Campaign Reports

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#EmergingProud 2017 LAUNCH: INTERNATIONAL REPORT

Synopsis: On the 12th May 2017, 17 events were facilitated throughout 12 countries with the focus on Open Spaces to discuss the umbrella question;

Rethinking Madness: How can we create a society in which it’s safe to talk about our ‘madness’?”

Question

This report outlines the outcomes from these discussions, and highlights the commonalities and actions points raised, in order that they can be carried forwards to influence positive change at an international level.

London (host event) discussion topics raised under the umbrella question, and related main action points:

Places of safety to enable deep listening

  • Encourage peer – peer sharing and training in deep listening
  • Positive risk- taking and allowing the process

Spirituality in the workplace

  • Raising awareness / education of spiritual emergence
  • Enable brave and vulnerable sharing to change perceptions
  • More anti- discriminatory sharing practices
  • Education needed in schools with youth

Spiritual Crisis Network development

  • Increase the number of local peer support groups
  • More crisis responder training
  • Awareness- raising events around spiritual emergence needed

Emotions and the wounded healer

  • Value of sharing our stories and owning them as a path to healing Self and others
  • Importance of embracing both aspects of the Self; Human and spiritual
  • Daring to speak from an authentic heart space and also authentic listening  

The art of deep listening and open dialogue

  • Importance of Self- awareness in being able to listen deeply
  • Importance of having clear boundaries
  • More training to ‘be with’ in a non- judgemental, accepting way
  • Listening and learning needs to be experiential

Healers of our time

  • Valuing the quality of compassion in the medical system
  • Recognising mysticism as both destructive and constructive

Expressing ‘madness’ through art

  • Development of community creative spaces
  • Creative learning; lead ‘creative schools’
  • Creating dialogue through creative expression
  • Permission to improvise; ‘authentic allowing’

Human rights and ending stigma

  • Re- framing of language and more dignified approach to ‘madness’ needed
  • Healing both society and the psychiatric system necessary
  • A need to return to the roots of ‘psychiatria’ – “healing of the soul”
  • Focus on voluntary assistance, non- forced, respecting agency and choice in care

Inspiring love, wonder and connection with nature

  • Use of arts for safe emotional expression
  • Raising awareness of green spaces
  • Re-establishing trust and connection with intuition and natural cycles / rhythms
  • Recognising the natural seasons (eg. weeping / anger / laughter) as normal expressions
  • Develop Facebook group with nature as the focus
  • Encourage story- telling (fairytales / folklore)
  • Create GP toolkit for ‘social prescribing’
  • Cultivate curiosity of the life in nature

The Mayan calendar versus the Gregorian calendar

  • We need to get back in- tune with the natural cycles of the Earth
  • Return to natural living; away from unnatural man- made structures
  • Raise awareness of the Oneness of all and synchronicities  

Men’s mental health, gender and sexuality

  • Increase resources for men to be more emotionally expressive / resilient
  • More integration of the masculine / feminine and polarized groups needed; to stop ‘other-ing’
  • Encourage increased authentic emotional expression
  • Education around social stereotyping of men (‘don’t cry’ / anger / effeminate etc)

Model of the human being

  • Need to change our language
  • Integration of philosophical discussion alongside logical / analytical thinking

Psychedelics

  • Education around the benefits and dangers of psychedelics
  • Supported facilitation; techniques to alter states of consciousness for healing
  • Support networks; more aftercare and support to integrate experiences post- event
  • Responsibility of facilitators / sitters to be educated in the subject

Developing safe spaces

  • Safe spaces are necessary for all people, whatever their role
  • Safe spaces needed during times of crisis; to encourage growth: practical help and experienced peers to support a ‘flow with the process’
  • Changes needed within NHS; more funding for safe spaces
  • List of safe spaces available to be highlighted on SCN website
  • Making philanthropists aware of this need; stars and celebs who are speaking out
  • Further discussion needed; Group to reconnect and also continue via social media group

Science and technology

  • Mix art (right brain activity) with science / logic
  • Collaboration from all sectors of society necessary to create tools to help everyone

Spiritual and personal relationships

  • Safe spaces to share and discuss the unspoken taboos; co- dependency / relationship with Self / romantic connections / parental / friendships / polyamory / sex and celibacy

The battle of the mind and the suppression effects of religion

  • Raising awareness of non- consensus realities
  • Trusting the process / inner- wisdom
  • Bridging medical and spiritual worlds
  • Education for our youth needed
  • More trained therapists with lived experience needed

Truth and reconciliation

  • Target education; Post- reg / CPD courses
  • Change needed from within the system
  • Necessary to look for the meaning behind the diagnoses
  • Address hierarchy and polarization of groups

Transformation

  • Importance of grounding spiritual experiences and ‘holding polarities’
  • Recognising the power of the spiritual emergence process and share our own in order to help others going through it
  • Re- framing illness as a blessing; transmutation through facing our darkness / shadow

Uncovering the root of psychosis and its value

  • ‘Cracking’ – mostly due to repressed trauma in early life
  • Too much energy to manage in our system – kundalini
  • Physical illness manifestation can be a catalyst to awakening
  • We need to develop the attitude of gratitude
  • Universal blueprint that is passed down; we need to embrace all of the shattered parts of ourselves and the bigger picture.

Overview: Main focus points of action needs from London

OS example

 

  • INCREASED SAFE SPACES FOR LISTENING / SHARING / SUPPORT
  • CHANGE IN LANGUAGE USED: MOVE AWAY FROM ‘ILLNESS’ CONCEPT
  • AUTHENTIC STORY SHARING AND EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
  • PEER SUPPORT: LIVED EXPERIENCE IS VITAL IN SUPPORTING THE PROCESS
  • VALUE OF NATURE / ART + HOLISTIC METHODS OF HEALING
  • ALLOWING THE PROCESS; TRUSTING THAT IT HAS MEANING

 

Synopses of discussions / action points from other locations:

SALTBURN, UK

  • Acknowledged the value of sharing, and opportunities to be engaged in such deep and meaningful conversation
  • Speak out – with PASSION!
  • Be brave enough to listen
  • LEAD FROM THE HEART
  • To see a change in the respect and support given from the medical profession towards spiritual emergence; bridge – building
  • To have continuity of care when in ‘crisis’ from a holistic team of/for our choice, and access to holistic services

 

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

  • Increased networking opportunities for collaboration
  • A new Spiritual Emergence Network developing in New Zealand; links with this
  • SEN Australia to set up a new social media discussion / connection group

 

MUNICH, GERMANY

  • Importance of authentic story- sharing
  • Regular peer group meetings to be a focus of support for people
  • Re- generation of voluntary services in collaboration with facilitators in Berlin; to discuss affiliation with ISEN

 

SEDONA, ARIZONA, USA

  • Start to create a safer culture for authentic expression / sharing
  • Acknowledging that inspired action should come from intuition and not just logical / analytically – driven (TEAL organisational model)  
  • Importance of honest and authentic sharing to encourage others to also emerge

 

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

  • Increased networking opportunities for collaboration
  • Introduce the spiritual emergence information into  spiritual communities in addition to medical
  • More peer support groups / safe spaces for sharing and validation needed
  • Allow organic and intuitive growth; do not force the process and be aware of self- care (TEAL organisational model)
  • Increased desire to be part of a wider international network / collaborations
  • Just the beginning; ideas have been seeded, many more questions raised!

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

  • Personal sharing and connection; a general feeling of being ‘home’ amongst others who understand each other
  • Peer communities for safe sharing needed
  • Increased communication between psychiatry and spiritual / Integral communities necessary for education and understanding; creating bridges between groups.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

  • Community training and debate nights to raise awareness and de- stigmatise
  • Training for frontline workers in spiritual emergence process
  • Mindfulness and education needed in schools
  • More validation of experiences and non- hierarchical approaches in care

 

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

  • Raising awareness in psychiatric system to transform the biomedical reductionist view
  • Bridge- building through increased education of the science of spirituality
  • A voluntary support group set – up on a rota system basis for people in the spiritual emergence process; Validation and allowing the process as main focus, with transparent feedback between the group and person supported
  • Discussions around the meaning behind the term ‘madness’ – deep meaning
  • Public awareness- raising to create a safer society for people to go through awakening
  • Many ideas for service needs initiated from the day; education / campaigning / developing supportive communities / increased free resources

 

NURMIJARVI, FINLAND

  • Development of a Spiritual Emergence Network for Finland
  • Translation of the crisis guide into Finnish
  • Development of local peer support groups for safe sharing
  • Collate list of therapists who are knowledgeable about the SE process
  • Multi – disciplinary support services needed for those in crisis; psychological / arts / bodywork / energy work

 

KAMPALA, UGANDA

  • Participants realized that they were experiencing similar challenges with other MHPs globally – less isolation
  • Sharing stories of experiencers
  • Awareness- raising through theatrical performances like plays in schools, film documentaries and engage a cross section of stakeholders from professional service providers, legislatures, and communities under HEARTSOUNDS Uganda.
  • Regular support group meetings
  • Make use of social media for collaboration and sharing

 

SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL

  • Importance of being able to talk openly about experiences
  • Online Facebook closed support group created (Portuguese)
  • Core group established to continue discussions and the movement
  • Follow a sustainable economy model with collaborators instead of volunteers
  • Every member can offer a service or product that is aligned with the ideas of the movement
  • Create a free online course introducing the movement and talking about these experiences
  • Online support groups on the closed facebook page (consumers and professionals that are interest in offering support will be trained based on the course)
  • Create different teams to divide the work: Communications team, Courses Team, Support/Integration Groups Team, Research Team and Translation Team
  • Create an online system with: a website, YouTube and Vimeo for Rethinking Madness

 

NEW YORK, USA

  • Peer support and safe sharing spaces are vital; we have lost these community connections, so will work to recreate them
  • Build online Peer support groups
  • Create an online platform for story- sharing
  • Create a list of trained professionals who are knowledgeable in this field

 

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

  • Overview was to create a group to work on developing this vision of supporting madness as a transformative process; SEN Iceland?

 

BERLIN, GERMANY

  • Group benefitted from Safe- space sharing
  • Create ongoing support groups / places for further exchange
  • Places for holistic approaches to healing in crisis to be founded
  • Home treatment and post- crisis holistic support also vital
  • Education and awareness- raising through PR / media outlets to change pathologising to normalising perspectives.
  • Give talks to Mental Health professionals by those who have emerged through crisis
  • Group formed to meet bi-weekly to continue developing the above and campaigning for change.

 

AUSTRALIA

 

  • SEN peer support group to start in Lismore
  • Online group started to increase connection virtually
  • Acknowledgement of the benefits of having a safe space for personal sharing  

 

 

Overview: Main focus points of action needs at an International level

 

  • INCREASED SAFE SPACES FOR LISTENING / SHARING / PEER SUPPORT
  • CHANGE IN LANGUAGE USED: EDUCATION TO NORMALISE DISTRESS
  • AUTHENTIC STORY SHARING AND EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
  • PEER SUPPORT: LIVED EXPERIENCE IS VITAL IN SUPPORTING THE PROCESS
  • BRIDGE -BUILDING WITH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: TO EDUCATE IN THIS ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE
  • VALUE OF HOLISTIC METHODS OF HEALING
  • COLLABORATION TO REDUCE ISOLATION OF VISION; LOCALLY + INTERNATIONALLY

 

Conclusion:

The need for change is consistent at a global and transcultural level; outcomes from each country were significantly consistent, and actually quite simple considering the complex topic. 

Reflections from some of the events facilitators and participants:

Ella, Australia: “I am determined to find a way to keep this going.. .I think that there will be a way to take it forward, probably more than one way, and one where the process itself enhances the livelihood, health and wellbeing of all involved.”

Gyongyi, Hungary: “Many people said, they really feel ‘home’ and not a stranger as it was during many years. They could talk to people who really understand each other. Personal sharing and connection was inspiring.”

Jordana, London: “The Emerging Proud Conference London, May of 2017 has lasting effects!  I feel inspired and motivated to be part of a powerful grassroots campaign, and an empowered member of the Spiritual Emergence(y) tribe!  This conference planted the seeds for many long lasting relationships and collaborations with like-minded leaders from within the movement.”

Bongo, Uganda, Africa: Sharing stories of experiencers is not a new thing with HEARTSOUNDS members as it’s what service users have in common…however, on the International #EmergingProud day, participants realized that they were experiencing similar challenges with other Mental Health Participants globally.”

Next steps:

  • A follow- up call will take place between all event hosts to reflect on their respective events and to ensure action points raised are carried out. Further calls will be planned in order to stay connected.
  • This report will be made available publicly online
  • A press release will be circulated to the media
  • #EP will be set up as a not-for-profit organisation, initially UK based with 3 Trustees
  • Funding will be applied for to run a year – long screening roadshow to introduce this concept to the wider public and encourage ‘safe space’ discussion peer groups
  • Fundraising will begin to run another international event in 2018