What is TWP Connect?
TWP Connect is a free online platform created by and for people who are thinking about, in the process of, or have past experiences with partially reducing or fully coming off psychiatric drugs. While it's always optimal to be working collaboratively with a licensed health practitioner who is well-informed about safe and responsible psychiatric drug tapering, it's also helpful to get the input and support of people who have been through or are going through withdrawal themselves—TWP Connect helps us find and connect with each other online and in-person. Members can search for each other based on geographic locations, personal experiences with psychiatric drugs and drug withdrawal, and common interests. Members can then choose to meet in person, cultivate new friendships, share tips or offer guidance for the withdrawal journey, exchange mutual support, set up withdrawal-related support groups or public events, establish crisis networks, or organize withdrawal-related advocacy and activism—and most importantly, we can provide one another with inspiration and hope.
- Click here to join us! (Existing ICI Connect members who want to join TWP Connect should log in first and click the “TWP Connect” tab under “My Account”.)
- Interested but want to learn more first? Please read on below!
- Are you a family member or friend of someone who is in the process of reducing or coming off psychiatric drugs and you’re looking to connect with and get support from other family members or friends on the same journey? Or are you simply interested in connecting with other people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who are questioning the mental health system? Then ICI Connect is for you.
Why should I join?
- If you are seeking support, guidance, and hope on the withdrawal journey… Or if you are willing and able to offer support, guidance, and hope to others who are considering or beginning the withdrawal journey…
- If you are feeling silenced, invalidated, and dismissed by those around you who refuse to acknowledge that your psychiatric drug withdrawal symptoms are real…
- If you are worried, concerned, or even outraged by the impact that psychiatric drugs have had on your life and on the lives of your fellows, and you want to take action, organize, strategize, and make change happen…
- If you feel healed from psychiatric drugs and want to share with others the first-hand knowledge that “it gets better”, or if you’re yearning to be reassured of this by others…
- If you want to help create opportunities and spaces in your community for people in psychiatric drug withdrawal to get together in person for mutual support, discussions, shared learning, and inspiration…
…then TWP Connect is for you.
Your voice matters. Your struggles are real. And the wisdom you’ve gained along the psychiatric drug withdrawal journey—no matter how painful, scary, confusing, and overwhelming it may sometimes feel —is valuable beyond measure. Come share your story and your voice with others at TWP Connect.
Who is TWP Connect for and not for?
TWP Connect is open to people who are at any stage of their psychiatric drug withdrawal journey. This includes people who are taking psychiatric drugs and simply considering the possibility of partially reducing or fully coming off them, people who are taking psychiatric drugs and have already chosen to partially reduce or fully come off them, people who have already begun to partially reduce or fully come off psychiatric drugs, and people who have already finished partially reducing or fully coming off psychiatric drugs and feel anywhere on the spectrum of 'fully unhealed' to 'fully healed' from their reduction or withdrawal experiences.
With that said, it’s essential to us at Inner Compass Initiative and The Withdrawal Project that we create a safe, respectful, validating, understanding, compassionate and supportive environment at TWP Connect. In order to do this, we’ve developed some community values that are important to us. If you firmly believe any of the following statements, we ask that you not register for TWP Connect at this time.
- “Forcibly giving people psychiatric drugs against their wills is sometimes necessary for their own good.”
- “It is offensive, irresponsible, and even dangerous when people publicly challenge the safety and effectiveness of psychiatric drugs."
- “Anyone who feels harmed by psychiatric drugs or who experiences symptoms of withdrawal upon trying to come off them must have been using them "inappropriately", “abusing” them, or an “addict”.”
- “Licensed medical or clinical professionals are the only people who should speak about general approaches to safe and responsible psychiatric drug tapering.”
If you firmly believe in one or more of the above statements, we respectfully ask that you not join TWP Connect at this time, and instead we encourage you to spend some time exploring the information resources we offer in The Withdrawal Project’s Learn section and at Inner Compass Initiative.
How does TWP Connect work?
Every member of TWP Connect chooses a username and completes a profile that indicates where they are located, their main interests in connecting with others, and some details about their experiences with psychiatric drugs and psychiatric drug withdrawal. TWP Connect is accessible and visible only to registered members, and you do not have to share any personally identifying information if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. Members can search for each other in one or a combination of three ways:
- Geographic location
- Particular psychiatric drug experiences (such as the number of years on, methods of coming off, etc.)
- Common interests (such as receiving or offering mutual support or organizing withdrawal-related events).
Members can contact each other privately by means of a contact form. When you choose to contact a member by clicking the member’s “Contact” button and completing the contact form, your message and the email address that you provided during TWP Connect registration will be automatically routed to that member’s personal email inbox. After that, the member who receives your message can choose to email you directly at your email address. (When you contact another member, your email address is revealed to them. When another member contacts you, your email address remains unknown to them, unless you choose to reply.)
At this time, TWP Connect is not a fully developed social media platform. Though it does facilitate online communication, the main purpose and function of TWP Connect is to help people at various stages of the withdrawal journey find each other in their own local communities, cities, states, or regions for withdrawal-related in-person meet-ups, organizing, support, and community building. However, TWP Connect is currently a pilot project – with our members’ participation and feedback, we will be actively seeking ideas and opportunities for expanding the platform’s functionality and improving its usefulness to people at all stages of the psychiatric drug withdrawal journey. So please, sign up today, and help us make TWP Connect even better for tomorrow!
Is TWP Connect confidential?
How do I join?
Are you feeling ready to join TWP Connect? Great! All you have to do is click on the link below. Keep in mind that the registration form will take about five minutes or more to complete, depending on how much or little you’d like to share. Before you begin, you might want to think a little about how you’d briefly describe yourself, your interests, and your personal experiences with psychiatric drugs and withdrawal. (Though once registered, you can always come back and change your profile later, too.)
After you submit your registration form, you’ll receive an automatic email notification indicating that it has been received and that a TWP Connect administrator will review your application soon. Once approved (normally within a day or two), you’ll receive another notice that will help you set up a password, and you’ll be ready to log in and start using TWP Connect.
Registration Troubleshooting Tip: If, after submitting your registration, you're informed that you've left a field null, go back and make sure to do both of the following:
- Place a pin on the geographical map
- Fill out every field that has a red asterisk
The Connect Pledge: Guiding Principles for Participating in ICI Connect/TWP Connect
The Connect Pledge
By joining and continuing to participate in the ICI Connect and/or TWP Connect communities, I agree to abide by the following guidelines:
- I have read the “About ICI Connect” and/or the “About TWP Connect” page(s) and am in alignment with these values.
- I will be honest in the information that I share about myself with other Connect members, while also taking responsibility to protect my personal boundaries and privacy to the degree to which I am comfortable. I understand that I am free – and indeed encouraged by ICI/TWP for my own privacy – to register for membership using an email address and a rough geographic location that do not specifically identify who I am to others.
- I understand that ICI/TWP does not and cannot reasonably vet each registration submission or profile for its factual accuracy. Therefore, I accept that all responsibilities and risks lie with me to make decisions about contacting other members and to make decisions about if, when, and how to reveal identifying or personal information to other members or meet in person with other members.
- I will contact fellow Connect members in a manner that is thoughtful and intentional. If another member does not respond to my request for contact, I will respect that and not repeatedly keep trying to contact that member in a harassing manner. I can expect the same intentionality and respect from other Connect members who are trying to contact me.
- I respect the principles of confidentiality and agree not to disclose to any person or entity – either within Connect or outside of it – any personally identifiable information about another member without that member’s express consent.
- I understand that different people arrive at critical perspectives on all things “mental health” on different timelines, in different ways, from different backgrounds, and with different experiences, resources, opportunities, and belief systems. I pledge to treat all members of ICI Connect and/or TWP Connect with respect and understanding and to meet all members where they are at on their journey, and I can expect the same respect and understanding from them in return.
- I will not use ICI Connect or TWP Connect to promote professional services of any kind or commercial-affiliated, religious-affiliated, or professional service organizations, and understand that if I do so my membership may be terminated.