It's great if it helps to dispel the stigma of mental illness and makes seeking specialist help more acceptable for those affected - earlier rather than later.
Ideally, there could be some specialist involvement (psychologists or psychiatrists) - just to provide some ad hoc education on the issues surrounding mental health. I note that somebody suffering "with schizophrenia and manic-depression" (probably schizoaffective disorder) is "maintaining his mental health with diet, exercise and wilderness trips". Great if it works for him - but if a schizophrenic (ie, not a schizoaffective disorder sufferer) tries to follow his advice, s/he may not be able to return from the "wilderness trip" in one piece.
I have not heard of the Bonkersfest - will try to attend it in my professional capacity next month, if there is one as the article suggests!
there was an excellent special/public health campaign on pbs tonight called "depression: out of the shadows." it was a 90 minute documentary that discussed all sorts of flavors of depression, from unipolar to bipolar, childhood to geriatric, minority issues, trauma issues, women's issues. they touched upon medications, therapy, ect and deep brain stimulation. they also had a nice panel at the end with a few representatives in the field. there now definitely seems to be an at least media push to encourage people to discuss mental illness in order to encourage earlier treatment and foster better outcomes for longer periods of time. the tone i got from it was an almost "get out of the closet" but for mental health issues rather than sexuality.
anywho, apparently you can get the show at shoppbs.org if you're curious.
I think that the stigma surrounding mental illness is much less than it was even 10 years ago. While I like some of the ideas behind the Mad Pride movement, I think that sometimes being crazy is romanticized to an extent, as in the crazy, eccentric, bipolar artist. Also, the fringe groups that celebrate not taking medication are a little frightening.
Hopefully, mental illness will one day become so accepted that there won't need to be a mad pride movement.