Other Ways to Care is a network of activists, researchers and mental health practitioners working to map attitudes towards mental health care, challenge structural inequalities and investigate alternative care models. Other upcoming projects include a series of screenings of documentaries and films dealing with mental health at Deptford Cinema.
The neo-liberal project has progressively individualised, privatised and abstracted mental health from social, economic and political conditions. Yet mental health must be seen and understood within the overall body of society and as a question that concerns all. In Other Ways to Care I (http://programme.antiuniversity.org/id/other-ways-to-care-beyond-the-neo-liberal-madness) we explored alternatives models that advocate for a recognition of the social-political dimensions of mental health care and a general move towards deinstitutionalisation and de-psychiatrisation of mental illness. In Others Ways to Care II, we want to make alliances with activist and social movements and position the problems of mental illness within wider social, political and labour struggles.
We propose to organise a one-day gathering of activist and activist’s organisations, representatives of mental health movements, community organisers, patient organisations, mental health workers and others, to share experiences, militant tactics, grassroots knowledge and solidarity actions.
Participating groups and individuals will be invited to work collaboratively to form the event and develop contributions that are diverse in format, including but not limited to presentations, workshops, music, film or poetry so that people might best represent themselves and share their insight. We will conclude the day with a communal meal outside the Arts Catalyst space.
Mental health is a common good which concerns all. We thus need to construct a field of action that is collective and diverse and explore counter-hegemonic ideas of mental health which oppose neo-liberal interests. This event seeks to be the precursor to future events, so that collaboration and solidarity can be sought by all struggling to provide and receive care.