Inner Compass Initiative believes that within each and every person lies an innate wisdom — an “inner compass.” This wisdom helps us navigate the difficulties of being human. For many who have lived out the medical model of “mental illness” and its various pharmaceutical, institutional, legal, and professionalized apparatuses, connection to this inner wisdom can often be forgotten, lost, or taken away. Our mission is to help people find their way back to this inner compass, so they can take fresh steps into a new future based on that wisdom.
Inner Compass Exchange is a new initiative of ICI that provides space for us to support one another, organize virtual and in-person groups and events, and engage in conversation about the immediate and longer-term questions, concerns, and challenges that arise from taking or coming off psychiatric drugs, receiving psychiatric diagnoses, or otherwise engaging with the mental health industry.
Inner Compass Exchange welcomes individuals at any stage of psychiatric drug withdrawal (from people currently on psychiatric drugs who are only considering coming off them, to people who’ve been off them for many years), along with their family members and the critically-minded practitioners looking to better support them. More broadly, we also welcome anyone thinking critically about and grappling with the problems of today’s mental health system.
This group, however, is not for everyone. If you are someone who currently, firmly believes in any of the below statements with no interest in questioning or rethinking them, we ask that you not join at this time and instead consider exploring the Learn/Unlearn section of the Inner Compass Initiative website:
Additionally, no one under the age of 18 may join Inner Compass Exchange.
By joining and continuing to participate in the community at Inner Compass Exchange, you agree to abide by the following guidelines, and you understand that if you violate the guidelines, your content will be automatically removed with or without explanation and/or you may be dismissed from the group:
I agree to sign up using at least my first name and last initial, and that fully anonymous profiles are not allowed in this community for security reasons and to protect the integrity of the community.
I understand that nothing shared in this community should be taken as medical advice, and that group admins and members do not claim to be medical professionals.
I understand that Inner Compass Initiative is not anti-doctors or anti-medication, but pro-informed choice.
I understand that it is up to me to always ask questions, do my own research, be my own advocate, and consult with trusted family members or practitioners before making health-related decisions for myself.
I respect the principles of confidentiality and agree not to share anything posted inside Inner Compass Exchange outside of the group.
I understand that different people arrive at critical perspectives on all things “mental health” on different timelines, in different ways, from different backgrounds, and accompanied by different experiences, resources, opportunities, and belief systems. I pledge to treat all members of Inner Compass Exchange with respect, care, compassion, and understanding, and to meet all members wherever they may be on their personal journey with patience and empathy - just as I hope and expect for the same from them in return.
I agree to not post questions asking for direct advice about my personal circumstances regarding psychiatric medications and other medical or psychiatric treatments, whether it be in relation to taking or coming off them. I understand that I am free to ask other people about what choices they've made in similar circumstances instead, and that if I do post a question asking for specific advice about my own personal circumstances, it will be deleted. I understand that if I continue to ask these types of questions, I may be removed from the group.
When engaging with other community members, I will speak only from personal experience (e.g. “I did this and this is what happened” or, “This is what I would do if it were me”) and will refrain from giving direct/prescriptive advice or suggestions, or guaranteeing specific outcomes (e.g., “You should do this” or “If you do X, Y will happen”). I understand that if I do give prescriptive advice, it may deleted, and that if I continue to offer prescriptive advice, I may be removed from the group.
I will not make specific, direct recommendations that others start taking supplements, prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, or any kind of psychoactive substance. I understand that the central nervous systems of many people who are on/coming off/off psychiatric drugs are highly sensitized, and that various supplements, drugs, and substances can be destabilizing.
I understand that anything I post that the ICI Team deems to be factually inaccurate, risky, or dangerous regarding pharmaceuticals or other interventions may be deleted.
I will not ask other members to share medications, or offer to share medications with other members, nor will I post about illegally obtaining medications or drugs via online sources.
I will not use Inner Compass Exchange to promote my or any other professional, consulting, commercial, political, or religious services or organizations, nor will I promote paid products, services, treatments, practitioners, facilities, or programs of any kind.
I will hold space for a wide variety of political and sociocultural viewpoints and perspectives with intention and vigor, and will respect the right of others to have perspectives with which I disagree. I am responsible for managing my own thoughts and emotions in the face of opinions or ideas I find problematic or offensive, and if I choose to respond, I will keep it about ideas, not people. I can expect the same from others here.
I understand that admins reserve the right to remove me or anything that I might post in the group with or without cause or explanation. I understand that this Pledge may be amended at any time.