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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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Nov 24, 2021

In this podcast we discuss an educational program called Emotional CPR (eCPR), a form of peer support anyone can use to assist youth (or adults) in emotional crisis.

Our guests are Oryx Cohen and Briza Gavidia of the National Empowerment Center, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit whose mission is to carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope, and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and/or extreme states.

Oryx Cohen, M.P.A., is a leader in the international mental health consumer/survivor/ex-patient (c/s/x) or Mad Pride movement. Currently, Oryx is NEC’s Chief Operating Officer. Among other responsibilities, he organizes the national Alternatives Conference every three years and assists states that have an underdeveloped consumer/survivor voice to find that voice and then work toward transforming their mental health systems to become peer-driven and recovery-oriented. Oryx is also a lead trainer for Emotional CPR, or eCPR, and has conducted over 50 eCPR trainings around the world.

Prior to joining NEC, Oryx was Co-Director of the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community. There, he helped to spearhead an innovative peer-run approach focusing on recovery, healing, and community. Oryx is also the co-founder of Freedom Center, the Pioneer Valley’s only independent peer-run support/activist organization.

Briza Gavidia is a certified Youth Emotional-CPR (eCPR) Educator. She is 21 years old and is a student at Fullerton College majoring in sociology. Briza is currently employed in a program assisting the elderly with daily activities. Her goal is to work in the mental health field so she can give young people real hope for a better future. She loves sharing her lived experiences with trauma and how she is tackling these challenges so she can become a stronger person.