Extreme Experiences: Mental Illnesses or Dangerous Gifts?

Notes from ISPS UK event, June 2019

Sascha Altman Dubrul, the co- founder of the Icarus Project was doing a tour of the UK doing a series of talks so we invited him to Manchester to speak.  Sascha is a social worker and has worked  setting up peer support initiatives in New York and internationally.

Sascha explored his experiences of being taken in by the mental health system.  He went into the influences into his thinking spending his youth radical political perspectives and the consequent instinct to challenge the idea put forward by the mental health system that he was mentally ill.  After several admissions to hospital he came to the conclusion that he was different in some way and identified this to being sensitive, something he saw as a dangerous gift.  He drew on this to challenge the mainstream ideas about mental health and talked about his experience of setting up the Icarus Project.

Sascha then opened the floor to questions and comments and we had an in-depth discussion with the audience.  People made points from their own experiences of mental distress and professional backgrounds from a variety of perspectives.  The feedback from the event was positive.

Neil Caton, ISPS UK