I found this article about a psychiatric hospital that has a disco/club night once a month. While the article has many flaws, stereotypes, and stigmatizations of people with mental health concerns (trigger warning: the article talks of institutionalization, psychiatric medications, psychiatric diagnoses, abuse, seclusion, and stigma), I came away from reading it with another thought.
This made me think of the possibilities for safe havens that were against the mainstream—never forcing psychiatric drugs on people, but prescribing them only to folks that think it is right for them and fully, entirely, informing them of the risks, short-, and long-term side effects. A safe haven where people can go if they feel unsafe to wind down, get a little change in their environment, and recharge using harm reduction practices and utilizing other ways to restore our “sanity”—like dancing, music, art, crafts, reading, writing, peer support, skillshares, workshops—whatever people feel helps them the most….it doesn’t have to be psych meds.
What ideas would you have for such a place? What would it look like to you? What kind of experience would you like to have at such a safe haven if you were to have the opportunity to visit one? -MO