‘How Can We Spread the News?’ by Kjetil Mellingen

kjmelliGreat article from Mad in America with excellent discussion.

‘Ever since I read Mad in America and later Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, I have been wondering how to spread this knowledge to the masses and how to do this in a way that will make a difference to as many people as possible.

I used to teach creativity and brainstorming to corporations, and I would like to use the brain force of the MIA readers to find out new ways of influencing as many as possible with our message. In creativity research it has been shown that it is important to not be critical of your ideas in the early stages. Anything you can think of may be valuable, even if it seems crazy in the beginning. Often  the craziest ideas can bring the best results.

These ideas are called stepping stones. Just write them down, share them, and often you or others will see a practical modification of the idea that may actually be used.

Another principle is to just try out associations with any word and your task. You could associate mountain and spreading information on alternatives to psychiatry.

Maybe you will get the idea of spreading flyers in the wind from a high mountain. This would be a typical stepping stone that would have to be reworked into something more practical, but it is an original starting point.

Just pairing with, e.g. cats, could get the idea of making a humoristic YouTube video where the cat is against using antidepressants. Many YouTube videos actually have a creative commons license and may be modified with a funny soundtrack.

I would like to challenge the whole MIA community to come with crazy suggestions, stepping stones. Just do word associations from a dictionary and present the ideas. If you have a thought of working the crazy idea into something useful, please present it, but don’t hide the crazy idea. Others may find practical uses based on it.

Submit the ideas as comments, and build on each other’s ideas by commenting. If you don’t want to present it publicly, send me an email at kjmelli@online.no.

The following will be some of my ideas

I discovered one of the more creative ways some weeks ago: Make a hit radio station with my own voice messages. I made one quite quickly on a site called radionomy.com. This site lets you choose the music you like from their built-in library. You can check it out here.

Or go to radionomy.com and search for “psychology.”

The station is now playing non-stop for anyone who wants to listen in any country, and it will continue to play until I delete it.

I chose to take only the greatest hits with the biggest artists, in order to get the maximum number  of listeners. You can listen to it on your computer or download an app so you can have it streaming on your mobile 24/7. The only other station tagged with “psychiatry” is Psychiatry Online. I have not heard a single audio message on their site yet, so they may just be keeping the station for future use.

It may seems too good to be true to be able to make a radio station, but it is now also possible to publish your own book on Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book, for free. Actually you get 70% of the selling price as royalty. Suggested price is $5.99, if you want to sell all over the world, which means that you make $4.20 for each book you sell. Imagine selling 10,000 books and getting a transfer of $42,000 into your account! It is as easy as uploading a file. You can check out my book (under the alias of Nils Nilsen) here.

Once you have made a radio station or a book, you will need to spread the word about it, and Chaya Grossberg has an excellent blog on this site about actively networking to spread the message on Facebook , Twitter etc.

Normal blogging is an excellent way of spreading the news, but one problem may be that many have neither time nor attention span to read them.  Among young people – the group that may be “saved” from the negative effects of psychiatry – many are not used to reading long blogs, and often the language in typical psychiatry-related posts is too complex. Many  may need to hear or see the message, preferably in short segments that can stimulate their often excellent information-searching and networking skills.

So what would be the ideal medium for spreading information to this group? If you want the message to be heard by over a hundred million people, the answer is clear: viral YouTube videos. These videos are typically humorous, often with animals or babies. I have modified one of the more popular videos with over 154 million views. I cannot post it on YouTube since they don’t allow modifications of other‘s videos, but you may look at it privately here.

If you are satisfied with getting the message to around 10 million young people, the choice would be to get it said through one of the popular youtubers who have up to 10 million subscribers.

Another possibility would be to get something published in Huffington post, which has a monthly hit rate of around 80 million. Comments in New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian are also read by many.  The first comments on blog postings by big authors like Allen Francis may be read by thousands.

The way to finding big postings to respond to is to put the google’s settings to last 24 hours and search for, e.g., Huffington +antidepressants + comments

For the daring, a trip on the NAMI group on linkedin.com could be interesting. This groups has over 10 000 members. A critical blog post usually attracts many comments. And it is fun to discuss with people who have such opposite views of the MIA authors.

It is often frustrating to see all the misinformation being spread by the commercial machine of Big Pharma, but we can make a difference. If all readers of MIA tried to write comments whenever the big sites discussed psychiatry, the message would reach thousands.

If  some creative individuals made interesting videos on youtube, some made radio stations, some wrote books and the rest of us used our connections to spread the links on facebook, linkedin, twitter, pinterest and all the other social networks, the message could be spread all over the world. This could improve  the quality of life for literally millions and would probably save thousands of lives.

I have a dream…

I have a dream that one day the whole world will know the truth about psychiatric treatment and be able to make informed decisions about what kind of treatment they want. The following are a few dream scenarios that may make this happen:

  1. The big movie producers make films with the topic of psychiatric treatment gone wrong. There is plenty of dramatic plots that could easily be made into films that really touch people.
  2. Knowledge about psychiatric treatments, both positive and negative becomes a part of what children learn in school.
  3. Psychiatric topics go as viral as kittens and babies to inform the younger generations of the dangers.
  4. Insurance companies and government realize that they are losing enormous sums to the pharmaceutical industries.
  5. Survivors are involved in massive peer counseling to compensate for the shortage of non-medical treatments.

All of this may be made possible by involvement and creativity in MIA. If only one person spreads the news to at least 2 persons who spread it onward, one per day,  we would cover the world’s population in 32 days. If all the readers of this post do the same, we would save 9 days…

So get going!  Comment with your craziest ideas, let’s have some fun, spread this on all the social networks so we can have ideas from others too!’