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Medicating Normal Community Screening

Medicating Normal Community Screening

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  • Fri 15 Oct, 5:30pm – 7:30pm


Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, 286 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch


All Ages

Registration Types:

  • General admission: $0.00

Join Thriving Madly for a community screening of Medicating Normal, a 76-minute documentary film exploring our current mental health care system's reliance on psychiatric drugs to deal with trauma, grief, and distress. There will be an interactive community discussion immediately after the film.
One in five Americans takes commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs daily. While these medications often do provide effective short-term relief for emotional distress, pharmaceutical companies have hidden -- from both doctors and patients -- their dangers and long-term harm. Medicating Normal tells the untold story of the disastrous consequences that can occur when profit-driven medicine intersects with human beings in distress.

The film follows the journeys of five ordinary people whose doctors prescribed psychiatric drugs to help with issues such as stress, mild depression, sleeplessness, grief, etc. They experience serious physical and mental side-effects, as well as lasting neurological damage which results from taking the drugs as prescribed. During the film, prominent psychiatrists and scientific experts explain how these drugs became "mainstream." And they affirm that debilitating side-effects including physiological dependency are common, and yet are not commonly acknowledged.

This conversation is important here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kia Manawanui, the Government's newly released long-term pathway to mental wellbeing claims it’s “approach widens the historic focus on diagnosis and biomedical interventions, enabling us to see people’s needs holistically – in the context of their whānau, communities, cultural identities and socioeconomic circumstances – and provide a more nuanced range of responses (page 27)”. To bring this approach to life we will need to consider differently the role of psychiatric drug use when traversing the hard times of life. Additionally, our communities need to understand the broader picture of psychiatric drug consequences and the impacts their use has on people’s lives long term when entering into conversations about the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.

Our panel includes: Mary O'Hagan, Kelly Pope and Hannah Whittaker-Komatsu and will be convened by Steve Carter. We look forward to a conversation considering what might be possible for our community in the future.

When: Friday, October 15th. Doors open at 5pm, the film starts at 5.30pm sharp. Panel discussion (with pizza!) to begin directly after the screening.

"Medicating Normal dares to challenge prevailing myths about how psychotropic medications work, or fail to, in our ongoing struggle to treat mental illness. It promises to spark a long-overdue national conversation on the growing problem of overprescribing.” - Anna Lembke M.D., psychiatrist, faculty at Stanford University Medical School.

NOTE: When purchasing tickets to this event, if you want to sit with people, please book tickets as a group or email us at Working with Alert Level 2 health measures requires us to consider carefully how we arrange seating layout. We appreciate your patience as we navigate how to do this.

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