Mad in Ireland is a global affiliate of Mad in America
We are a collective of people from a broad range of perspectives including: psychiatric survivors, peers, artists, farmers with experience of mental health challenges, academics, social care and mental health practitioners to name but a few. We have a common purpose with many similarities in our vision for what the new evolving paradigm in the mental health field in Ireland can become. Although focusing on the Island of Ireland, our vision is in keeping with a global movement for change in mental health; supported by international policy, good evidence based practice, human rights, inclusion, sustainable development, grass roots community best practices and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability.
Our contention is that generally the mainstream media and mental health services speak and act to what has now been deemed an outdated diagnostically-based paradigm in mental health. We aim to offer a platform for dialogue, networking, sharing, collaboration, and acting to the new paradigm within an Irish context.
We are inclusive of perspectives that challenge the traditional and reimagine a new paradigm. Contributions to our media output will endeavour to fit with established guidelines that speak to the new paradigm. Once established, we will encourage this collective to grow as a media outlet for the otherwise frequently voiceless perspectives not often heard.
Why now, why Mad in Ireland?
Sometimes it is difficult to notice the little ripples, to see subtle changes, to experience how or if the ripples are making waves and the tide is turning, as we believe it needs to. On one hand we have seen the appropriation of good practices into the discourse of mainstream traditional psychiatric practice and in the process the loss of authentic application of those practices. On the other hand, there have been many ripples, many alternative approaches emerging in Ireland that hold their own as part of the new paradigm. Examples include: the critical voices network; peer run community organisations; social farming; hearing voices network; community based participatory recovery education; arts based community empowerment projects; culturally specific advocacy projects; grass roots support hubs; dialogical spaces in therapy and community; holistic opportunities; and the recognition of ‘expertise by experience’ as a determining factor in advancing the new paradigm. We are looking at things differently and consequently the things we are looking at are changing.