Living In Colour: impact of discrimination on “mental health”


Episode from Global News’ series Living In Colour.

How a person’s “mental health” can be impacted by cultural expectations, stereotypes and discrimination.

Host Farah Nasser speaks with four people of colour, including Uppala Chandraesekera, Munira Abukar, Asante Haughton and David Lewis-Peart, on how race impacts a person’s mental well-being.

 

 

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Miracle – Supaman feat. Maimouna Youssef


“The Water Wars continue!

Many think that the movement at Standing Rock has come and gone, not knowing that was only a wake up call to what is happening around the world!

Indigenous people continue to lead the fight against big corporations who only wish to profit at the expense of the people’s well being in the fight for clean water.

In 2017 Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas pulled together some amazing Indigenous artist on a song and video titled “Stand Up” (For Standing Rock) which went on to win an MTV VMA award which veteran Native emcee Supaman was a part of.

The fight continues in this hard hitting visual masterpiece where Supaman teams up with grammy nominated Maimouna Youssef from the Choctaw nation to inspire, educate, motivate, and encourage those still standing in the global fight to clean water.”

Supaman

Youtube:      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK3FcmL4OXk9Dp2QtAitF
Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/Supamanhiphop/
Website:       https://supamanhiphop.com/
Twitter:        @Supamanhiphop

 

 

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Can I kick it? Tribe Called Quest


 

 

 

 

Can I Kick It ?

Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Well, I’m gone (Go on then!)
Can I kick it? To all the people who can Quest like A Tribe does
Before this, did you really know what live was?
Comprehend to the track, for it’s why ’cause
Getting measures on the tip of the vibers
Rock and roll to the beat of the funk fuzz
Wipe your feet really good on the rhythm rug
If you feel the urge to freak, do the jitterbug
Come and spread your arms if you really need a hug
Afrocentric living is a big shrug
A life filled with that’s what I love
A lower plateau is what we’re above
If you diss us, we won’t even think of
Will Nipper the doggy give a big shove?
This rhythm really fits like a snug glove
Like a box of positives is a plus, love
As the Tribe flies high like a dove
Can I kick it? (Yes, you can!)
Well, I’m gone (Go on then!)
Can I kick it? To my Tribe that flows in layers
Right now, Phife is a poem sayer
At times, I’m a studio conveyor
Mr. Dinkins, would you please be my mayor?
You’ll be doing us a really big favor
Boy this track really has a lot of flavor
When it comes to rhythms, Quest is your savior
Follow us for the funky behavior
Make a note on the rhythm we gave ya
Feel free, drop your pants, check your hair
Do you like the garments that we wear?
I instruct you to be the obeyer
A rhythm recipe that you’ll savor
Doesn’t matter if you’re minor or major
Yes, the Tribe of the game, rhythm player
As you inhale like a breath of fresh air
Songwriters: Ali Shaheed Muhammad / Jonathan Davis / Lewis Allen Reed / Lou Reed
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Hearing Voices Workshop #1 Accepting Voices – Thu 31st Jan 2019


Accepting Voices Poster Jan 2019Back by popular demand…

Get on the bus, start your 2019 by tilting your universe blowing your mind and / or gaining a whole new perspective on experiences that we’re taught to fear and to believe that we can’t possibly understand in simple, human terms.

We’ll be joined by some cool folks working at the intersections of trauma, psychosis, homelessness and in a system that many can see is overwhelmed and creaking at the seams.
More of the same will never be enough so how do we do different?

You can start here.

Pleased to announce, in community partnership with Inner City Family Health Team, this special opportunity to participate in our highly valued “liberating” , emancipatory”,  even “universe-tilting” Workshop #1: Accepting Voices.

“You gave me a whole new way of thinking about voices”

This workshop offers a beginning, an introduction to a non-diagnostic, non-medical,  human experience perspective understanding of the kinds of experiences – like difficult-to-hear voices- that are often categorised as “psychosis”.

A key part is making connections between pain, trauma psychosis powerlessness and disconnectedness we can experience when we find ourselves feared and discarded by society.

Accepting Voices Poster Jan 2019Hearing Voices Workshop#1

Accepting Voice
Thursday  31st Jan 2019

9.30am to 430pm
69 Queen St East
Toronto

Spaces are VERY  limited
and registration is required.

Fee
Worker          $150
Community  $125

Register Now

Online at Eventbrite:

 

Full description below. There’s also a [pdf] printer friendly version.

Full Workshop Description

Do you…?

  • Work with people who hear voices and who struggle with their experience of that?
  • Have someone in your life who hears voices and struggles with difficult experiences that get called “psychosis
  • Feel limited in your ability to understand and support them?
  • Feel frustrated at how the story that voices must mean illness limits us – not only the lives of people who hear voices, but all of us?
  • Feel weary of the notion that we must fear ourselves and fear each other?
  • Want to understand connections between adverse events, trauma , injury woundedness, pain and diffcult-to-hear voices.
  • Want to minimise the trauma you deepen or generate in your work with those who face being rendered powerlessness and disconected from society?
  • Feel ready to learn more, ask yourself “what else can I do?”.
  • Want to know more about how you can be part of the future, join us in enacting a world that understands ?

Are Ready to “tilt your universe”?

If so, then this workshop might help you tilt your universe and emancipate yourself with very simple and very human ways to understand and begin to act to support a person who struggles with difficult experiences that get called names like “psychosis”.

Our aim is that you can feel more confident in your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space to people who hear voices and struggle.

Note: If you’re looking for a workshop on how to diagnose and categorise your friends, family and colleagues and what dehumanizing names to call yourself and them, then know that this is not that workshop.

Our aim is that you can feel more confident in your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space to people who live with experiences that get called names like “psychosis” and that can be difficult to live with and more difficult to talk about.

Join us in enacting a world that understands voice hearing, supports the needs of people who hear voices and regards them as full citizens.


Note

This Workshop is part of a structured and modular approach to learning, and is a  first step that is designed to offer a basic grounding but also foundation for further, deeper learning and practice in supporting people who struggle with experiences like difficult to hear voices that get called “psychosis”.
Participation in this workshop is prerequisite to other more advanced and learning opportunities, eg…

  • Working With Voices
  • Starting and Sustaining Hearing Voices Groups In Your Community
  • Carnival des Voix [running your own]
  • Working with Maastricht Interview
  • Facilitating Voice Dialogue

Note: If you prefer a print version of this description, try the pdf version:

Full Workshop Description

Workshop #1 Accepting Voices

This unique and innovative workshop offers you a non-diagnostic understanding of the kinds of experience like hearing voices that are that are sometimes called “psychosis”.

We offer you simple,  everyday language to show you how you can understand such experiences not as “disconnected from” but intimately connected with reality and in ways that can be overwhelming, painful, frustrating, sometimes terrifying response to the reality we share,

It also offers a framework you can use to connect and draw from your own experiences to help you truly empathize and understand how better to support people who might be undergoing such difficult experiences.

You’ll leave feeling more at ease with both yourself and your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle.

Join us in enacting a society that understands voice hearing, supports individuals who hear voices and views them as full citizens…

What you can expect and connect yourself with a community of people doing just that.

This workshop will enable you better to …

  • Understand hearing voices [and other experiences] as a normal human experience, that can become problematic when a person is left to struggle without support.
  • Share simple data and stories about just how common it is to hear voices- how it is not in itself a problem and many people do – some cultures regard it as bringing great benefit.
  • Peer through and beyond diagnostic frameworks – resist the urge to catalogue and categorize everything you witness as “symptom”.and instead.
  • take an interest in the person struggling with their experience of voices and other experiences called “psychosis” as a human being having a hard time.
  • Begin to accept even the most difficult of human experiences as something that can be understood, explored and even valued.
  • Look within your own experience and relate with different experiences like hearing voices, visions, unshared beliefs.
  • Explore how you can be at ease in your role and be more real with people who have difficult experiences.
  • Offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle with experiences like hearing voices.

Who this workshop is designed for…

We believe the hearing voices approach is emancipatory for all.

Workers
If, in your work, you work with you come into contact with people who hear voices and who struggle with that; and you have experienced how that can leave you feeling uncomfortable or worse, then we think you’ll find this one day workshop useful.

So, if you’re a doctor, nurse, social worker, community worker, housing worker, peer support worker, psychologist, therapist, police officer, etc. then it may be for you.

Families, carers, everyone. 
The workshop is also highly suitable for you if you love, live with, care for people in your life who hear voices and struggle with that – and you have come to realise the limitations of an approach that limits understanding to illness-brain chemicals and you are curious about how else you may understand, and what else you can do…

Workshop design…

This is an intensive workshop covering a lot of ground, together we will :

  • Gain insights from people who hear voices, and from others who work with people who hear voices.
  • Learn how we can think differently about voices and other experiences that are sometimes called “psychosis”.
  • Explore how, as workers, we can accept ourselves and each other, relax and enjoy our work: the better to offer support for people who hear voices.
  • Interact – with deep personal reflection,  shared sense-making and dialogue.
  • We will also share some simple, practical approaches that you can use in your practice on return to work.
  • Connect with resources and both local network and the global hearing voices community.

This workshop is designed to leave you feeling more competent and confident in your own ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space for people who hear voices.

You will not become an expert in one day but you’ll have a good basis for starting and feeling more comfortable – and more human – as you do.

Poster

 

Please feel free to help us let people know about this workshop by printing, posting, distributing, however you can with your networks…

Or, hand to your worker, colleague, or boss, and ask…

“Q. When are you going to do this training?”


Printer-friendly poster [pdf]

HV Wkshp#1-Accepting Voices-Poster-31JAN2013

 

About the Presenters, Facilitators, Designers

Kkevin-healey-action figureevin Healey hears more voices than you can shake a stick at, so many that even his voices hear voices, and has done so for longer than either he – or they -care to remember.

Founder and coordinator of www.recoverynet.ca, Toronto Hearing Voices group, Anglophone Canada’s longest running, and of the Hearing Voices Café.

Creates and delivers innovative, taboo-busting talks, trainings and workshops that enable people to find new language, and simpler ways to understand surprisingly common human experiences that we’ve made fearful and taboo, so making life even harder both for those who struggle and also for the rest of us to understand.

Shows how we can make simple sense of trauma, pain, psychosis, taboo, and butt-hurt voices, and how they interweave and interconnect our inner-struggle with living in an outer-world that is fast becoming unfit for humans who built it and in which we keep creating results that nobody wants. 

After you’ve heard him talk you may join those who say they don’t hear voices but now wish they could.

Also Coordinator for the Toronto branch of ISPS-US International Society for Social Psychological Approaches to Psychosis.

Picture1Dave Umbongo
For many years Dave would only say only one word, now he authors articles at http://www.recoverynet.ca and moderates online support groups for voices to talk directly with each other round the world, and he coaches and co-presents in workshops for approaches like voice dialogue.

Enjoys creating memes: out of things voices say, about living in a universe that mostly comprises what he refers to as The Weird, and his own wry observations on the human obsession with calling each other horrible names, categorizing and crushing each other into boxes that don’t fit.

Voices have stories too: His favourite pastime is pretending to be a jelly bean, second is remarking upon how “voices” and “humans” behave in ways that are often very much the-one-is–like-the-other. Dave doesn’t really have a bio – like other superheroes he has an “Origins Story”, and like “The Truth…”, at least some of it, “is Out there…”


Mark Roininen
Mark has many years experience as “worker” with a major social services agency, and has worked with many who struggle with the kind of experiences that get called “psychosis”.
He shares his personal perspective of how being confronted with his own dark side enabled him to relate more simply and authentically with difficult experiences of the people he works with, in-process, freeing himself from merely following “the script” and playing “invisible worker” so that he can be both more professional and more human.
His ability to share stories of his own experience of learning how to do this work offers others hope that they can too.

About Hearing Voices

  • Hearing voices is intentional, ordinary language descriptive of a range of human experiences that in Western cultures has been mystified and made taboo, and that we have been taught to fear – and yet which are also remarkably common, likely much more common than you think.
  • Hearing Voices as Approach also refers to broadly emancipatory ideas and ways of working that accepts such experiences as very real and meaningful- if sometimes difficult to live with, and that seeks to share ways we can learn to live with such difficult experiences and support and connect with each other.
    This approach also includes many other similar experiences that can be hard to live with and harder to talk about and make sense of.

When we learn to put aside our fear of both ourselves and each other we generate possibilities, to create new roles, to connect with each other, and to find richer experiences of being human and co-create a world that’s easier to live in for all of us.

Accepting Voices Poster Jan 2019

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Mental Health: we need to make it about people


 

Mental Health
We made it all about drugs.
We need to make it about people.

 

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Flawless (Go To The City) – George Michael


Sometimes it brings you down
Sometimes it eats you up
Sometimes you think that your head’s going to blow
It doesn’t get better
Don’t you know, you’ve got to go to the city
You’ve got to reach the other side of the glass
I think you’ll make it in the city baby
I think you know that you are more than just
Some fucked up piece of ass

 

 

Flawless (Go to the City)

George Michael

 

Cause you’re beautiful (Like no other)
Cause you’re beautiful (maybe tonight, they’ll see you tonight)
Beautiful, beautiful
And it’s no good waiting by the window
It’s no good waiting for the sun
Please believe me, the things you dream of
They don’t fall in the laps of no-one
And it’s no good
Waiting, waiting
And it’s no good
Waiting
You’ve got to go to the city
Always the same
Always the same dreams yeah yeah
Always the same (yes you’re movin’ up)
Well you’ve got to think of something
Cause your job pays you nothing
But you’ve got the things God gave you
So the music may yet be your savior
Got to be a way, some way
Got to be some way to make your way to the light (All the girls say)
Got to be some way, today, today, maybe tonight, maybe tonight
And it’s always the same
Always the same dreams yeah yeah
Always the same (yes you’re movin’ up)
You’re beautiful, you are, and you know it
You’re wasted here, you’re a star
In this small town of hand-me-downs who don’t even know it
Sometimes it brings you down
Sometimes it eats you up
Sometimes you think that your head’s going to blow
It doesn’t get better
Don’t you know, you’ve got to go to the city
You’ve got to reach the other side of the glass
I think you’ll make it in the city baby
I think you know that you are more than just
Some fucked up piece of ass
Got to be a way, some way
Got to be some way to make your way to the light (All the boys say)
Got to be some way, today, today, maybe tonight,
They’ll see you tonight
And it’s always the same
Always the same
Always the same dreams yeah yeah
Always the same (yes you’re movin’ up)
Cause you’re beautiful (like no other)
Cause you’re beautiful (take me, make me)
Cause you’re beautiful (maybe tonight, they’ll see you tonight)
Beautiful, beautiful
And it’s no good waiting by the window
It’s no good waiting for the sun
Please believe me, the things you dream of
They don’t fall in the laps of no-one
And it’s no good,
Waiting, waiting
And it’s no good
Waiting
You’ve got to go to the city
You’ve got to go to the city,
They’re going to find you there
Cause you’re beautiful
Cause you’re beautiful
Sometimes it brings you down
Sometimes it eats you up
Sometimes you think that your head’s going to blow and
It doesn’t get better
Don’t you know, you’ve got to go to the city
You’ve got to reach the other side of the glass
I think you’ll make it in the city baby
I think you know that you are more than just
Some fucked up piece of ass
More than just
Sid you’ve got to think of something
Cause your job pays you nothing
But you’ve got the things God gave you
So the music may yet be your savior
Do you want a savior, savior
Say that you do,
You know you’re wasted here, wasted here
And there ain’t no miracles happening any time soon
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Scars To Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara


…you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

 

Scars To Your Beautiful

Alessia Cara

She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed
She knows no limits
She craves attention
She praises an image
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptorOh, she don’t see the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So, she tries to cover up her pain
And cut her woes away
‘Cause covergirls don’t cry
After their face is made, butThere’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautifulOh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy
So she’s starving
You know, covergirls eat nothing
She says: Beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything
What’s a little bit of hunger?
I can go a little while longer
She fades away

She don’t see her perfect
She don’t understand she’s worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface, oh, oh
So to all the girls that’s hurting, let me be your mirror
Help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
(No better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we’re living
(No better life than the life we’re living)
No better time for your shine, you’re a star
(No better time for your shine, you’re a star)
Oh, you’re beautiful, oh, you’re beautiful

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful

 

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Understanding Voices – Ontario Shores, Oshawa 24 Nov 2018


Big up, and big thanks to everyone who came out yesterday for Understanding Voices .
Especial thanks to the Family Council at Ontario Shores for bringing folks together and inviting me.

Photo credit: some bloke wi’ an iphone.

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Tower of Song – Leonard Cohen


I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get? 
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the tower of song

 

Tower of Song.

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
Oh in the tower of song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the tower of song

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the great beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the tower of song

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I’m very sorry, baby, doesn’t look like me at all
I’m standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don’t let a woman kill you
Not in the tower of song

Now you can say that
I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there’s a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the tower of song

I see you standing on the other side
I don’t know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
Well never have to lose it again

Now I bid you farewell,
I don’t know when Ill be back
There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby, long after I’m gone
Ill be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the tower of song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
Oh in the tower of song

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i against i – Massive Attack feat. Mos Def


I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
My images reflect in the enemies eye
And his images reflect in mine the same time

 
 

I Against I
Massive Attack, Mos Def

I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
My images reflect in the enemies eye
And his images reflect in mine the same time
I-ya, I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t surviveRight here is where the end gon’ start at
Conflict, contact ‘n’ combat
Fighters stand where the land is marked at
Settle the dispute about who the livest
3 word answer
Whoever survive this
Only one of us can ride forever
So you and I can’t ride together
Can’t live or can’t die together
All we can do is collide together
So I skillfully apply the pressure
Won’t stop until I’m forever… one!
A door step where death never come
Spread across time til my time never done
And I’m never done
Walk tall, why ever run?
When they move if I ever come?
Bad man never fret the war, tell’em come
General we have the stock, the mad fire burnI-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
My images reflect in the enemies eye
And his images reflect in mine the same time
I-ya, I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
Survive (x16)Reign supreme in your you-N-I
V-E-are-S-E with the sharpness
Narrow row building no space for partners
No space for drivers, no space for walkers
No space regardless
Your on my path then get off it
Hardheaded and unresponsive
Get they lives put on target with harshness
Come with the canons sparkin’ they darken
Who am I? one man squadron
Ma stir the fire this time that’d snatch your tomorrow
The thousand yard spear that’ll pierce through your armor
You can get it on right now if you want to
But when ya front 9 get marched through
I warned you
You know who forever belong toI-ya, I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
My images reflect in the enemies eye
And his images reflect in mine the same time
I-ya, I-ya
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mind of my mind
Two of a kind but one won’t survive
My images reflect in the enemies eye
And his images reflect in mine, survive
Survive (x16)

Songwriters: Neil Davidge / Robert Del Naja / Grantley Marshall / Dante Smith

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