Anarchism in Interesting Times
Misshapes, mistakes, misfits
We’d like to go to town but we can’t risk it, oh
‘Cause they just want to keep us out
You could end up with a smack in the mouth
Just for standing out, now, really
Brothers, sisters, can’t you see?
The future’s owned by you and me
There won’t be fighting in the street
They think they’ve got us beat, but revenge is going to be so sweet, oh-oh-oh
It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay2018, the day when employers and states pretend to care about our mental health all the while maintaining the social conditions that give rise to a lot of our mental illnesses. You might have got an email at work to tell you about it.
Your email will probably be the zenith of your employers efforts to mark the day. Maybe you’ll be lucky and get free muffins, but World Mental Health Day, like a lot of state sanctioned days of awareness is part of how they abdicate responsibility for creating misery and perpetuating psychological torture.
Everyday should be world mental health day. We shouldn’t have to work and live under conditions that make us mentally ill anymore than we should have to under those that make us physically ill. Blake’s dark satanic mills, still in existence in some places have been replaced by equally satanic neon lit open plan offices and call centers in the west. The existence of a singular day of ‘awareness’ is a testament to the fact that for the rest of the year, they only care insofar as your mental health isn’t impairing your ability to come to work.
And even then they’ll either eventually knock you off the payroll or bring you before a medical assessor whose job it is to shame you into believing your mental illness is not justification for being off work.
I believe there was a well-being walk out in UCD. Like fantastic, I like a good walk, but this is another tokenistic gesture. They give you some basic information that might help with very mild depression and then leave the rest to you. Pull your socks up there!
In the email we got there’s “5 steps to well-being” which amounts to socialising, exercising, being mindful, education and being active in your community. All healthy enough pursuits but it’s fuck all use if you have severe clinical depression, GAD, PTSD, ADHD, ASD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other condition which impairs your ability to function in societal roles that are geared towards the dominant neurotype.
Not only that but you need the financial means to take some of those steps. If you’re broke and your depression is so bad you can’t get out of bed, the five steps advice is worse than useless.
Here are my five steps to well-being:
1. Free, accessible, comprehensive mental health care.
2. Free meds.
3. Abolish wage labour.
4. Smash the patriarchy and end white supremacy.
5. From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.