeland is one of the leaders in the U.S. mental health recovery movement and she has a remarkable recovery story, herself.
I met the Stephen Pocklington at a conference last year and posted all about WRAP. These eight week programs offered in Toronto and all over the U.S. Worth considering if you want to add more tools to help you with your recovery. It works!
One last word – five really important words, actually – before I list highlight tomorrow's Mad Pride Week activities.
These are the five key concepts for Mental Health Recovery according to Mary Anne Copeland.
• Personal Responsibility
• Self Advocacy
Meditate about them, too.
Now them, tomorrow, Wednesday July 15th, is "Know Your Rights" Day during Toronto's Mad Pride Week.
Here's what's on tap. Click here for an overview and details about location.
From 11 a.m. to 12 noon: The Dream Team, a group of "consumer survivors" who advocate for safe, secure and affordable house for people living with mental health and addiction issues will share their stories. Over the last year The Dream Team worked with various groups and communities across Ontario to explore the issue of discriminatory zoning. In this presentation members of the Dream Team will illustrate the concept of discriminatory zoning and the impact on people with mental health and addiction issues.
At 12 noon to 12:15 p.m. The Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre or PARC Ambassadors Program is a remarkable grassroots community success story. This Parkdale Community consultation program engages, informs and consults with residents and stakeholders in the community in relation to their building development at Edmond Place. Nine Ambassadors, PARC Members, receive remuneration for their peer and member driven work, which incorporates and builds on the principles and values of the recovery model and PARC’s Mission – PARC – A Place Where People Rebuild Their Lives.
When the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre acquired Edmond Place from the City of Toronto to develop affordable, social housing for marginalized persons in our community there was extreme opposition to PARC by residents and stakeholders in Parkdale. Since the PARC Ambassadors Program's inception in September 2007 this inner-city community has evolved from a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) neighbourhood to a YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) neighbourhood.
The PARC Ambassadors Program is proof positive that through community organizing and public relations, marginalized people have a commitment to their community. They have all the necessary attributes and capabilities to be productive, to contribute to their neighbourhood and to society. They can a do live a healthy, meaningful and fulfilling life. This is a powerful snapshot of recovery.
PARC Ambassadors will discuss their work at this presentation
12:15 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch – light refreshments generously provided by The Raging Spoon
Special lunch time presentations featuring Laughter Yoga with Salimah Kassim-Lakha, and more!
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Presentation – Legal Jeopardy by Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS)
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – David Carmichael
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
When it comes to treating your own mental illnesses, we often assume that doctors and other mental heal professionals always know what’s best. During this presentation, David will raise a few issues about scientific drug research and help you understand, based on his own experience recovering from major depression, how important it is for people living with mental illnesses to take responsibility for their own recovery and rehabilitation by asking their doctors and mental health workers questions, questions and more questions, and by becoming regularly physically active.
David holds a masters degree in physical education and is the former director of national projects at ParticipACTION. After experiencing his first major depression in 2003 at the age of 45 and a relapse in 2004, he tragically learned the importance of good mental health and does not assume that doctors always know what’s best.
A Q & A session will follow.
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Street Nurse Beth Pelton
Beth Pelton is a registered nurse currently working with Street Health Community Nursing. Most of her nursing work has been in the community, and with people living with cancer. Her experiences have included working in medical and geriatric and psychiatric nursing, practising from a Harm Reduction Philosophy.
Mad Pride can help you on your Recovery journey. Go for it!