Here are some recommended organizations and media to do with mental health/illness / madness etc. If you don't see something here, chances are I do know about it but I am choosing to not recommend it. In my journalistic opinion, a lot of the media we encounter about "mental health" is lacking in scientific basis and also overlooks the humanity of those labeled deviant. This is not a small error. 

Books-wise, this is an intentionally short list; I realize many more books exist on these topics, again most of them I am probably actively not recommending. Here is a piece I wrote for Electric Literature with some books I do recommend. Here's a brief essay I wrote for Powell's blog about all the books "about schizophrenia" I haven't read.

For more about the media's errors when it comes to mental health, please read my long essay published on Mad in America on this topic. 



Especially if you know someone in crisis or are generally invested in these questions because of yourself or a loved one, here are a few good places to start: 

Mad in America – largest radical mental health media organization, founded by journalist Robert Whitaker 

Wildflower Alliance – most robust peer-led alternative mental health care system in US; their website has many excellent resources (formerly Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community/RLC)

Alternatives to Suicide – non-judgmental peer support group series developed by the Wildflower Alliance 

Hearing Voices Network USA – non-judgmental, peer support groups for people who hear voices, see visions or have other "unusual or extreme" experiences; learn more and find a group in your area 

Intervoice – website to locate Hearing Voices groups for those outside the US

MindFreedom – organization devoted to psych survivor liberation and justice

Peer Respites – alternative to psychiatric hospitalization

National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights 

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis

International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry


Madness Radio

Mad in America podcast

My own podcast, Mad Chat



I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi


On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

The Loony-Bin Trip by Kate Millett

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang


& Other Nonfiction, by topic 

Many of these books cover many topics but I've tried to categorize them for your convenience

Care Farming / Green Care
(for an intro, listen to my 99% Invisible story, particularly the last part about Gould Farm) 

Farming for Health: Green-Care Farming Across Europe and the United States of America edited by Jan Hassink and Majken van Dijk (complication of academic papers from a variety of disciplines documenting and analyzing this model) 

Gould Farm: A Life of Sharing by William J. McKee 

Electroshock / ECT

The Electroshock Quotionary compiled by Leonard Roy Frank (download for free)

The History of Shock Treatment edited by Leonard Roy Frank 

Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You To Know about Shock Treatment by Linda Andre

Hearing Voices movement


Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery by Dr. Marius Romme, Dr. Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Dr. Dirk Corstens, Prof. Mervyn Morris, eds.

Young People Hearing Voices by Dr. Sandra Escher and Dr. Marius Romme

Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness by Dr. Gail Hornstein

Mad Pride aka the movement for psych patient civil rights

(for a primer, check out my piece about Britney for The Cut)

We've Been Too PatientVoices from Radical Mental Health, L. D. Green, Kelechi Ubozoh, eds.

On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness by Will Hall

Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry by Dr. Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann, eds.

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Dr. Seth Farber

Talking Back to Psychiatry by Dr. Linda J. Morrison (sociological study of the movement)


Peer Respites

(alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization) 

Peer Respite Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Building and Supporting Peer Respites by Sera Davidow

Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance by Deborah C. Fort, Dr. Loren Mosher, and Voyce Hendrix

Psychiatry & Psychiatric Drugs

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off of Psychiatric Drugs (available for free online)

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform by Robert Whitaker and Dr. Lisa Cosgrove

The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Psychiatry and the Business of Madness: An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting by Dr. Bonnie Burstow

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Dr. Seth Farber

To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann by Dr. Gail Hornstein


(see also Hearing Voices movement)

Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Our Treatment of Psychosis Dr. Paris Williams

My own book



Mindful Occupation: Rising Up without Burning Out (available for free online)

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Suicide (alternatives to) 

Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein



The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk