I got a deadline, so I will write this.
I will ignite a passion if it is lit.
I will try it.
It’s not there. I know I will write it.
I will find it.
So, I can ignite us.

Let’s talk for a second,
’cause I have a platform to do it.
The system is broken,
the mental health division.
I am trying to improve it.
You can get behind me.
Here are a few ways to do it.

Get behind your local peer movement.
If you don’t know what it is, learn about it.
Read Psychiatric Survivor news outlets,
If there are petitions about ending imprisonment
and forced treatment,
learn about it and sign them.

If your friend is having a hard time hearing voices
or is in an altered state, respect it.
Be curious, and if you can relate, then relate.

Don’t turn away from people when they are
in the midst of madness. Use understanding
and a trauma-informed lens.
Get behind them.
If you aren’t person-centered,
and you have a chance to be,
then do it.
If you don’t know what that means, that means:
when you speak,
if you put an illness before me,
don’t do it.
I am not Bipolar, or schizoaffective.
That was a selected diagnosis
by a misdirected prescription pusher,
who instead of listening with a trauma-informed lens
decided to push meds on me, twenty years ago.
Now, just now, am I hearing other options.

If there is a chance to change the perspective
around someone who is stuck
in the disease model,
who prefers the prescription bottle,
or the hospital, talk to them.
It’s you and I, and everyone else.
We need to change the system,
end forced institutionalism,
’cause when I am in an altered state,
I want another option
then restraint and hospitalization.
I am more than just a patient,

not just someone in your
medication line.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His third book, Train of Thought 2: Almost Home will be available soon.