Spirituality And Madness

Australia’s recent legalisation to legalise psychedelics for some mental health conditions has really opened a can of worms for the psychiatric fraternity. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) are already calling out in alarm that they are not ready and need more time to figure this all out. What they aren’t yet saying is that they probably never will figure it out unless they are prepared to dramatically rethink some of their ideas. If they ever do that it could a have global impact on the entire field of psychiatry.

Main stream psychiatry is based on what is known as the biomedical model which these days assumes that all mental illness is a brain disease. Psychedelic experiences are therefore considered to just be hallucinations resulting from a brain disorder.

Since ancient times, psychedelics have been used by various cultures to induce mystical or spiritual experiences.  How is the psychiatric fraternity going to get around this conundrum? It is a bit far fetched to administer drugs that are well known to induce mystical/spiritual states and accompany these administrations with practices that are the modern equivalent of ancient spiritual practices while at the same time declaring the results of  these procedures to be a brain disease.

Transpersonal and humanistic psychology dates back to people like Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow and many others who have been saying for a long time that trying to understand and treat mental health without considering the broad term spiritual aspects, doesn’t make a lot of sense. These views have typically been ridiculed and ignored by the biomedically oriented psychiatric fraternity.

Here is an article entitled “When Minds Crack, The Light Might Get In: A Spiritual Perspective on Madness” It was published in Mad in America in 2017 and written by Ron Unger. Ron is one of the unsung hero’s of  the contemporary transpersonal psychology scene.  Click here To read his article

Australia’s Barbaric Mental Health System

Despite sanctions from the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Human Rights Commision, the  terrible way that Australia treats people with serious mental health issues continues unabated. It is not only the patients who are complaining. Many mental health practitioners are also fed up with the patient abuses they witness on a daily basis. Many are leaving their jobs to take up other health care positions while others try to do the best they can under an oppressively, dysfunctional system maintained by a small group of conservative senior bureaucrats with vested interests and a medieval shame and blame mentality. Here is is what one experienced Australian psychiatrist has to say about the situation.  More …

Niall McLaren On Critical Psychiatry

Niall  is a retired Australian psychiatrist with a lifetime of practical clinical experience. He generally takes an adversarial position towards main stream psychiatric practices. While views expressed in his articles are obviously his own, we have read some of his books and many of his publications and generally support what we regard as his common sense approach to mental health.

Subscribe directly to his articles here. If you are in a position to do so, please support his work with a donation that would undoubtedly be appreciated.  

The Ten Day Voyage

This detailed account of a classic psychotic episode nearly 90 years ago casts light on the likely real basis of so called psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This phenomena has been known about for millennium but has evaded contemporary researchers because most have expended their time and energy looking in the wrong places.



It’s Time For Soteria : An Australian Perspective

Soteria community houses have been around for over 50 years and have proven themselves as a gentler, kinder and more effective solution to serious (psychotic) mental health problems than  institutional psychiatric wards and hospitals. These days, Soteria type houses are mostly found in Europe but why not in Australia?

Our article “It’s Time For Soteria:An Australian perspective” was recently published on Mad In America-  Click Here To Read It.

If you would like to be part of the project to help establish Soteria style communities and houses in Australia and are not already a member, click on Join Us (Top Menu) . Then go to the Soteria Community And Houses group in the members only section. 


The Pink Panther Movement represents about 5 Million Australians who at any time are experiencing mental health problems. If you take into account the families and loved ones also affected, the problem becomes astronomical. Refusal of authorities to face the many long outstanding issues around effective treatment and resources is resulting in untold misery and suffering.

This is the place to have your say about these problems. It is also a place for us to try and collectively do something about them as well as building relationships with other wonderfully mad people.

As mad individuals acting alone we typically find ourselves isolated and without a public voice. We are also very vulnerable to those who are all too ready to take advantage of our situation.

 Dealing with mental health problems is difficult enough. We don’t need the additional burden of control freaks who want to treat us like children or worse. We can also do without poor quality, unaffordable or unavailable services as well as laws that deprive us of our human rights, justify institutionalized abuse and believe it or not even condone involuntary archaic practices that  are commonly considered dangerous, ineffective and regarded by some as torture.



There are five practical things we are trying to do about these problems – 

  1. Provide peer support for each other. A fellow panther in need is a panther indeed. 
  2. Peer support includes practical things like helping another panther facing a mental health tribunal hearings  and wanting to challenge it or wanting to transition off  unnecessary, addictive psychiatric medication including involuntary treatment. 
  3. Encourage and support people who have been subjected to significant mental health abuses by governments and/or mental health service providers to join together to initiate legal class actions for damages.
  4. Initiate or support challenges against state and federal laws and government practices where they contravene international laws or policies.
  5. Initiate or support community based peer-to peer programs that have been shown to offer better, gentler, kinder and more affordable alternatives than the existing dysfunctional system


You can help by – 

  • Joining this movement. Every member counts. We need numbers to make our concerns and opinions count.
  • Becoming aware of what is going on and talking to any one who will listen.
  • Have your say online by responding to written articles.
  • Write an article yourself. We will help you polish up what you have written and make it look and sound great. Just remember we need factual information, not adjectives.
  • Helping where you can. This is a voluntary organisation where we try and help each other to the best of our abilities. There are lots of jobs, both large and small that will need doing to keep a movement like this moving along and getting results. Being a supportive friend to another panther can make a huge difference.
  • Whistle blowers are most welcome. We know you’re out there. We will do our best within the limits of the law to keep your identity secret if that is what you want. Please contact us anonymously before sending any information. 

We are not anti-psychiatry, anti-psychology, anti-medication, anti-government or mental illness deniers.

We are opposed to involuntary treatment, involuntary confinement, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including  punishment or  torture in accordance with  the World Health Organisation  (WHO) Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030 and the United Nations  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
We are also opposed to treating human beings who are unfortunate enough to succumb to mental health problems (it can happen to anybody) as sub humans who deserve contempt and abuse, rather than compassionate help and support. 

We are  aware that many people working in mental health services share these concerns but often feel powerless to do much about the current situation.

We support the international Mad Pride movement.  Some of the best and kindest people in the world refer to themselves as mad. Turn your madness into an asset and at the same time, help put a stop to those who think of us or try and treat us as broken or inferior.