Thursday, 27 April 2017

Film Series: Alternative Perspectives

The Western Mass RLC has developed an Alternative Perspectives Film Series with the help and support of several co-sponsors.  This series is intended to bring peoplefilm_camera together to hear about ideas and approaches they may not have heard or had the time to fully explore.  The intent of the series is not to necessarily convince any one person to change their perspective, but rather to create a forum for all of us to talk about and explore different ideas on mental health, psychiatric treatments and diagnosis, human rights and oppression and what it all means to us.
Providers of mental health services, doctors, students, teachers, individuals who have been diagnosed or treated within the mental health system,  emergency room and other hospital staff, police officers and other first responders, family and friends of individuals who have received psychiatric diagnoses and all who have an interest in recovery, hope and healing are welcome and encouraged to attend!  We will be offering Continuing Education Credits whenever possible for each event.


Beyond the Medical Model - November, 2013

The Alternative Perspective Series Presents:

Beyond the Medical Model

with special guest, Robert Whitaker

Beyond The Medical Model
The official film premiere will be held on:
Wednesday, November 20th
4pm to 6:30pm
@ Springfield Technical Community College
Scibelli Hall (Building 2), Room 701/702
(This is the same space where DMH holds its annual legislative breakfast)
Co-sponsored with the Behavioral Health Network and the Mental Health Association
bhn logoMHA logo
A repeat screening will be held on:
Thursday, November 21st
2pm to 4:30pm
@ Advocates
1881 Worcester Road, Framingham
(American Sign Language Interpreters scheduled for this screening) 
Co-sponsored with Advocates, Inc.
 advocates logo 2
Free and open to the public!
Sign-ups requested but not required to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 413.539.5941 x 301.
(Space is limited in some venues and preference will go to those who sign up.)
LCSWLMHC Continuing Ed Credits
Beyond the Medical Model is a 67-minute film by the Western Mass RLC (in collaboration with Digital Eyes Film) examining the impact of a one-model system that has been written so inextricably into our law and language that it has become difficult for many to hear the evidence supporting a much broader take on what we so often call ‘mental illness.’

Read more: Beyond the Medical Model - November, 2013

2013/14 Film Series has Begun!

We are pleased to announce that our Alternative Perspectives Film Series has begun it's second round, thanks in part to a grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.  

community foundation

Films we anticipate including in this round are as listed below:

Continue reading below for specifics on each set of screenings as they are confirmed!

Coming Off Psych Drugs - August, 2013

psychdrugs image larger-150x150

About the film:  

In June of 2012, twenty-three people came together to discuss the subject of coming off psychiatric drugs. We were psychiatric survivors, therapists, mental health consumers, family members, and activists, united by a passion for truth-telling. More than half of us had successfully come off psych drugs, including cocktails of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. What resulted from our three-day gathering was an unforgettable meeting of the minds.

This 75-minute documentary (directed by Daniel Mackler) offers a rare glimpse into the world of coming off psych drugs through the eyes of those who have done it. The film presents, among others, Will Hall, author of the world-renowned “Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs,” Oryx Cohen, director at the National Empowerment Center, Laura Delano, blogger at www.madinamerica.com, and Daniel Hazen, noted psychiatric survivor and human rights activist.

Although this documentary is not medical advice, it intends to offer something even better:  hope. In a world where increasing numbers of people are put on psychiatric drugs every day, where more than 20 percent of Americans already take them, and where so many are told they need to stay on them for life, COMING OFF PSYCH DRUGS offers proof that another way is possible.

There will be five screenings across the state, with filmmaker, Daniel Mackler present at each one to lead a group discussion at the conclusion of each showing.  

Screenings are as follows:

Tuesday, August 20th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm @ the Capitol Theatre, 204 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington

Wednesday, August 21st, 4pm to 6pm @ the RLC's Pittsfield Center, 152 North Street, Suite 230, Pittsfield

Thursday, August 22nd, 4pm to 6pm @ Springfield Technical Community College's Scibelli Hall Theater, Springfield

Friday, August 23rd, 12pm to 2pm @ the Central Mass RLC's Worcester Center, 91 Stafford Street, Worcester

Friday, August 23rd, 5:30pm to 7:30pm @ the RPX, One Osgood Street, Greenfield (right behind the Recover Project and RLC's Greenfield Center)

For a flyer to share, click here!

All screenings are free and open to the public, the space is limited at some of the venues and priority will go to those who sign up by calling 413.539.5941 x 301 or e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We have applied for Continuing Education Credits for Licensed Social Workers and Licensed Mental Health Clinicians.

mackler-photo-1-smaller-243x300About filmmaker, Daniel Mackler:  Daniel is a former therapist and Licensed Social Worker from New York City who now spends much of his time travelling the world and learning about people and approaches in other areas. He is also an author,  a musician and a filmmaker whose previous works include ‘Take These  Broken Wings,’ ‘Healing Homes,’ and ‘Open Dialogue.’  Learn more  about Daniel and his other films at www.wildtruth.net.



Past Film Events: Open Dialogue - July, 2011


About the film:

In the far north of Finland, a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, a group of innovative family therapists have converted the area’s traditional mental health system, which once boasted some of Europe’s poorest outcomes for schizophrenia diagnoses, into one that now gets the best statistical results in the world for first-break psychosis.  They call their approach Open Dialogue.

Their principles, though radical in some ways in this day and age,  are surprisingly simple.  They meet people in crisis immediately and often daily until the crises are resolved.  They avoid hospitalization and its consequential stigma, preferring to meet in the homes of those seeking their services.  And, perhaps most controversially, they avoid the use of anti-psychotic medication wherever possible.

They also work in groups, because they view psychosis as a problem involving relationships.  They include in the treatment process the families and social networks of those seeking their help, and their clinicians work in teams, not as isolated, sole practitioners.  Additionally, their whole approach values the voice of everyone in the process, most especially the person directly in crisis.  And finally, they provide their services, which operate within the context of Finnish socialized medicine, for free.

Open Dialogue, a 74-minute documentary in English featuring Jaako Seikkula, Birgitta Alakare, Robert Whitaker, Mia Kurtti, Paivi Vahtola, and Timo Haaranaiemi, weaves together interviews with psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and journalists to create both a powerful vision of medication-free recovery and a hard-hitting critique of traditional psychiatry.

Read more: Past Film Events: Open Dialogue - July, 2011

Past Film Events: Between the Lines - May, 2011



About the Film:

'Between the Lines' is an award-winning  21-minute, visually lyrical, experimental documentary created by and about women who cut themselves. It explores the gray areas in women's relationships to their bodies in the context of deliberately self-inflicted injury and seeks to negotiate the fine line between self-destructive behavior and self-preserving coping mechanisms.


Read more: Past Film Events: Between the Lines - May, 2011

Past Film Events: Healing Homes - March, 2011



Be one of the first in the world to see this groundbreaking film!

About the Film:

HEALING HOMES, a documentary film on recovery from psychosis (directed by HEALING_HOMES_PHOTO_2 Daniel Mackler of “Take These Broken Wings”), chronicles the work of the Family Care Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden.  The organization, backed by over twenty years of experience, places people who have been failed by traditional psychiatry with host families -- predominately farm families in the Swedish countryside -- as a start for a whole new life journey.  

Host families are chosen not for any psychiatric expertise, but rather, for their compassion, stability, and desire to give back.  People live with these families for upwards of a year or two and become an integral part of a functioning family system.  Workers from the Family Care Foundation also offer individuals intensive psychotherapy and provide host families with intensive supervision.  

HEALING_HOMES_PHOTO_1The Family Care Foundation eschews the use of diagnosis, works within a framework of striving to help people come safely off psychiatric medication, and provides their services, which operate within the context of Swedish socialized medicine, for free.

HEALING HOMES weaves together interviews with farm families, individuals living with them and workers from the Foundation to create both a powerful vision of medication-free recovery and an eye-opening critique of the medical model of psychiatry.


Read more: Past Film Events: Healing Homes - March, 2011


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