From Facebook event page:
“As the movement for racial justice gains momentum in the United States, there has been a lot of conversation around how to divest funding from the police and reallocate it to mental health care. Although the notion to replace “cops” with “care” is well-intentioned, psychiatric survivors, their family members, and advocates are well acquainted with the oppressive nature of the mental health system. Too often, both mainstream and progressive group discussions immediately revert to a model of “caring” for “the mentally ill” in hospitals and other confined settings that are functionally no different than the jails and prisons that they propose to replace.
IDHA seeks to advance a discussion of alternatives to policing and criminal justice that is rooted in the lived experience of mental health service users and survivors. In this context, it is crucial to center the particular ways in which psychiatry has been used to exert control over Black bodies, not unlike the prison system. From the historically racist roots of diagnosis; to the ways in which the pain of racial oppression is erased or made invisible due to the subjective nature of psychiatric diagnosis; to the significantly higher rates at which Black communities are diagnosed with “serious mental illness,” it’s clear that unilaterally replacing policing with more mental health care is not the answer.
On Monday, September 14th, IDHA is hosting a community discussion that will bring together frontline organizers with a range of perspectives on how to maintain the safety and health of our communities in ways that are free from the police, rooted in survivors’ experience, and designed to preserve the rights and autonomy of those in crisis. We will hear from panelists who have developed creative models across the country, both within and outside of the existing system. We seek to disrupt the notion that struggling community members are “diseased” and “disordered,” rather than in need of care and support. We will be asking the difficult questions about how to create community-based alternatives to cops in our neighborhoods and what it will take to lay the foundation for a new paradigm of engaging with what is called “mental health crisis.” We invite anyone who is interested to join us in this discussion, including but not limited to: individuals with lived experience, trauma survivors, clinicians, peer specialists, family members, activists, and artists.
Stella Akua Mensah
Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu
MODERATOR: Noah Gokul
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with call-in details.
NOTE: ASL + CART will be provided. This webinar caps at the first 1,000 people to join, and will also be broadcast live on IDHA’s Facebook page. The session will be recorded and shared with all registrants.”
[Image description: A dark grey background with a colorful flower with broken chains near its roots and the following event text: “Decarcerating Care: Taking Policing Out of Mental Health Crisis Response. September 14th @ 6 PM EST. Bringing together frontline organizers with a range of perspectives on how to maintain the safety and health of our communities in ways that are free from police, rooted in survivors’ experience, and preserve the rights and autonomy of those in crisis. Featuring: Asantewaa Boykin | Tim Black | Stella Akua Mensah | Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu | Neil Gong | Noah Gokul”]