Lit Issue

How to Stay Alive!

At Lakeshore Psychiatric

There has been a huge need in the UofC and greater South Side community for this guide. It brings together in one document all of the existing policies, protocols, and resources that those who have been admitted to Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital have at their disposal, to determine their care and fight for what they want and need. Before it, this information was scattered in many different sources, or else actively hidden by state health officials and university/ hospital administrators who are all caught up in a system in which liability (understood as threat to profit) is more important than providing meaningful care.

This zine was designed to let all of us access the care we need to stay alive in a system that too often excludes our specific wants and needs. What’s brilliant about it, though, is its form. Part bullet-list instructions, part fill-in-the blanks, this zine is twenty-eight pages of questions. Ranging from the pragmatic issues (“Who is going to pay for my mental health?”) to the more intimate (“Who do I want involved in my care? Is where I’m living a place I feel supported, safe, and comfortable in?”), it asks you to define your own mental health, and shows you the tools for getting what you need for your care.

Too often we fail to realize that even though we may not “identify” fully with a thing, that doesn’t mean that thing’s not accessible to us—making your cupcakes vegan just means more people can eat them. is zine is a reminder that crisis can strike anybody, any time, no matter how privileged or how educated. It reminds us too that determining your relationship to your mental health is a process that requires a lot of energy, a lot of dialogue, and a lot of questions. (It also sometimes requires going to the hospital.) (Alex Relihan)

The following four pages are only excerpts from the zine, which can be found in full here. You can also email alexbuckrelihan@gmail.com for a PDF.

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