Buildings at Capitol Hill


From: "Andrew Phelps"  <>

To: : S-ACC <>

Subject:  Doing Mad to Do Better

Date:  Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 4:19 AM



Alternatives 2019 justifies the practice of embracing madness: "Stand together, Celebrate our Gifts, Raise our Voices." Sometimes a "mad" approach brings a better result than a "normal" performance. Madness is an emotion, may we come to understand how to handle that well. We need to handle our "lived experience" in a more philosophical way, and implement that well.

The Hill Lobby project, which Alternatives takes on, gives a limited extension of working ordinary behavior. Participants practice a political agenda, which does not stand on conventional expectations to be effective as "good behavior." Rather there is transcendence working toward creative advocacy. Nonetheless, the outreach to Congressional politics is but one aspect of what we might do, many possibilities obtain.

"Mad" approaches that extend the advocacy against the "mental health" oppression system should also be developed. An example: At San Jose City College 2011 the Child Development Center (CDC) was declared a "mental health problem" and closed down. Years later the "mad" advocacy was to upgrade the social dynamic and bring the process back into an institutional frame. "Mad" work with all campus groups turned that around, and now again the CDC is back, as a part of the reality. Authentic construction of actual social changes is known as "institutional shift," and, done right, provides a standard for political work that we do.

Drake Ewbank is doing a workshop on Wednesday, the schedule has 11:15AM, speaking to the "mad" approach to discussions that may turn conversations around. I am proud of his advocacy, support that, and trust that people might attend (and participate). We need to work towards a cultural frame where the "mad" advocacy becomes increasingly effective. Join with us as we work (with others) to help move important parts of psychology to "do better," to move off from the "oppression" dynamic in behavioral health, by helping construct "institutional shifts."



Andrew Phelps