Liberation forum: The impact of capitalism on mental health

Wednesday, March 13th
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Indianapolis Liberation Center

In 2023, an advisory put out by the U.S. Surgeon General warned of growing trends that mark an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. The advisory acknowledges that there are factors contributing to this epidemic that go beyond individual people’s control and even highlights the need for change across the whole social-ecological model. Such a model includes individual, institutional, community, and policy levels as well as at a federal level. However, there is not one word on capitalism let alone an exploration of its impact on loneliness, isolation, and other mental health concerns. As such we see such analyses of mental health issues such as loneliness as incomplete and seek to fill this gap in our discourse and education by directly conversing about the impacts of capitalism on mental health.

At our March Liberation Forum, we’ll be joined by four panelists speaking from their lived experiences on what it has been like working under the current mental health care system in the United States. Dani Abdullah is the Assistant Director of Circle City Clubhouse helping those experiencing mental illness integrate back into their community such as through vocational rehabilitation and other services. Jonathon Johnson, MA, is a doctoral trainee in clinical psychology and founder of My Mental, a mental health advocacy clothing company. He also manages Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters, non-profit that teaches the Civil Rights and social justice history of South Carolina. Bryce Stockslager, MA, is a doctoral trainee who currently works in community mental health at Jane Pauley in Arlington and is a volunteer with the Indianapolis Liberation Center. Riley Park, MA, is a Master’s level clinician and an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) who is also currently pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis.

The panelists will have a period of time to answer questions prepared to stimulate discussion on the impacts of capitalism on mental health followed by a portion of the night where community members are given the opportunity to ask questions directly to the panelists. Below are just some of the questions we will discuss with our panelists:

  • How is “mental health” conceptualized under capitalism? In what ways does the phrase itself clarify or mystify problems caused by our political/economic system?

  • What are your thoughts on the way “self-care” is used and talked about in our current society? Why do we hear this phrase so much more often than, for example, “community-care.”

  • What could healthcare under a socialist future look like? What examples from past and present socialist projects can we draw on to help us envision that future?

So come out and learn with us as we open this important dialogue by drawing on the experiences of those currently working in the field of mental healthcare. This panel event will be just the first of a two-part event series on mental health and capitalism and we look forward to seeing you there!