Rethinking Psychiatry, a grassroots activist education group based in Portland, Oregon, is continuing its successful Soteria House Series of online talks. Soteria Houses are non-clinical short-term community residences for people in mental health crisis, usually pathologized as schizophrenia and related mental illness.
Soteria is the Greek word for “deliverance,” and Soteria Houses offer a paradigm-shifting approach to mental health. Rethinking Psychiatry is a strong proponent of the Soteria model, and we believe this program should be available in every community. Currently there is one Soteria House operating in the U.S. and a handful operating in Europe and Israel.
Rethinking Psychiatry has hosted two online presentations in the Soteria House Series to date:
- The first was in November 2020 and was by Voyce Hendrix, a veteran social worker of fifty years, with a wealth of warmth and wisdom. Hendrix helped develop and run the original Soteria House in California, which operated throughout the 70’s and early 80’s.
- Our second online talk, in April 2021, was presented by staff and former residents from Soteria Vermont, the only Soteria House in the U.S. that is still operational.
The original Soteria House produced impressive outcomes and helped many residents recover, a large majority without the use of psychiatric medications, and Soteria Vermont is continuing this work.
The third presentation in this series, “Being With—Stories from Soteria-Alaska” will be held online on May 23rd from 10 AM-Noon Pacific Time. Soteria-Alaska had outcomes consistent with those of the original Soteria. This presentation will be facilitated by Susan Musante, founding director of Soteria-Alaska that was operational from 2009 through 2015. She will be joined by staff, Spencer Ladner and Matt Ladner who will be speaking of their experiences at the house and the challenges of sustaining effective non-medical programs. This will also be an online talk, and people are welcome to attend from around the country and the world.
On June 20, we will host our next talk in the series on Soteria Israel, which has three houses that are active and thriving, and a fourth that is about to open.
Then we will host an online summit on Sundays in August for those interested in learning more about Soteria and similar programs, including people who want to start a Soteria House in their own communities. Get details of how to join the Zoom Soteria Series and the Peer Respite / Soteria Summit at www.RethinkingPsychiatry.org. Click the red button to get announcements of these upcoming events, and the blue button to view recordings of past events on our YouTube channel.
All events are free and open to the public. Contact RethinkingPsychiatry@gmail.com with questions.