D.A.N (Dignity and Advocacy Network), a 501(c)3 non-profit, is dedicated to promoting mental health and achieving victory over mental health issues and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service. To create more access to alternative supports along with or other than the "medical model" of medicating and hospitalization. To offer options of an alternative place to move through a mental health crisis without the trauma and drugging of the psychiatric hospitals.
"Concern for the public’s health demands that disparities in treatment and the dis-proportionality of the burden of mental pain be eradicated."
D.A.N envisions a just, humane and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential through meaningful social inclusion that is free from discrimination. The "stigma" of mental pain is something that we ourselves create when we label human experiences as "illness".
About Dan: Daniel (Zippy) Kelson 1990 - 2014.
Dan was a happy, loving respectful young man who was diagnosed in his teens with Bipolar disorder by our traditional mental health system. At the age of 19, Dan began to experience unusual perceptions such as voices and visions. Reflecting back to that time, I was unaware of what was really happening to my son as I was victim to our current system. Dan saw and felt the pain of the world through extreme states, a personality transformation or spiritual awakening. He was struggling as he witnessed world crisis and even had insights as to what would come. He shared his feelings at times saying with such pain that the world is supposed to spin on love not violence, hatred, power and money. He predominately wrote about it in his music; the oppression, the hatred, violence and disconnection of humanity. The pain of what he saw tormented him 24 hours a day. The very system that tormented him, failed him. He tried to tell his story but was ignored and told that he was ill. The only option offered to him was a bed on the psychiatric unit and medication to suppress his real emotions, feelings and experiences. He shared his suicide plan with me two hours after discharge from a ten day stay in the hospital. With the lack of understanding and nowhere to turn, Dan lost his identity and tragically ended his life two weeks later in a profound manner. He was trying to be heard in the only way he knew how. As time passed and with relentless research, I became aware of what was really happening with my son and so many others like him. This led the way to the formation of D.A.N. Speaking on a national and international level brings me hope that with a better understand and acceptance of others differences, the world will spin on love once again.
Dignity and Advocacy Network Tax ID: 47-1033023
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Mental health is a fundamental social justice issue.
We require change that is commensurate to the enormous magnitude of behavioural health problems in multiple aspects of our culture, our communities, our neighbourhoods and our families.
Concern for the public’s health demands that disparities in treatment and the dis-proportionality of the burden of mental pain be eradicated.
D.A.N represents a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation. This movement must engage and involve the general public as well as persons with mental and substance use conditions in all its aspects.
Mental Health Issues Quotes
"If you learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught, you might be able to help someone else who's now in the phase you may have just completed. Maybe that's what it's all about after all."
"In my mind there's nothing our generation should be more ashamed of that people with severe mental health issues being punished for a disease they can't do anything about."
"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."