Violence, Coercion, or Treatment: A Community Conversation about Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization

Violence, Coercion, or Treatment: A Community Conversation about Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization

Violence, Coercion, or Treatment: A Community Conversation about Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization

In this forum, we will seek to present a balanced discussion about inpatient psychiatric treatment, and provide space for a diversity of voices, opinions, and perspectives from members of the community, acknowledging a diversity of experiences of individuals, and that a “one size fits all” approach is hardly sufficient to provide for the diverse needs and experiences of people facing challenges commonly called “mental illnesses”.

Psychiatry stands unique amongst the medical specialties in its common and routine use of involuntary treatment. Legal protections typically offered to individuals facing involuntary hospitalization and/or medication over objection are often inadequate and insufficient, with judges commonly known to “rubber stamp” a clinician’s request for treatment without giving adequate review and scrutiny to the specifics of the case and whether the standards for “dangerousness” are adequately met.

The actual or perceived coercion entailed in involuntary psychiatric treatment may also undermine establishment of a therapeutic alliance between the patient and the treatment providers, and creates an ethical complication where the clinician is tasked to act as both an agent of the patient and an agent of the State, vested with the parens patriae(the states duty to care for those who can’t care for themselves) and policing powers of the State, and assigned the special capacity to determine presence of mental illness and predict propensity towards dangerousness.

Yet, many individuals have found such interventions quite helpful in their treatment and see them as playing a pivotal – even life-saving role – in aiding their mental health recovery.

This Icarus-NYC meeting will be split into two parts – the first hour will be dedicated to peer support, where members of the community are invited to talk about themselves and their experiences and challenges, with others offering non-judgmental listening and support. The second hour will be devoted to conversation and discussion to this month’s selected topic.


General Breakdown:

our project introduction shared reading of our Community Agreements Introductions Hour 1: Peer support and active listening Hour 2: Community conversation about inpatient hospitalizations Wrap-up and socializing

TRANSPARENCY: Though we are committed to collective liberation and are a mixed race collective, our history has traditionally brought in white, middle class people. In order to protect Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) from tokenization and psychic harm, we as a collective commit to prioritizing the needs of QTPOC in our public events and promoting QTPOC leadership in our collective. We acknowledge the emotional labor that QTPOC may perform in these spaces, which often go unrecognized. Therefore, we want white cisgender people to independently undo racism, gender binarism / sexism, while remaining accountable to QTPOC. We are currently engaging in an ongoing process of integrating these goals internally within our organization, among our mixed race organizers, and within the structuring of our external events. *

ACCESS ISSUES: The space is accessible for wheelchair users but does not have a bathroom for wheelchair users. We use mics to support people who are hard of hearing.

Bluestockings is wheelchair accessible, with no steps or platforms, and wide aisles between shelves. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible. There is a Starbucks two short blocks down the street with an accessible bathroom (at Allen and Delancey). Metered street parking is readily available in the blocks surrounding Bluestockings. Bluestockings is not a scent-free space, but we encourage visitors to please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space.

And then we’ll hang out for a little while and be gone until another month. Make sure to sign-up for the mailing list at the event or email

NYC Icarus FB event

NYC Icarus website

DATE: Sept. 5th, 2018

TIME: 7pm

LOCATION: Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, Manhattan

Hope to see you there! Mad love, Icarus Project NYC