Announcing Our Upcoming Pilot Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Webinar for TWP Connect Members!
Are you a TWP Connect member struggling in some way with the question of whether to come off, stay on, or even go back on psychiatric drugs? This free pilot webinar is geared for you.
Withdrawing from psychiatric drugs can be a confusing, terrifying, overwhelming experience. Often, people find themselves largely alone with the decision, unsupported by those around them, misunderstood by loved ones with the best of intentions, or even criticized by prescribers who say that the decision to come off is unwise or even outright dangerous. Many yearn for a sense of connection with others who’ve “been there”—people who can share their own experiences with coming off medications, offer insights about what they’ve learned along the way, and provide a much-needed sense of validation, inspiration, and hope.
It’s for this reason that we built TWP Connect—our free networking platform to help individuals at all stages of the medication withdrawal journey find each other in their local communities. It’s for this reason, as well, that we’ve decided to pilot a Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Webinar for our TWP Connect members on Saturday, November 9th called, “To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw: Psychiatric Drugs and the Deep Questions About Ourselves.” We’ve seen a huge demand within our growing community at TWP Connect for information and conversation about psychiatric medication withdrawal and the many meaningful issues with which it intersects. For this reason, this webinar is open specifically to all of our TWP Connect members (if you’re not yet a member and would like to be, you can join here!). This particular webinar is especially geared towards members who are currently on psychiatric medications and grappling with the question of withdrawal. Perhaps you’re one of them, and you find yourself unsure of whether it’s the right decision for you. Afraid of what might happen as you withdraw. Distrusting of yourself “off meds”—or even utterly unclear about who that “self” might even be. Or, perhaps you are already in the midst of withdrawing, or are already fully off your meds, and are struggling with the notion of whether you should go back on them. If you find yourself grappling with questions of identity in the context of taking and coming off psychiatric drugs, this webinar will feel relevant for you.
The webinar will feature TWP co-founders and host panelists Laura Delano and Nicole Lamberson, along with two guest panelists, Steven Morgan and Bianca Gutman (you can learn more about each of our presenters below). Over the course of two hours, they’ll share about their experiences going on medications, why they began to think about the notion of withdrawing from them, and the many emotions and challenges they navigated along the way. At the end, there will be a moderated Q&A with the audience. If you’re already a TWP Connect member, please register for the webinar today— we hope to see you there! And if you’re interested in attending the webinar—or know someone who might be—but aren't yet a member of TWP Connect, you can join here.
If you have any questions about TWP Connect membership or this pilot webinar, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. More details below!
Please help us spread the word by downloading and sharing this PDF flyer across your withdrawal networks!
What: A pilot webinar called, "To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw: Psychiatric Drugs and the Deep Questions About Ourselves" that will explore questions of identity in the context of taking and coming off psychiatric drugs
Who: This webinar is for existing TWP Connect members. To join TWP Connect, click here. (Only panelists will be seen on video and heard through audio; attendees will be "invisible".)
When: Saturday, November 9th, 2019 from 1-3PM EST (New York City time)
Where: On Zoom
How: TWP Connect members can register for the webinar here.
Laura Delano (Founder and Executive Director, Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project)
Laura Delano is a founder and the Executive Director of Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project. She spent her teens and twenties as a patient in the mental health system, and left the system behind in 2010. Through her work as a writer, speaker, and facilitator, she helps people make more informed choices about taking and coming off psychiatric drugs, psychiatric diagnoses, and the mental health system. You can find her at www.LauraDelano.com.
Nicole Lamberson (Co-founder, The Withdrawal Project)
Nicole is a Physician Assistant residing in Virginia. She obtained a BS at James Madison University in 2000 and then went on to complete the Master of Physician Assistant program at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2004. She practiced in an Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine setting until severe iatrogenic illness from psychiatric drug withdrawal and neurotoxicity left her unable to work. Unable to continue working and still very sick from the protracted medication-induced neurological disruption, Nicole has spent the last decade studying—both psychiatric drugs, themselves, and how to manage withdrawing from them safely. She has found a deep sense of life purpose in working for The Withdrawal Project as well as for other similar awareness, activism, and support projects to include volunteering for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day and serving on the medical advisory board of the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition.
Steven Morgan (Operations Manager, Intentional Peer Support)
Steven has worked in peer support since 2005. He was originally trained as a Georgia Certified Peer Specialist and worked in traditional service agencies, where he became intimately familiar with the difficulties of practicing peer support within a medical model. This led to an interest in developing alternative supports, so in Vermont he helped create a peer-run respite, was Executive Director for four years of a peer-run agency called Another Way, and finally became project developer for Soteria-Vermont. Steven has provided many trainings in systems change at both a local and national level, and has served on several Boards of Directors for peer support organizations. In 2013, he joined Intentional Peer Support as a lead trainer and Operations Manager with a passion for creating instruments of social change, a love of organizational development, and a belief in the transformative power of community. On full moons, he enjoys writing, playing music, woodworking, and taking long walks.
Bianca Gutman is a 24- year old from Montreal, Canada. For the past five years, she worked at an elementary school as an educator’s assistant. At the age of 13, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She was prescribed several different psychiatric medications with little to no informed consent. The next ten years were filled with constant depression and anxiety, daily thoughts of suicide, visits to psychiatrists, psych wards and therapy sessions. More often than not, as her symptoms grew in severity, her dosages of medication were increased. In 2016 she had a profound realization concerning the possible relation between her continuous suffering and her psychiatric medication history. Unable to find any credible information online about the possible correlation between the two, she scoured the internet and connected with Laura Delano. Since 2016, she has been able to successfully taper down her SSRI medication from 40mg/a day to 4mg/a day with the incredible help and support of her parents. She is no longer under the “care” of the psychiatric system and has started carving a life for herself, detaching from the mental patient narrative and reconnecting to herself and the world around her. Bianca plans to come off of the medication completely. She has been drawing, painting, taking photos and writing throughout her entire life and continues to create art every day.