Dreams from the 1999 THEMHS conference

New Paradigm is published by VICSERV which is the peak body for Non-government Psychiatric Disability Support Services in Victoria. These dreams were collected et the annual THEMHS conference in September 1999. This conference was attended by workers and consumers of mental health services from all over Australia and New Zealand. People were invited to write their dreams down on cards which were then displayed in the main meals area so that everyone could read one another's dreams: individual dreams, and collective dreams that could somehow have a life of their own - for isn't that what helps to transform dream into reality? We ought never underestimate the force of our dreams ...

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To make a difference, be it big or be it small, to someone's life.

In my life – peace, love, understanding. At work – strength of my connections and
             the ability to get others to follow or taken on board some of my dreams.
             Hmmmm… To have the time to slow down and hear and see the world as it passes! …

To go parachute jumping. To be able to function well without medication.
             To have children. To give up smoking.

To help myself and others overcome mental illness.

To be authentic. To have meaning. To get away for a long time or
             spending real time with my children.

To be cured of my mental illness. To continue to improve my quality of life in the
             meantime. To bridge the gulf between consumers and psychiatrists.

To be still. To experience. To have fun. To assist. To learn. To love.
             To understand. To feel and participate in fun activities and open myself up to
             fun / happiness in the future.

I dream about being accepted for who I am and not the person
             for who people strive me to be.

To live life creating adventures with joy & compassion. To make light of my own &
             other's rules. See each day with its possibilities & opportunities to extend and
             create more of whatever. To live in love. That flora, fauna &
             people respect & are respected.

To be able to celebrate me without fear of condemnation, judgments or
             recriminations. To be laughed, cried with and not at.

To be happy with myself and to work and meet with other people who are happy with
             themselves. To understand better what makes things and people the way they are.

To sing. To heal & give pleasure with my voice.

To be more perceptive in locating the truth, beauty and wonder
             of the world every day.

That both Consumers and Practitioners (healers) can walk the path, (the journey
             from darkness & despair) together, respecting and valuing the uniqueness of all
             divine beings. Compassion & reverence for all life. This is my "DREAM".

To be able to work in harmony with consumers. To collaborate with other services
             and share knowledge. To be good at what I do.

Rage against the machine.

To grow old with my family, to watch my children grow happily and their children.

To dance as if no one is watching

That everyone's song be heard.

I would like to see a time when "Care of the Soul" becomes as important as
             Care of the Mind and Care of the Body.

As a worker, we could have more time to provide and share more
             compassion and care.

Me – to see true healing which can only come from the
             spiritual dimension of reality

There were literally hundreds more ... and I may transcribe them if i remember - if not, send me an email.

Interesting - I open it for first time in ages - adevertises a resource kit published by the Uniting Church - what is mental illness - what helps most in recovery - questions carers ask - suggestions for how to respond to unfamiliar behaviour - plus an excellent cartoon -

"In each of us there is ...
an angel
a whinger
a genius
a manager
a Baron
a bore
a checkout chic
an invalid
a nail-biter
a nose-picker
an old woman
a confused uncle
a gambler
a racist
a princess
a runner
a sister
a doubter
a diabetic
a super hero
a crier
a winner
a singer
a little garden gnome

May we recognise ourself in others and the others in ourself

Love your neighbour as yourself

Order - $10 & $5 postage - Uniting Church in Australia, 130 Little Collins St, Melbourne, 3000

More dreams -

    This morning I dreamed I needed a spirit level. How true.

    To mature with knowledge and grace. To help and pass onto others what I learn
         with love and compassion.

    To be surrounded by people I love.

    To be free from judgement.

    To have people recognise that the greatest thrill in a fellow human being's life
         is to see another person smile and be content rather than the acquirement of
         a fast car, a great condo and the next jackpot in the lottery.

    It's not them or us. It's we. The two birds, the collective song, the dialogue.
         All of us in a song of life, like some chaotic orchestra, eventually finding its own
         rhythm, soaring ... And, if I dream that i can fly, it is wonderful.

    My Dream is inspired by the Native American Indians who believe psychosis is
         when a person talks with the spirits and becomes a sacred person ...

    Consumers continue to have dreams and assist Mental Health

    PEACE - Inner - National - International - Cultural - Spiritual - Self -
         Political - Social - Global

    A "level playing field" - where the "well"/"unwell" have space and are
         encouraged to thrive, interact and grow spiritually to their full potential.

    My dream is that one day mental health care is truly integrated into community based
         care that does NOT involve psychiatrists as the primary decision maker & authority
         holder. I dream that one day we will judge the humaneness of our society by
         how we treat the mentally ill.

    For best practice to be standard practice everywhere.

    To reclaim the parts of my spirit & soul that have been taken by the
         mental health profession.

    People working for harmony & human rights & justice. Heart-based practice.

    My dream is to find the peace and love and calm within myself and be able to
         use that to give hope and clear atention to those I work with.

    I dream of living in a role of being able to help others in their pursuit of happiness.

    To simply see people with a mental illness to smile and for people smiling back.

    That every person who becomes mentally ill is rightly given all the time, care and
         attention that is necessary to restore their well-being and return to the community
         a better person for their experience.

    That we should no longer think of anyone as "them". That love should stop being an
         unacceptable idea and become how we relate always. That generosity of spirit
         underpin decision making.

    To live in a world where people really do look after each other, honour life in all its
          forms. To live in a world where children are cherished and elders respected.
          To love and be loved. To read & learn & create things.

    That everyone's song be heard.

    That all humans would recognise our connection to the connection between all
          living things, and treat every living thing with respect. That we ask our native
          indigenous people to teach us about this.

    My dream is for peace. Peace in ourselves and amongst ourselves, Peace of mind for
          everyone that they will be accepted for themselves.

    To appreciate beauty and to feel the sacred (Life's Prayer)

    That we are all able to "follow the bliss".

    For deeper appreciation of the fullness of the human mind and spirit by those
          charged with guiding us through undesired states and the resources to enable this.
          Consumers reclaiming the fullness of life. A society that creates more mental health.

    To be treated as an equal human person - respect & dignity. To not lose any more
          friends un-necessarily. To not have to fight continually to protect my own and
          other's rights.

    To live in a world where the word "normal" disappears from our language.

    May all beings be free from greed, hatred and decision. May all beings be filled
          with loving-kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity. May all beings be happy.
          May all beings be free from suffering and may peace prevail in the world.

    That I, or anyone, can say "I jus have a mental illness" and it is accepted, and will
          not incur any repurcussion, and that there is no stigma attached.

    For all children to feel love and a sense of security.

    That people evolve to love more and fear less - to speak with love for the other
          or not to speak.

    For everyone to know God and his love, forgiveness and truth. For everyone to
          feel loved and connected.

    "That man to man the whole world over shall brothers be - for all that".
          That aboriginal people can again "walk tall" in their own land.

    I dream of a world where the word AGGRESSION will have no meaning
          and it won't appear in the dictionary.

    That people be prepared to open up their hearts and be touched by the
          experiences of those affected by social injustice in all its manifestations.

To dance as if no one is watching - the story behind the dreams by Cath Roper & Susan Rowland

Read some of the dreams at VICSERV site

Cover of the issue of New Paradigm, which just happened to include 'My Ideal day program'

Some excerpts from New Paradigm for June 2000. It addressed the complex question of "What is mental illness? What is Mental Health?"

C  J  '

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