Class struggle and mental health: Live to fight another day

Class struggle and mental health: Live to fight another day

The long-awaited and beautifully illustrated pamphlet bringing together accounts from anarchists around the globe about what it means to suffer from mental illness and what we, as individuals and a movement, can do about it.

CONTENT WARNING for suicide/self-harm.

First, a big thanks to all the contributors for their honesty and patience in bringing this pamphlet together. Further thanks goes out to the Edmonton Small Press Association for their assistance in layout and design.

An important note: while we hope this pamphlet will be helpful to comrades suffering from depression or emotional stress, we wish to emphasize that this is not a substitute for professional help. If you are considering hurting yourself or others, please speak to someone you trust, contact your health provider, or call one of these hotlines.

Also note that there are three versions attached below. The content is the same in each but, by request, the page layout varies.

AttachmentSize
CS&MH_Libcom.pdf5.84 MB
CS&MH - layout2.pdf6.08 MB
CS&MH - layout3.pdf6.1 MB

Posted By

Chilli Sauce
Oct 27 2014 14:33

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  • It’s imperative that the class struggle community take issues of mental health seriously.  Mental health should be discussed and there ought to be networks where sufferers can turn when they need support. We hope that this pamphlet can provide a start to that sort of thing taking shape.

Attached files

Comments

mikail firtinaci
Oct 27 2014 22:51

Excellent pamphlet! Thanks to those who worked for it and shared their difficult experiences.

Spassmaschine
Oct 28 2014 08:00

Yes, this looks really helpful! Thanks so much to all involved in making this happen.

A Wotsit
Oct 28 2014 15:11

I read this last night and found lots to relate to and empathise with, as well as useful advice. Thanks to everyone who contributed to producing this- I'm sure it will be helpful to a lot of people.

Chilli Sauce
Oct 28 2014 15:42

Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone!

Just to say that there's pretty serious talk of Freedom Press releasing this in hard copy - which is exciting news in itself! - so if you find any typos, feel free to let us know.

Steven.
Oct 28 2014 18:15

Thanks very much for finally posting this! One thing though, it would be really good to have each of the articles in this added as "child pages" to this (I will change the format of this entry so this can be done easily). As lots of them are very useful as stand-alone articles, and having the whole piece here in text format will make it much more readable, and will get lots more readers from Google searches etc

Chilli Sauce
Oct 28 2014 18:37

Thanks for the suggestion, Steven.

We are now actively seeking volunteers to help out with this....

D
Oct 28 2014 21:46

Brilliant pamphlet in muy opinion. Big pat on the back to all involved

sometimes explode
Oct 29 2014 09:29

This look really good. Glad to see this kind of thing happening. I'll be trying to use this document when the Glasgow mental health group starts properly (which is hopefully very soon now). I particularly like Section 6. I see there is a list of helpful organisations, in any future individual text copies it might be a good idea to include the Hearing Voices Network and Counsellors for Social Change (http://www.counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk/).

armillaria
Oct 29 2014 09:52

Hearing Voices Network is what's up. Also for the U.S., Mad In America has this service directory....
http://www.madinamerica.com/service-directory/

And the zine is beautiful. I'd gladly help transcribe stuff to separate pages....

Chilli Sauce
Oct 29 2014 13:26

Arm, that would be great! Are you familiar with how to do that?

If not, this might help:

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/adding-more-articles-iw-sub-se...

but if not, shoot me a PM and I can try to walk you through it.

servius
Oct 31 2014 01:26

Thanks for putting this together! Can y'all upload an imposed PDF for easier printing and distribution?

Chilli Sauce
Oct 31 2014 07:24

Servius, glad you like it!

That's said, I'm not sure what an imposed pdf means, but I will forward the request to the layout/design team.

benxx
Oct 31 2014 12:47

Great work in pulling this together.

By imposed I believe servius means instead of being

1
2 | 3
4 | 5
6 | 7
8 | 9
10 | 11
etc.

the page order would be like this

64 | 1
2 | 63
62 | 3
4 | 61
60 | 5
6 | 59
58 | 7
8 | 57
56 | 9
10 | 55
54 | 11
12 | 53
52 | 13
14 | 51
50 | 15
16 | 49
48 | 17
18 | 47
46 | 19
20 | 45
44 | 21
22 | 43
42 | 23
24 | 41
40 | 25
26 | 39
38 | 27
28 | 37
36 | 29
30 | 35
34 | 31
32 | 33

And then it can be printed (double sided A4), folded and bound easily to make it into a booklet.

Chilli Sauce
Oct 31 2014 13:51

Ah, well that all makes sense. If/when that comes through, I'll attach it to the OP.

Also, when/if this comes out through Freedom Press in hard copy, I'll make sure folks have the link!

Swell Map
Nov 1 2014 12:11

Well done to everyone involved with this.

Here's a couple more links of related stuff that may be of interest - one article, two pages of support networks with some more resources etc. and a documentary on the impact of police violence at Genoa's anti-summit protest - discusses trauma of this experience and the setting up of Activist Trauma Support as a result.
I'm not sure if the Activist Trauma Support site is still maintained much but Counselling for Social Change is definitely still an active organisation that offers free or donation-based counselling.

'How do we keep going? Activist burnout and personal sustainability in social movements' by Laurence Cox:
http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/how_do_we_keep_going/

Activist Trauma Support:
https://www.activist-trauma.net/

Counselling for Social Change:
http://www.counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk/

The Black Block
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub5Cjmt-bvA

Swell Map
Nov 1 2014 12:37

Ok, I see that counselling for social change group was already linked to above, so I guess I'm just seconding that...

Some of the other links I posted there mainly take the experience of 'activism' as the source for potential trauma, depression etc. Not to dismiss that AT ALL but what I like about what I've read so far in this pamphlet (haven't read it all yet) is it's starting as much from more generalisable everyday experiences - (from childhood, school, work, weekends, boredom, tedium and worse) and not just from within a given culture of political activism.

I'd recommend anyone who hasn't to have a look at the discussion of Plan C's 'Theses on Anxiety' here (and the original piece) - insofar as uptodate stuff on the politicisation of mental health goes:

http://www.libcom.org/blog/nervousness-politics-14042014

Big up to the pamphlet's writers also for putting a section there on tips and discussion topics for groups and organisations - should help make these contributions more practically useful.

omen
Nov 1 2014 13:58

I hope anyone doesn't mind, but I quickly converted the above pdf to a 1up pdf (1 page per page, rather than 2 in the original), which makes it easier to read on an e-reader (have to turn it sideways and zoom on a small one like a kindle) or tablet, and while I was at it I also converted it to the format requested above (64|1, 2|63...).

1up
Booklet

Obviously, this would be better done from the original, but as a quick hack they seem to look OK to me.

Chilli Sauce
Nov 1 2014 15:57

Omen! You are a G! I'll attach them to the OP later on today!

Fleur
Nov 1 2014 16:02

Omen - you are a superstar!

I'd like to add that I think the feedback had been amazing. I'd also like to shout out to all the people who contributed with their experiences. It's not easy talking about mental health struggles, even when they are done anonymously, so I'd like to thank everyone who did. It's often said that we need to talk more about mental health, that doesn't make it any less of a difficult thing to do. Also, the mental health workers who shared their knowledge, a big thank you to you too.

Schizo Stroller
Nov 4 2014 15:44

Where's the stuff on psychosis? And depression is an 'illness', what? The constant apologising for the medical model wtf? This is luke warm hand wringing. It's as if the mental health activist movement since the Mental Patient's Union in the early seventies never existed, let alone Mad Pride. I've known liberal, capitalist apologist, recovery evangelist mental health activists with more balls than this. Seriously. It's an affront!

Schizo Stroller
Nov 4 2014 15:48

Here's some tincy wincy history white washed out of this (and even if you think I'm an arse it's a great resource) http://studymore.org.uk/mpu.htm It's the most complete and respected archive of the mental health survivor movement on the web

Schizo Stroller
Nov 4 2014 16:03

Seriously, you think I'm having ago, but in the contemporary Western developed world, mental health activism still has the highest death rate among its comrades and not just from suicide, but from restraint, heart disease from the medication. Vast numbers of people are being imprisoned because the wards are too full. The life sentence of a diagnosis of a 'personality disorder' is nothing medical but a judgement of non-compliance. I would like to write a piece for you, but for now I just so happen to be struggling with my own mental health whilst caring for a disabled daughter under the UK coalition's propaganda attack on the vulnerable. So when I'm off the front line I'll put pen to paper. I really would like to.

servius
Nov 5 2014 03:59

Thank you Omen - the printed copy looks good!

Steven.
Nov 8 2014 23:23
Schizo Stroller wrote:
Seriously, you think I'm having ago, but in the contemporary Western developed world, mental health activism still has the highest death rate among its comrades and not just from suicide, but from restraint, heart disease from the medication. Vast numbers of people are being imprisoned because the wards are too full. The life sentence of a diagnosis of a 'personality disorder' is nothing medical but a judgement of non-compliance. I would like to write a piece for you, but for now I just so happen to be struggling with my own mental health whilst caring for a disabled daughter under the UK coalition's propaganda attack on the vulnerable. So when I'm off the front line I'll put pen to paper. I really would like to.

Hi, best of luck with your current difficulties, and yes when you have some time it would be great to have something more substantial from you.

In terms of your issues with the text, above, its remit is pretty much specifically about depression, not schizophrenia, psychosis, "personality disorders" or any other type of mental ill-health.

yuiaulo
Nov 12 2014 20:43

thank you for making this

IlanS
Dec 14 2014 18:13

I have not read the pamphlet, and I am no longer work with people who needs help to resolve "mental problems", but can assure you that every one can get a lot of help from the (free) Do It Yourself book http://ilan.shalif.com/psychology/content1.htm

Fleur
Dec 14 2014 18:18

Perhaps you can try reading it though. It's not massively long. And then would be a good time to add something to it's comments field.

Chilli Sauce
Dec 15 2014 13:03

Just to say that we're still looking for people to post up the relevant sections to the searchable "child pages". So if anybody's looking to for something to do over the holidays....

I know I'm being lazy and I should do it myself, but feel free to PM me and I can walk folks through how to do it.

Chilli Sauce
Sep 14 2015 17:17

Just got word that Freedom will be coming out with a paper version of this for the upcoming bookfair!

Thanks to the folks at Freedom and the libcom poster who gave some seed money to get the project off the ground!

Freedom
Oct 28 2015 00:27

Some of you will already know, but after a chat with some of the people who put this together, Freedom's now printed a run of hardcopies of this in London, and have put it it up on our web shop:

http://freedompress.org.uk/store/products/class-struggle-and-mental-heal...