Sponsors of Mental Health Camp Vancouver 2010: @MarketWire

2010 June 14
by hummingbird604

We are very grateful to MarketWire for jumping on board and being an official media sponsor.

Marketwire is a leading newswire service offering press release distribution, media contact management, multimedia, media monitoring services and other workflow solutions for public relations, investor relations, journalists and other communications professionals.

Thanks many to Gus Fosarolli, Senior Client Relations Manager for facilitating this sponsorship deal. Very much appreciated.

mw_logo_pms

Speaker Line-Up

2010 June 12
by moritherapy

Here is our initial speaker lineup for Vancouver’s 2010 MentalHealthCamp. There may be a few changes but that’s the general idea. Towards the end of June, we will flesh the program out and also give you links to all the speakers’ sites.

“Mental Moose” slots are opportunities for people to propose sessions the morning of the conference. The sessions will be voted on by participants, and the proposals with the most votes will be slotted into the available times. It’s called “Mental Moose” in nostalgic memory of Northern Voice’s Moosecamp.

9-9:30 Keynote

9:35-10:20
Room 1
Escape from Bummer Island – Imagining A Mental Health Adventure Game
By “Depression 2.0”

9:35-10:20
Room 2
Arts Based Advocacy: Sound Therapy Radio
By Jay Peachy

9:35-10:20
Room 3
Mental Moose

10:15-11:00
Room 1
Ripping the Scabs off Through Writing
By Steffani Cameron

10:15-11:00
Room 2
Digital Outing / Mad Pride
By Steven Schwartz

10:15-11:00
Room 3
Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends
By Henry Jue

11-11:20 BREAK

11:25-12:10
Room 1
MHSM Chat – A virtual session about the weekly mental health chat on Twitter
By Amy Kiel

11:25-12:10
Room 2
How Covenant House’s blog “On the House” helps break the silence around mental health issues
By Michelle Clausius

11:25-12:10
Room 3
Mental Moose

12:15-1:40 LUNCH

1:45-2:30
Room 1
ADHD and stigma
By Pete Quily

1:45-2:30
Room 2
Panel: Being ‘out’ about various forms of mental illness such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADD, and post-partum depression
By Terra, Steve, Steff and Catherine

1:45-2:30
Room 3
Mental Moose

2:35-3:20
Room 1
Who gets to talk about mental health? When, where, why, how?
By Isabella Mori

2:35-3:20
Room 2
Mental Moose

2:35-3:20
Room 3
Mental Moose

3:50-4:25
Room 1
The Power Of Words and The Power Of Bikes – A Journalist Goes on a Bicycle Tour to Raise Awareness of Mental Health
By Michael Schratter

3:50-4:25
Room 2
Mental Moose

3:50-4:25
Room 2
Mental Moose

4:30-5:00 Closing Statements

Mental Health Camp in Toronto a Huge Success

2010 May 29
by moritherapy

Yesterday was the day of the second Mental Health Camp – this time in Toronto. It sounds like it was a fabulous success. Raul and I are humbled and hope that Vancouver’s second Mental Health Camp will measure up. Here are some tweets from participants in Toronto:

A raging success

creativefusion
@kevinclauson I think people believe #MHCTO was a “raging success” Any cool media opps lately?

comingoutofdark
Amazing people @mhcto incl @depression2_0 my heart is full of appreciation, gratitude & new ways of communicating #mentalhealth

comingoutofdark
RT @cborlido: Feel inspired by Mental Health Camp and walked out feeling a little more tech savvy.

aureliacotta
Best part of #mhcto? It was a safe space. No one called me a drug addict for taking meds. Unlike other places on the net.

remarkk
Leaving an emotional and satisfying close to #mhcto. An amazing group of people.

Some links

comingoutofdark
@mhcto @depression2_0 @AureliaCotta @comingoutofdark ‘s response 2 Depression? It’s just the new trendy illness!

comingoutofdark
@mhcto @depression2_0 @aureliacotta have u seen this tragedy? –Depression? It’s just the new trendy illness!

comingoutofdark
check out the schedule of topics discussed at Mental Health Camp Toronto #mhcto MentalHealthCamp TO

Plans

bipolarsis
RT @comingoutofdark: RT @sharingstrength: What is the wishlist to create a peer support community. Will start with #mhsmca to meet Tuesdays at 7pm EST

madpsych
RT @hummingbird604: .@MHCTO @MadPsych Awesome to hear you’ll be on @CBCSpark – thanks @nora300 for making it happen!

earth_call
@madpsych Well done with #mhcto! I hear it might come to UK? I’m writing a mental health feature & would love to discuss #mhcto with you

Other Stuff

aureliacotta
My #mhcto tweeps should follow @kgranju because she has the uncommon bravery to blog about her son’s battle with #addiction

nocx
Thanks+#FF for 4000km combined travel to get to #mhcTO. @outofshell @gordonglenn @depression2_0 Rangers all.

Blogging Against Disablism

2010 May 1
by moritherapy

Today, the first day of Mental Health Awareness Month, is Blogging Against Disablism Day.  We were made aware of that by the CMHA who tweeted some interesting posts, all related, one way or another, to mental health:

  1. CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    Bipolar/postpartum depression/post traumatic stress disorder/social anxiety dismissed as a quack diagnosis

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    When going to therapy is viewed like going to check in with a parole officer – Blogging Against Disablism Day #BADD

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    Viewing a disability as something that makes you “other” – About Autism/Aspergers – Blogging Against Disablism Day #BADD

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    Daring to confess any sort of mental illness and/or instability can be used against u” Blogging Against Disablism #BADD

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    Sometimes I speak out, but sometimes, I’m ashamed ” National Blogging Against Disablism Day

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    `Is being battered considered a mental health or a physical health issue?` National Blogging Against Disablism Day

    CMHA VancBurn CMHA_VB

    Disablism = when a doctor ignores physical health problems bec you have mental health problems.” National Disablism Day

Call for Speakers for MentalHealthCamp 2010

2010 April 29

This is a call for presenters at MentalHealthCamp in Vancouver on July 10th, 2010. MentalHealthCamp (the Twitter hashtag is #mhcyvr10) will take place at the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL) building on the Point Grey Campus of The University of British Columbia.

We will have 15 sessions between 45 and 60 minutes’ length.

The topic is “Breaking Our Silence. Setting us Free.” We would like to examine how silence hurts mental health, and, even more importantly, how using our voice helps us achieve and maintain mental health.

We are looking for session leaders who speak from personal or professional experience with mental health or mental illness.

We will have 9 slots for prearranged speakers (e.g. approved by the selection committee), and will keep 6 slots open for “Mental Moose” – a continuation of the unconference tradition of MooseCamp at Northern Voice. During Mental Moose, participants who are interested in leading a session can pitch them on Saturday morning with a quick 30-second talk. Everyone will then vote on which sessions will be presented, and the winning sessions will be scheduled.

Also, we would like to experiment with having one or two virtual sessions. Do you live in New Zealand and would like to present? Are you unable to leave your children and your dogs alone in rural Quebec but have an important story to share? If you have the technical know-how, let’s talk about using technology to bring you right into our conference here in Vancouver.

Would you like to present? If so

  • please contact us and send us a short proposal, containing
  • your name(s) and email,
  • an overview over what you would like to discuss (100-200 words), including how your talk relates to the topic of “Breaking Our Silence. Setting Us Free.”
  • a bio (30-100 words)
  • indicate your social media presence (e.g. your blog, twitter address, etc.)
  • tell us a little (30-100 words) about your personal and/or professional experience with mental health and mental illness
  • indicate whether you’d like to present in real life or whether you propose a virtual session

This call for speakers is open during all of May 2010 – which, incidentally, is Mental Health Month.

We have secured a venue!

2010 April 29
by hummingbird604

Thanks to the kindness of the directors of the Fisheries Centre and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, I was able to secure a venue for Mental Health Camp Vancouver 2010. It will be held at the UBC Aquatic Ecosystem Research Laboratory (AERL), located at 2202 Main Mall in Vancouver, B.C.

I am a graduate from the Doctor of Philosophy in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES) program at UBC, and I spent many years of my PhD studies working at my office there. I still maintain very strong ties with my former home department, and I am very grateful that they decided to support this worthy endeavour.

The map below shows the location of AERL. Of course, needless to say, it will be my shared responsibility with everyone at MHCYVR10 to to leave the premises in a clean, tidy, secured and undamaged state at the end of the event. I can’t wait! We have a venue, we have a date, we are about to launch the Call for Proposed Talks. We are in business!


View Larger Map

Breaking our Silence. Setting us Free.

2010 April 23
by moritherapy

Breaking our Silence.  Setting us Free.

That is the motto for this year’s Vancouver MentalHealthCamp on July 10.  (Thanks, Cathy, for coming up with these great words!)

Silence, hiding, pretending – they are often involved in suppression, oppression, repression; it’s no pun to observe that these words are intricately related to depression.   It’s also interesting to note that silence, hiding and pretending are protective measures; they have saved many lives, physically and emotionally.

Which makes me think of the famous Anais Nin quote:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

So this is one of the things we want to explore this year at MentalHealthCamp.  What happens when we take the risk to blossom, despite – or with – our emotional/cognitive/chemical idiosyncracies?  What is the pain of silence, and how does it impact our mental and physical health?  What happens in that strange moment when we decide to voice our truth and some of the people around us react with silence on their part?  And what does that freedom look like on the other side of silence?

“Normal”

2010 April 20
by moritherapy

Over at Sonya’s World is an interesting rant on the topic of “Normal“, which had started with a post on the same topic over at PsychCentral.  I started a comment and it got longer and longer so I thought I’d post it here:

Really interesting stuff you say here, and thanks for the rant.

Having seen “normal” and “abnormal” from many perspectives since I was, say, 3 months old, I hope it’s okay if I add a few shades of gray here.

I’d like to say that normal, too, has many shades. The couple you saw walking on the street? Are they normal? Maybe once they get home they’re done being lovey-dovey and he’ll beat her up because of how the coffee he just had interacts with the steroids he’s been using. We don’t know.

Maybe we all have our own “normals”, and maybe they change. It took me a long time to realize, for example, that suicide wasn’t a “normal” way to die, I had seen so much of it when I grew up. Now that I have a different life, I have a new “normal”. That includes, for instance, having only supportive friends. Is that normal? It also includes taking calls from people on Sunday night who are going crazy with anxiety. Is that normal? I don’t know, but it’s fine with me.

Grohol from PsychCentral says “maybe it’s best to think of ‘normal’ as a range of life experiences where we can live the life we want, without significant health or mental health impediments.” Is that perhaps what you’re talking about? You don’t want to spend time at the psych ward, you don’t want to be constantly afraid of your wife killing herself.

Then there’s another “normal”, and that is the statistical normal. It’s one that psychiatrists use a lot (without maybe even thinking about the word “normal”). If you score above a certain point on the hypomania dimension of the MMPI, you’re not “normal” anymore, meaning you score higher than the other gazillion people who’ve been tested on the MMPI. What does that mean? Not much without looking at the rest of your life.

With regard to people who say to those with major mental health issues, “you should do yoga” or “try dandelion wine” – well, in a way, that’s not “normal”, either, in the way that common sense is normal. Because there’s nothing normal (or common sense) about suggesting an umbrella to deal with a tornado or using a garden hose to handle a raging house fire, and those well-meaning (and ignorant) suggestions are pretty much along the same line.

Really, it’s all contextual, I believe. As for the New York times article, I know that there can be (notice the “can”) an important creative aspect to some experiences of mental illness. My father, who spent the majority of his life being bipolar, was an example of that, John is another.  Is that “normal”? I don’t know; in fact, I don’t care, it seems irrelevant. Does it make sense in the context of some individuals’ lives affected by mental illness? that’s the question I find interesting.

The experience is different for everyone, and most importantly, everyone deserves to live a life that feels good and right to them, a life with as much stability and predictability as they need in order to wake up most mornings (yes, mornings, not nights) and say, okay, we can do this.

How it all started – again

2010 April 3
by moritherapy

Wondering how we came up with the idea of MentalHealthCamp? Here is the original post. And now I came across a video of the panel Coping Digitally at Northern Voice 2009 that was the beginning of it all. Interested? Here it is

Mental Health Camp in Toronto

2010 March 23
by moritherapy

When Raul and I conceived of Mental Health Camp last year literally on the back of an envelope, we didn’t think it would take us where it did, and that it would inspire so many people.  We are giddy to tell you that there will be a Mental Health Camp Toronto as well this year!  Here’s what they are up to:

MentalHealthCamp Toronto – an unconference about Mental Health

Join us May 28, 2010, at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library

OPEN CONVERSATIONS / MENTAL HEALTH 2.0

MentalHealthCamp Toronto (MHCTO) is a facilitated, participant-driven, web 2.0-enabled conference centered around mental health. MHCTO builds on the experience of the international HealthCamp movement and the first MentalHealthCamp held in Vancouver in 2009.

Mental health concerns everyone. So if you’re a mental health professional, someone with lived experience of mental health problems, a family member or friend of a person with mental health problems, or have a passion or an interest in the topic, then MentalHealthCamp is for you! MHCTO also welcomes technophiles, change architects and all sorts of social media types.

Go here for more.