Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’?
What can we learn from those who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience?
During a quarter-century documenting indigenous cultures, human-rights photographer and filmmaker Phil Borges often saw these cultures identify “psychotic” symptoms as an indicator of shamanic potential. He was intrigued by how differently psychosis is defined and treated in the West.
Through interviews with renowned mental health professionals including Gabor Mate, MD, Robert Whitaker, and Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Phil explores the growing severity of the mental health crisis in America dominated by biomedical psychiatry. He discovers a growing movement of professionals and psychiatric survivors who demand alternative treatments that focus on recovery, nurturing social connections, and finding meaning.
CRAZYWISE follows two young Americans diagnosed with “mental illness.” Adam, 27, suffers devastating side effects from medications before embracing meditation in hopes of recovery. Ekhaya, 32, survives childhood molestation and several suicide attempts before spiritual training to become a traditional South African healer gives her suffering meaning and brings a deeper purpose to her life.
CRAZYWISE doesn’t aim to over-romanticize indigenous wisdom, or completely condemn Western treatment. Not enery indigenous person who has a crisis becomes a shaman. And many individuals benefit from Western medications.
However, indigenous peoples’ acceptance of non-ordinary states of consciousness, along with rituals and metaphors that form deep connections to nature, to each other, and to ancestors, is something we can learn from.
CRAZYWISE adds a voice to the growing conversation that believes a psychological crisis can be an opportunity for growth and potentially transformational, not a disease with no cure.
Watch the trailer
Moniquea Spiteri is a Somatic (Body) Psychotherapist who has worked in the field of mental health, personal development and trauma for over 15 years. She is also a passionate social entrepreneur and visionary change maker. Having been involved with numerous holistic and innovative projects, Moniquea has a natural strength for creating new ways of doing things and helping others ignite their own inner spark to achieve their goals. Having had direct family experience with the frailties of the existing mental health system, she is unwavering in her commitment to the mental health sector.
Moniquea supports people in private practice on the Mornington Peninsula and takes a holistic approach to mental health and well being. She is also the Founder and President of Enveco Health– a grass roots social enterprise that will assist those living with mental health conditions regain wellness, retain employment and be supported in their personal recovery in a natural healing environment.
Moving on from a successful management career in marketing and accounts for some of Australia’s leading companies, Moniquea qualified in Somatic Psychotherapy in 2006 and completed a further 3 year training in Australia under the qualified team from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, founded by Dr Peter Levine. Moniquea knows the value of collaboration and applies her vast array of knowledge in building community support, key coalitions and strategic inter-agency partnerships to drive her vision today.
Moniquea is a passionate and engaging speaker, coach and mentor and was recently awarded as highly commended in the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards for Change Maker and 2017 Soar Collective Business Woman of the Year.
Kirsten Roberts - Agitator, Nurturer, Mother
Humanity depends on girls having a strong sense of self-worth. The worthy girl grows into the self-aware tuned in teen. That teen then blossoms into a powerfully conscious leader in her home, her career and her family. The collective impact of women who know the strength of their voice, their desires and their capability shapes our humanity.
“We teach girls self-worth” is that mantra behind Kirsten’s vision of creating a tidal wave of conversation and action around self-worth. Kirsten is an agitator, nurturer and mother harnessing her deep transformational work with female entrepreneurial leaders, many years as business strategist and her own personal journey to drive the convo along with creating the foundation for the research, collaborations and delivery needed for global change. With a fast wit and a great sense of the absurd Kirsten uses comedy as a means of making the conversation around worth accessible for more.
Her new show 'Does My Ego Look Big In This…The Driven Women’s Guide To Contentment' is shortly commencing its Australian tour opening the conversation for driven women and their daughters. She is cheered on and constantly learning from her amazing family. Her husband Stuart works by her side and her three children are all incredibly unique individuals, all on the autism spectrum, confidently owning who they are. Kirsten's daughter Indi says of her Mum “she is obsessed with me being me”.
About the event
Through thought-provoking events that inspire action, and using the power of film to illuminate the issues of our time, Suburban Sandcastles is a movement for people seeking to live with their minds opened by wonder, not closed by belief. Join us at Shirley Burke Theatre in Parkdale, Bayside Melbourne for a nourishing meal, fresh juice, wholefood snacks, beer and wine, all available for purchase before the film. Connect with our community and explore what's on offer from our wellness and lifestyle exhibitors.
5.45pm doors open, nourishing food and drink available, local exhibitors
6.45pm film commences
8.30pm Q&A panel
9.00pm event concludes