Mental Health and Carving Space Out of Capitalism

By A. Iwasa

Last year while interning at the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community, I got into a phone conversation with The Eggplant about the many contradictions in trying to carve space out of capitalism where you don’t have to interact with money.

These sort of spaces vary widely, and having met The Eggplant in the Long Haul Infoshop, where our office is also located, and having also spent a fair amount of time together in People’s Park, we had a great deal to compare and contrast from our personal experiences.  As our conversation went on, he asked if I would consider writing an article about dealing with mental health crisis situations in a free space where we don’t, or in the Catholic Worker’s case, at least try not to rely on the state.  Though I knew the value of such an article, I was instantly stumped as to how to go about writing it without airing too much dirty laundry, and how helpful such an article by me would actually be.

As some of these things go, I ended up just pondering more questions as I proceeded.  I’ve had a many good conversations with various people from a number of projects and have come to the conclusion that a call for submissions for people to share stories in the pages of Slingshot on the topic of dealing with mental health crisis situations without reliance on the state might be the best way to move forward.  If you have something to share, please get in touch!