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Welcome to the Mad in America podcast, a new weekly discussion that searches for the truth about psychiatric prescription drugs and mental health care worldwide.

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system.

Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking psychiatric care around the world.

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May 11, 2022

The Visible Hands Collaborative in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is run by Alice Fox Thompson and Kenneth Thompson. Together, the father and daughter team is bringing a novel form of community healing developed in Brazil, called Integrative Community Therapy (ICT), to the United States for the first time.

Alice Fox Thompson is currently in her fourth year of medical school at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Before medical school, Alice worked in community organizing and advocacy. She is interested in solidarity-based approaches to community and population mental health.

Kenneth Thompson is a psychiatrist trained at the Boston University School of Medicine. He has served as faculty at Yale University and the University of Pittsburgh and has been the director of many different psychiatric clinics. Ken currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council, a unique state-level education policy and advocacy organization that he helped found.

Ken’s focus as a psychiatrist has always been on social medicine and community psychiatry, having written, consulted, and lectured extensively on issues of public service, whole-person treatment, primary health services, health equity, democracy, human rights, and more.

In this interview, Alice and Ken describe how they both came to Integrative Community Therapy and what they've learned in adapting it to their context in the Visible Hands Collaborative in Pittsburgh. They also discuss the connection between the emotional literacy and community support developed in their groups and broader processes for political change and social justice.