From: Andrew Phelps <>


Subject: [s-acc] KPFA outreach

Date: Sun 08/11/13 06:39 PM



I'm working on the problem of how to get the "behavior objects" to be engaged as persons. That means overcoming the stereotyping and presenting in a "new social role" that confronts the prevailing clinical system of "diagnosis behavior." "Grassroots advocacy" takes on thus a "work project" feel. The social accountability basically needs to be upgraded, based on such consideration.

Many of us have lived experience in that area - points of success, points of failure: Me too. In this instance, I sought to challenge the prevailing "mental health" polity of Berkeley's KPFA. They are progressive in many areas and organize against oppression (such as with labor, ethnicity, gender, [gender role],physical disability). As is commonplace among many progressive activists, they stereotype and discriminate when it comes to oppression by the system of behavior management.

Yesterday I spoke at public comment at the Local Station Board (LSB) meeting (KPFA is part of the national Pacifica radio). I spoke directly to the concerns above and I also pointed to the International Critical Psychiatry Workshop last May at the Berkeley Anthro. Dept. that challenged "diagnosis behavior" HERE. I was followed by Jancis Long from PsySR who spoke to the lack of social responsibility attached to the stereotypy deriving from behavior management and the "clinical gaze."

We found that the inner discussion related strongly to ongoing efforts to combat discrimination, and our talk promoted a positive response. We have not "solved" the dialogue breakdown that results in stereotyping; I do feel that we are piece by piece moving the conversation forward. I know that in the new climate arising regarding "community conversation" supported by SAMHSA and the White House Summit, getting the dialogue right has been reframed in a difficult way. I trust that what we did is a meaningful part of the process of learning to work that concern forward.