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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. 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 mental health around the world.

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Nov 25, 2017

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This week on MIA Radio, we share the time between two interviewees; clinical psychologist Dr. Noel Hunter and entrepreneur and author Brett Francis. Dr. Noel Hunter is a clinical psychologist in New York and an advocate for the rights of people diagnosed with mental disorders. She believes in a trauma-informed, humanistic, person-centred approach to understanding problems in living.  She has trained in community mental health, state hospital, residential, and college counselling settings.  Dr. Hunter is on the board of directors for the Hearing Voices Network – USA, the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry & Psychology, and the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy. She is an Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry and has been a guest editor for Asylum Magazine.  Brett Francis is a professional speaker, mental health advocate, author and entrepreneur.  Brett was herself diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and ADHD at 6 years of age, leading to being medicated for over eleven years and subsequent difficulties with anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She is now passionate about supporting and encouraging open and honest discussions about mental health and disabilities and giving confidence to those struggling. In the episode we discuss: Dr Noel Hunter How Dr. Hunter came to be involved with the mental healthcare system. That Noel found that if she did reach out and discuss her experiences, she felt punished or accused of ‘seeking attention’. That these experiences made Noel want to fight back and become a therapist and advocate who took a different approach. That Noel feels that building trust within the therapeutic relationship is a fundamental part of a therapists job. That it is healthy to be sceptical of the mainstream system and for people to be afraid of getting help because of the potential of being re-traumatised by treatment. That the medical model ultimately leads to avoidance and harm. Whether there can ever be equality in the therapeutic relationship.  Brett Francis How Brett came to be diagnosed and medicated at a very early age. Her experiences taking the antipsychotic drug Haloperidol, and that she felt it disrupted her schooling. How Brett decided not to be limited by her diagnoses but instead focussed on tackling the stigma and misinformation prevalent in mental healthcare. That we should support and encourage people to talk about their struggles and we should do that through education. That creating communities and social connections can be enormously helpful in responding to emotional or psychological distress. To get in touch with us email: © Mad in America 2017