Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vortex of Mental Illness Map and Kitbag

Detail - From International Futures Forum an update on the old game of Snakes and Ladders. Kudos for this outstanding graphic design, which really help us think about these problems in a new way - to get inside them. Image
See more MacroVu diagrams here
MacroVu/Stanford's map re mental health care mess here

"Vortex of mental illness
December 4th, 2008

You might wonder why Kitbag was first tested at Cornton Vale women’s prison in Scotland.

This came about following a meeting between the governor and me in response to work I had done on improving services for adult survivors of sexual abuse. The prison population has a high percentage of women survivors and the governor was wondering whether there was anything more she could be doing to help them recover from their trauma.

I showed her work the IFF had done in Fife which examined the systemic behaviours that drive people ever deeper into care and custodial services as they slip out of the support of family, friends and community. Bob Horn, an expert in visual language, helped us illustrate our thinking with a mural called the Vortex of Mental Illness. You can link through to it from this post: I would be interested in your views.

When I had a prototype Kitbag to show her, it seemed sensible to return to the prison to see if they woudl be interested in using it with their women. The Head of Care and governor were both keen. They liked its holistic/wellness perspective. With modifications for the prison environment and agreement with mental health nursing staff, we gave three women the kits and worked through each pocket over a year.

We are now planning to expand this work to include more women, using a peer education model.

Margaret Hannah"

Kitbag - what is it?

We think massage, lighting candles and drawing divination cards are fine. However, what people need first to shake their "psychological problems" and "addictions" is correct diagnosis and treatment of their nutritional and other underlying health problems. When we checked we found only one link on nutrition at International Futures Forum.

Here's an earlier post on using nutrition to
get through heroin withdrawal.