INTAR Manifesto 2005

(October 2005)

INTAR believes that the dignity and autonomy of the person in crisis are of the utmost importance, that full recovery from distressing/altered mental states is possible, and that these two convictions should shape the social response. For these reasons, we find established psychiatry and public mental health systems in which many of us work, seek (or have been forced to seek) treatment (for ourselves or our loved ones) and do research, to be deficient. Instead, we seek, and some of us provide, alternative settings where people in crisis can find the care, connectedness, respect, and interventions they need and elect to use. Our backgrounds range widely — from peer/user organizing to biomedicine and psychoanalytic training to Eastern meditative disciplines to family advocacy to academic research. But we are, each of us, committed to building safe spaces and positive relationships, wherein the ordeal presented by extreme states of mind can be met with proven tools and seasoned presence. This includes people who have been through it before and know how to offer the steadfast support needed. As an international network, we undertake to document the effectiveness of such alternatives, to refine and expand their use, and to make them more accessible to people who need them.

(October 2005)

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