I have read about psychiatrists and psychologists who entered the field after being diagnoses with a grave mental illness. There are peer specialists who freely disclose that they became interested in mental health after surviving a diagnosis. However, what I have never heard is a Milwaukee area clinician other than Sue Gadasc talk about overcoming a mental illness. I ave worked with clinicians who who spoke privately that they had struggled. And so I have wondered how their struggles had informed their work.
It makes sense that there are more people who might have been hospitalized while they were attempting to complete their education but kept running into obstacles. There is an organization in Madison, called SOAR, whose staff is comprised mainly of mental health consumers. I have read about SOAR but it would be be nice to hear of people working at Bell Therapy or WCS with a mental illness. It feels like a missing perspective that would enrich our conversations. Another missing perspective is that of a psychiatrist who specializes in psychotherapy. Do those people still exist?
I would love to hear Will Hall of the Icarus Project and Madness Radio speak at a mainstream mental health group like the Crisis Conference. Or better yet, why not add Rufus May, a British clinical psychologist best known for using his experience of having been a psychiatric patient to promote alternative approaches to psychiatry? I think some of his ideas including Open Dialogue could do wonders for American mental health. Undoubted, the people I have mentioned are welcome at alternative approaches to psychiatry but those approaches need to be explored and included elsewhere.