Two years ago, a friend of mine who works and advocates within the mental health system in Erie County, NY asked me to write something for the Anti-Stigma Coalition. I wanted to write about the RISKS involved with asking for help because this is a topic that is often avoided because those who work within the mental health system do not want to deter potential consumers from seeking services, but the reality is that there are risks involved with seeking help – and that sometimes force and trauma are packaged as or folded into help, and this is something that every consumer and person deserves to know before they seek help for themselves or others – or have help forced upon them.
Below is what I wrote for the coalition – it didn’t jive with the campaign’s mission but it does jive with MITA’s mission, and so it’s been sitting in a folder for two years, but I decided to post it up in the event that someone out there reads it and finds it meaningful or helpful. This short essay was written primarily for people who identify as consumers but is likely to be relevant to those who do not identify as consumers or those who identify as psychiatric survivors. It was written by someone who was harmed, not helped, by the mental health system, and by someone who does not identify as a consumer – but, rather, as a survivor. Continue reading “To Seek Help or Not to Seek Help: Taking Precautions and Being Proactive Choice-makers”