Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Will Hall, one of the bright lights in the Survivor-led movement that’s advocating for a change in the way mental illness is defined and treated.  Will has faced his own struggles with madness and speaks to us about the alternative treatment approaches that have worked for him.

Will has trained with Jaakko Seikkula from Finland, who developed Open Dialogue, an innovative approach to acute psychiatric crises. For the last few months we have been interviewing professionals that are a part of a grassroots movement gaining traction here in America. For me, Will gave a human face to the Open Dialogue and Peer-to-Peer movement that I have been hearing so much about.  Will, as a ‘person with lived experience’, is a testament to the effectiveness of these alternative therapies.

In two weeks we will be traveling to the East Coast to interview Mary Olson who has been instrumental in bringing Open Dialogue to the U.S.  It has been very exciting to learn about this grassroots Peer-to-Peer movement and I look forward to focusing more attention on these alternatives to mental health treatment in our film.

8 Responses to “Interview with Will Hall: Recovering from Madness”

  1. Julie Greene

    Hi, this is a wonderful interview and I love this whole site. I just received the link in my e-mail today. I think the two terms, “isolation and sense of powerlessness” are ones that many can relate to, or at least I can! Also, I felt that Will’s point earlier in the video was excellent…”If only others could see that flower,” because in order to get well, it’s so important to break that isolation and find others who have had a similar experience and know you are not alone with it, whatever that experience is, and no matter how bizarre it may seem to you at that moment. I would love to provide a link to your site from mine so my readers, too, can learn for themselves this valuable message, and perhaps comment on my site or yours if they wish. Thanks again, Julie Greene

    • Phil Borges

      Thank you for your comment Julie. Please send a link to your site. We would love to collaborate and cross-post when appropriate!

  2. Paul

    Found your site through the talk you did at TEDxUMKC on “Psychosis or Spiritual Awakening?” which was tweeted by @VoicesUnLtd.

    We have added that talk to the map we are building around the theme of Helping the Distressed Consciousness. In the Page View the New Approaches section is here:

    I hope you find the map interesting. We are based on the East Coast.


  3. Nico Morris

    This is all such an integral part of my life i feel as though I am IN the the sixties (as I grew up I’m 67)I was a loner child in 50’s punk H S and dropped out tuned “in” turned on and quietly freaked out in the “scene” a BUMMER is not a popular hippie thing,by regulating my dosage and exposure to unsupportive groovers (Kzy,etc)I managed to stay “borderline”,years later joined a spiritual community aware of the advanced indigenous style Psy medicine work,and met my pshybreak in controlled loving circumstances..Hence over the 20 years since then,although still technically homeless, unmarried,and mostly non functioning in the paper money world..I am a Teacher,Lover Friend to Many many ,and I would characterize myself as being Happy,Productive,kind, and enjoying my sense of humor,music,art ,dance,..and having a lot to give to a generation growing up with true hopelessness confronting them daily.
    I am immensely grateful for my spiritual community and “Practice” all my prayers are gratitude..I need nothing in this lifetime but the love I have. I pry now that the beauty and spirit of this creation grows and is spread wide through our groups and others until amazingly all the nutcases old an young rise up to their full potential,take a hand and lead the next generation away from shame and into the light of love. Blessings to yall! keep growing it !

  4. Machteld Spuij

    Thank you for you interesting lecture today at Crazywise in Rotterdam. Would like to share one anecdote with you, as a Moroccan friend of me showed signs that looked like a “psychosis”. Here in the Netherlands they had given him Haldol. As he returned to his family in Morocco they’d had the Imam coming, who started to read the Koran. As he did not react on it at all, the Imam told the family to send him to a neurologist. Himself he was upset no-one took the effort to talk with him. I did, but having two little kids, I could not have him around all the time. Well anyway, it was interesting to see how they very easily allow these two different ways of thinking exist together. Keep up your work and thanks for your lecture.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)