David Oaks Comes Home:
“My Whole Life I Have Been Preparing for This Time”

Kermit Cole
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David Oaks, whose 1998 challenge to “check out the research for yourself” led Robert Whitaker to write Mad in America and create this website, has returned home after a long convalescence from his fall last December 1. The following video, taken May 18, shows the spirit that has infused his life and work on effulgent display.

David Oaks’ Homecoming Celebration

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

8 COMMENTS

  1. TO ALL:

    For those who have been researching and learning about the rights violations of bio-psychiatry for many years due to threats to ourselves and/or loved ones, we owe a huge debt to those like David Oaks especially who devoted his life to fight for the rights of psychiatric survivors and provide them with trustworthy information and news they could use to fight their own battles after fighting and winning his own very successfully. David Oaks started the group, Mindfreedom, that is now international that he has served for many decades as its Director. He is also a role model for those suffering from extreme emotional distress that they can and do recover.

    As Bob Whitaker explains in his post on MIA, without David Oaks, he may not have done all the research that led to his books, MAD IN AMERICA and ANATOMY OF AN EPIDEMIC and this web site. Many people are very grateful for the major impact that Bob Whitaker has had on the mental “health” system, but I wasn’t as aware that David Oaks was the inspiration behind Bob’s research for his books until he shared that recently when he wanted to honor David’s huge contribution to his work. I’m sure Bob has given credit to David Oaks before and I took it in stride because David Oaks has had such a huge influence on human rights in the mental “health” system for so long. Perhaps seeing David struggle as he is now is a good time to remind ourselves that he deserves our support when he is down for all those times he helped others so much when they were down.

    Seeing this video here made me want to learn more about David’s current condition, so I searched and found some web sites about David’s current status. Of course, he’s an amazing person keeping up the good fight as always, but I couldn’t help but shed some tears over all the hell he’s been through recently due to a nasty fall and broken neck. I also read that he may never walk again, which is a huge challenge to overcome.

    Anyway, I am writing to say that web sites created by David’s friends and family have explained that David’s health care and other expenses have been and continue to be huge along with the enormous challenge of maintaining family solvency.

    I was moved to make a donation and I am posting one of the web site pages asking for donations for this incredibly generous man who devoted his life to fighting for the rights of others and earning the respect of even those who most disagreed with him.

    Donations can be mailed directly to the address given even in small amounts or be made through Paypal.

    http://www.davidwoaks.com/about-david/accident

    I have not been asked to do this by anyone. It’s probably been provided elsewhere here. I hope people at MIA won’t feel I am overstepping my bounds by providing this information, but hearing/seeing David Oaks struggle to maintain his usual feisty, brave, caring, strong, positive attitude in the midst of such a struggle deserves our support in my opinion, so I felt I had to share this.

    Thank you for reading and your consideration.

  2. TO ALL:

    Another web site with information and photos of David Oak’s hospital and other scary, challenging ordeals with positive messages online and in a video from the ever positive, strong fighter for mind freedom and more recently his own survival.

    I hope others at MIA will check out these web sites because David Oaks has been and continues to be an inspiration to all during the best of times and the worst of times.

    This web site also contains information about how and where donations can be made directly or through Paypal.

    http://www.davidwoaks.com/about-david/accident

  3. TO ALL:

    Sorry, looks like I posted the same web site twice, but you can go through it to find the pictures and other things I mentioned. You can google other web sites about David Oak’s ordeal and I can assure you that in your darkest and hardest challenges, David is an inspiration to us all. I highly recommend your checking them out.

  4. David, you have been a wonderful friend to those who found themselves arrayed against the powers of Big Pharma. I love seeing you surrounded by your family and friends, and hope you find yourself warmed and loved by all those you have helped over the years.
    Hugh Massengill