Societal Reconciliation with Mad Activism – Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed -13th Oct.

Soteria Brighton announces:

Societal Reconciliation with Mad Activism: Challenges and Possibilities.

Hi all,

We are thrilled to announce that after a turbulent 18 months, Soteria in the Pub is back!

Please see below details on Societal Reconciliation with Mad Activism: Challenges and Possibilities and some further information about the event. Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed will be presenting for us on Wednesday 13th October. Tickets are now on sale here. If you have previously bought tickets for the original event scheduled last year, these will remain valid. The event will be held, as usual, at The Brunswick, Holland Road, Hove. Doors open at 7pm, with the presentation beginning at 7.30pm. Payment on the door (cash only) will be possible, but pre-booking is advised as these events are always popular!
For several decades, groups of mental health activists and allies have expressed dissatisfaction with the use of clinical and scientific concepts for understanding the range of experiences to which these concepts are currently applied. This is evident in categories like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in the description of individual symptoms as delusions and hallucinations, in the concepts of mental illness and disorder, and in the idea that madness is an illness of the mind. Within Mad activism, the aspiration is to widen the language of mental health away from an exclusive focus on the dysfunctional body or mind, and towards a broader concern with persons’ relationship with the world around them. Mad activism seeks to transform society’s understanding of normality and madness, and to enrich the culture with counter-narratives of psychological, emotional, and experiential diversity. Yet, the situation on the ground remains far from ideal. The culture continues to be dominated by clinical and scientific concepts, and there seems to be limited reach of alternative narratives of madness in our broader communities. In this talk I analyse this situation by discussing some of the challenges facing Mad activism: the pervasiveness of othering, the impoverishment of our culture, and the nature of distress. These three challenges pose an obstacle to societal reconciliation with Mad activism and hinder the acceptance of alternative narratives of mental health. I conclude with some suggestions for a way forward.