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Dublin Opinion
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Amnesty Ireland launches new film in fight against mental health prejudice

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Sunday January 09, 2011 01:17author by Amnesty1author email info at amnesty dot ie Report this post to the editors

A job for all of us

Phil is a journalist; Caroline a qualified psychotherapist. Kevin has just graduated with an MA in political theory and for Julie, music is the cornerstone of her life.

They are successful, confident, down to earth people.

But they’ve seen people, even their friends and families, look at them with fear and suspicion because of "those things"; because they had mental health problems.

In this new short film from Amnesty International Phil, Caroline, Kevin and Julie tell their stories because they know that mental health problems can affect anyone, and this means tackling prejudice and discrimination against people with mental health problems is a job for everyone.

They’re sharing their stories to help you understand, so you can make a difference. Share this film with your friends and family and make a New Year's resolution that will help change lives at

And please join us in Dublin’s Button Factory on Saturday 15 January from 1.30pm for First Fortnight 2011, a day long festival combining music, art and discussion to challenge mental health prejudice and discrimination. More details at

author by dunkpublication date Sun Jan 09, 2011 23:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

really important issue, especially in ireland!!

will pass this link on to friends who have had, or are having difficult times, and to those who have had to help those in those difficult times.

never easy, always essential.

Liam Clancy and Patch Adams, both had dark times and found solice and wisdom from the greek poet Nikos Kazantzakis, author of "Zorba the Greek" who said who reckoned that everyone needs a little madness to be truly alive; "A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free."



- Legend of Liam Clancy (The Yellow Bittern) missing bits pt 1

- The real Patch Adams talks about once contemplating suicide and the realizations that led him to find true joy in life.

author by No help out therepublication date Mon Jan 10, 2011 01:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am looking for help and have been for years and I can't get it, I googled panic attack support today and can't find anything for free, my nerves anr just gone in this kip of a country and I do not know where to turnt too. I am able to deal with it but my social interaction skills have been hammpered , , I do not find amnesty any help whatsoever.

There is no where for people like me to turn too.

author by Amnesty1publication date Mon Jan 10, 2011 09:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the positive comment there, but in relation to the other poster looking for help, it's important to stress that Amnesty International is not a service provision organisation. We can't work or help on individual cases because we simply don't have the resources.

What we can do is try to put you in touch with people who can help. You can email us at for advice.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Jan 10, 2011 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think you got in one.
Fear is at the root of psychotic reaction and neurotic anxiety. If you have the gumption to admit your behaviour has its irrational and illogical elements and to integrate them into your self-definition/identity it helps immunise you against the worst excesses, often perpetrated by those convinced of their own 'normality' but unquestioning of the sources and foundations of those norms in what can be anachronic social conventions. A little reflection on human behaviour shows the prevalence of our insanities and contradictory and self-defeating behaviours. If health is all about balance(physical or mental) then polarised extremes of thought are the rocks can sink us in the latter dimension.
Paradoxically, your best ballast for the navigation of these tricky shoals is a leavening of levity. Too much gravity can get ya down. The other side of that is ya gotta be able to do the hard bits and think through the contradictions, the homework that balances the extremes and adjust the perspective before it overshoots into pathology. There are underlying physiological and chemical balances to be taken into account, but we can do more for ourselves than the prozac n valium pushers want us to believe.

To 'No help out there', get your hands on a few books on the issues that bother you, but read them critically. Dont swallow any of it unchewded, including my ramblings. You could do worse than reading Ivor Browne's 'Music and Madness' as a very sane intro. Think of the brain is a muscle, flex it and excercise it and it will serve you. And like any excercise regime, dont strain yourself unnecessarily. Fresh air and escape from cities can be beneficial for feeding the elements whose confluence should result in the ancient chestnut of mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body).

author by elfpublication date Mon Jan 10, 2011 17:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They are just trolling and having a sly go at Amnesty. read it again critically. don't feed the trolls. probably some right wing bored hasbara or special beanch amusing themselves while waiting for an IPSC post about gaza or some republican or anti FF post, or a leftie post they can use to cause divisive infighting.Ignore them

author by Cleaverpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you try Aware they may be able to assist you
Well done amnesty for this campaign

author by No help out therepublication date Sat Jan 15, 2011 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you everyone for your moral support and advice which have read and re-read and taken note. I am not somebody trying to damage amnesty or cause hassle or part of the right wing agenda, but a genuine person faced in front of FOUR WALLS day in and day out .

No faith in the doctors either like the poster they do not see people as persons but as CASE HISTORIES and PATIENTS. I used to go the amnesty cafe and all that jazz and sit there dreaming about what would do in life, no offence I have nothing against amnesty but they are harldy going to help me and others like me with nobody.
aware seem good but let us be honest and say that you can never find the meetings with these places and when the meetings are over it's back to square one with a big bad bang and when your already a headcase the last thing you need is to be put in touch with other head cases as the end result can be fatal. you need people who will lift you up and be optimistic. anyway meetings in generalseem to get taken over by 1 or 2 people who use meetings to vent. look at residents associations-the greatest sham of all time nothing but fighting.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sat Jan 15, 2011 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A lot saner than some of the blinkered idiots lectured me in the subject(psychology) for four years. The economic house-arrest can be a strain, especially in a country where most of the socialising centres round pubs, and it costs so much just to go for a pint.

You are obviously quite literate, so again I'd say study the subject through your local library and the net. Read Spike Milligan, a genius who was in and out of institutions all his life, largely with depression(my theory, if ya aint depressed you have your eyes closed to whats going on).

The real 'head-cases' often wear white coats and stethoscopes. At the same time, there are good doctors in it, many overworked and reduced to pharma-solutions by the pressures. Others just dont give a fuck as long as the income stream dont dry up.

As someone said somewhere, conforming to a psychotic society's values does not make you mentally healthy. And its not about optimism, just a realistic balance. Optimism can be as fatal as unnecessary negativity, check the consequences of the head-cases driving the world towards the cataract as they sing the the battle hymns of their various republics. Read Swift, the man who bestowed St Patrick's on us 'because no nation ever needed it so much'.

And, if you dont already, start exploring music, always a tonic for the cranial turbulence that proves disorientating. Many of the worlds greatest minds, not least its musicianers, wrestled with psychological storms.

It dont mean you're sick, psychological stasis is a far more septic state.

As they say in Napoli, Noli illegitimi carborundum(dont let the bastards grind ya down).

author by No help out therepublication date Sat Jan 15, 2011 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you opus diablos for all this advice, for the first time in a VERY LONG time i feel a bit better. I appreciate it and it's wise true words.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jan 16, 2011 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

others pointed out signposts to me when I got strayed. We all gotta draw our own maps, but we can assist each other. Keep a half-eye out for those in worse condition than yourself, you'll find it aids the perspective.

author by Calibanpublication date Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No help, aware have just started running online support groups, you might find them helpful. is a peer support mental health site where you can talk to other people who are having difficulty too. No white coats!

author by Gerpublication date Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I feel for the posters who feel there is no one to talk to/turn to.

Here's a very good site. A good place to start...

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