I am an artist, writer, and mental healthcare professional. In my professional life, I have sought to engage with mental healthcare practices and theories of harm reduction, community building, and healing justice. Simultaneously, I hold in mind and practice the realities and limitations of individualized care and the non-profit industrial complex in a capitalist, white supremacist, heteropatriarchal, ableist, colonialist, militarized, carceral society.  A recent graduate of Vassar College, I designed my own major, titled "Drug Policy and Community Psychology" which explored substance use and mental health from a psychosocial perspective, incorporating sociological and political analyses to broaden individualized, clinical paradigms of psychology and medicine.

Through my art and writing, I am interested in articulating contemporary experiences of 'mental health,' understanding medical explanations as far too limited and slow to articulate lived experiences in a timely and thorough manner. My worldview is informed by critical psychological perspectives that the psychological is not limited to — or even primarily directed by — inner exploration, but is rather situated within historical, political, and sociological forces and events. I am inspired and guided by the project of a psychosocial framework of mental health and political praxis that seeks to unite psychology and sociology, theory and practice. Of particular interest to me are the paradoxical capacities of mental health, as a liberatory tool for collective organizing and coalition-building versus an oppressive tool for social control and justification of emotional sympathies for privileged discomfort.

Concerns of accessibility, embodiment, social isolation, community, and political practicality remain at the forefront of my inquiries into critical theory. Resisting esoteric language (yet admittedly succumbing to it at times), I seek to balance information intake with introspective investigation of the embodied, felt experience of engaging with dense material. In my work I particularly seek to grapple with the public feeling of ‘political depression.’ Coined by Feel Tank Chicago, political depression is defined by Ann Cvetkovich in her book, Depression: a public feeeling, as “the sense that customary forms of political response, including direct action and critical analysis, are no longer working either to change the world or to make us feel better” (p. 1).

Photography by Sabrina Sellers