National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Entering enemy lines to create change:
Delusion or possibility?

Noel Hunter, Melissa Schroeder & Casadi Marino

Creating change in a dehumanizing and oppressive system requires the collective efforts of many. This panel is comprised of doctoral students of social work and psychology, some of who also identify as survivors/mad and acting as sort of "double agents". Each presenter of this discussion panel is motivated by the desire to create desperately needed change, some having entered the field solely for this purpose. But, the ever-looming question is whether this is, in fact, a realistic possibility or are we only perpetuating the problem? What are the ethical dilemmas of fighting for "patient" rights in a system that actively punishes such efforts? How can we hope to serve the people who are otherwise belittled, shamed, and held captive in the name of "help"? How can we do anything when our efforts and progress are actively thwarted by the system at large? The goal of this panel is to discuss the possibilities of creating change from the inside, of offering a different narrative to those who are at their most vulnerable by attempting to counter the "you-have-a-brain-disease-for-life" doctrine, and, at the same time, of honoring some of our own traumatic experiences at the hands of professionals holding the very same titles as those we seek to obtain. This will be accomplished through active participation and dialogue with attendees.

Link to brief presenter bios:

Noel Hunter
Melissa Schroeder
Casadi Marino