WELCOME

Our name, Society of Pillars for Individuals Receiving Involuntary Treatment (SPIRIT) describes our purpose: to share and mobilize knowledge to create pillars with and for those who experience our mental health system, especially those who experience it involuntarily. 

We define involuntary treatment as both mandated psychiatric treatment under the Mental Health Act and police intervention for mental health crises.  Though everyone processes these experiences differently; traumatization is reported almost unanimously. 

Our acronym,  SPIRIT honors the sacred & personal nature of ones own definition of and path to well being.

We aim to create a system-wide shift to evidence-based and holistic practices that foster hope, healing, autonomy & connection, and decrease coercive, top-down approaches. 

MISSION

To create a safe space for individuals who experience involuntary treatment or police intervention for mental health reasons, where discussion of madness, societal factors, root causes, barriers and pathways to wellness can occur.  To support individuals in navigating the current system, while sharing and mobilizing knowledge to create a new system.

VALUES

Self-determination, sharing knowledge, restorative justice, social justice, harm reduction, healing, connection & community.

We honor the language that people use and perceptions people have about their own experiences; in doing so understand that states-of-being exist along a continuum; from chemical variations to expected stress responses stemming from severely traumatic events, a contaminated drug supply, to valid experiences of reality that can be explored and celebrated.

We understand that labels in mental illness and the mental health system can be experienced as oppressions, further marginalizing and isolating people and hindering healing.

We believe trauma and oppression are also frequently diagnosed and treated as pathology in our mental health system causing further marginalization and trauma and hindering healing.

We envision a system where people can heal in a variety of ways in the context of supportive authentic relationships and hope.

WHAT WE DO

All of our interactions are guided by trauma theory and authentic relationships.   This means creating a safe space where individuals can exist without fear of their thoughts and experiences being labeled or pathologized and where people are free to discuss, or not discuss their experiences of marginalization.

Together We:

  • Discuss definitions of well being, share stories.
  • Participate in healing activities as defined by the person healing.
  • Engage in a shared learning process to foster hope and create a foundation for much needed support services and  a new system.
  • Create the foundation for peer-based and community based support systems
  • Support, collaborate and learn with community groups that address systemic issues in recognition that systems of oppression drive people to isolation and marginalization and that social justice, anti-oppressive practice and community connection contributes to wellness.