Mental Podcast Show

In southern California I ran a yarn shop, Happy Hookers, and later, in northern California, a drop in center, The Mental Health Client Action Network for the neurologically diverse and frequently homeless. People came to the needlework shop to knit for the pending birth of babies, for crocheted bikinis and for something to do while they sat with the dying. While the south still called a psychotic break with reality a “nervous breakdown,” best kept in the backroom, Californians proudly wore sweat shirts that said “I graduated with a brain chip from UCLA Hospital.” I joined Psychiatric Inmates Rights Collective carrying signs that read “Housing, not Haldol” and became fascinated by the rhyming “word salad” of the so-called “seriously and persistently mentally ill (SPMI)” who were “likely to deteriorate.” While working full time, I have published prose and poetry in 43 mostly small, low circulation journals, magazines, and anthologies, one mimeographed. …

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