HR 4302 Passes Senate


At 6:31 pm, eastern time, the Senate took a roll call vote on H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” which included a controversial provision for involuntary outpatient commitment.  The bill passed ten minutes later with a vote of 64-35.

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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].


    • Ideas ? Here is one,

      I understand that if a psychiatrist says that I or anyone else is sick or has a treatable illness or disease, he or she is just using a figure of speech and cannot establish, with any test or procedure known to medical science they in fact “have” the “illness” implied by the diagnostic labels found in the DSM.

      I think the general public still believes depression has been proven to be caused by low serotonin and SSRIs fix the condition and stuff like that.

      The public is being mislead by a multi billion-dollar a year drugging industry that a diagnoses of “mental disorder” (ADHD, Bi-Polar, Social Anxiety Disorder) are medical diseases or illnesses. This is a fraud. No one has a brain scan, blood test, X-Ray or any evidence of a physical abnormality used to verify they are “ill” or “diseased.”

      The sooner the general public knows about the fraud and lack of scientific evidence behind the medical model of bio-psychiatry the sooner people accused of mental illness will stop loosing there human rights.

      I think we all need to do is just keep posting online their greatest weakness, THE TRUTH, until everyone searching the internet using mental health keywords can easily find it and read it.

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  1. “Damage Control” – I called my local US Senators with the message from Jim Gottstein,Esq of that they dialogue with members of the psychiatric reform movement. I felt that the message was received warmly by the receptionist for Senator Gillibrand of NY and she was taking notes and mentioned other similar calls. I suggested names such as Dr. Sandra Steingard, Dr. Joanna Moncrief, and the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care as contacts to begin the process. I shared the most useful points of our personal story. The receptionist encouraged me to send a letter with as much contact information as possible for routing purposes. I conveyed that psychiatric survivors would greatly appreciate it for the Senator to get to know the names and faces of people who have been hurt by psychiatry. I had the strong impression that I WAS BEING HEARD.
    I think we all have a golden opportunity right now to present our testimonies of our interface with the psychiatric system and convert our suffering into something good.

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    • Daisy Valley,

      Do you have the link to Jim Gottstein’s message? I just tried looking on the psychrights sight and didn’t see it.

      I was about to call my congressman’s office to express concern about this bill but I realized I didn’t have any alternatives to present and that is really needed. And it has to be realistic and not just abstract.

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  2. I have gotten myself a position as a columnist with a local newspaper and I write about mental health more than any other topic. I have also written in 3 other newspapers and 1 online blog. I also contact my state and US legislators about mental health legislation. I go to DC often, for another reason. Is there something I can do, while there? Can citizens get access to congress, the way we can to the state house in our state?

    Speaking of Washington, lets do a march on Washington.

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  3. “Speaking of Washington”
    I’m asking…….
    What if enough of us asked ,David Oaks, Cindy Fisher,Robert Whitaker,Will Hall,Ted Chabasinski J.D. Sasha Altman DuBrul ,Dr.Michael Cornwall, Paula Caplan PHD. Jim Gottstein J.D., Tina Minkowitz,Esq., Maria Bradshaw, Leah Harris, Dr. Joanna Moncreif , Dr. Sandra Steingard,and a representative from Excellence in Mental Health Care……..To collectively request a face to face meeting or meetings with President Barack Obama along the lines of say :

    To President Barak Obama the White House,
    We look forward to being present at a meeting with you at the earliest time of your convenience. We must bring our issues forward to your attention as leader of the free world.
    Right up till today we have not been properly and justly included in the dialogs about us nor in the decision making processes concerning our future.Decisions already made by existing power policy makers including the government the Big Pharmacuetical companies, and the APA have resulted in a disastrous outcome for millions of our most vulnerable citizens and our steadily worsening.
    We are here to update you about the situation to ask for your help in this time of severe and mounting crisis.
    We propose that you President Obama declare a state of Moral Emergency. A Marshall Plan providing sufficient aid for peer designed ,managed and operated facilities in each state of the union to house open dialog,Esalen,Diabasis House, I Ward, Soteria ,respite sanctuaries, which can operate free from pharmaceutical corporate, psychiatric guild, control or influence. Policys need to be decided primarily by the people served and the people who have lived experience of having survived the ordeal of a totally discredited and dysfunctional system which as we sit , persists boldly and in an accelerating manner perpetuating crimes against humanity.
    Having often through their own ingenuity ,creativity,persistence,and determination, with little or no help having come out other end of what too often became a medical psych doctor caused, enhanced /and or /induced nightmare…… the survivors are the best able to discern what are the best workable First Do No Harm options and inform and support without coercion and treat as equals those still oppressed as they once were themselves.
    Please veto all laws that oppress the diagnosed and end the scapegoating.” The Hour Calls For High Moral Grandeur And Spiritual Audacity.” (Abraham Joshua Heschel)

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  4. So far government funded “alternatives” have been the sell-outs one would expect, with politicians & mental health bureaucrats deciding who are leaders are and what we need.

    Take it to Obama, sure, but right now all we need is for them to GET OFF OUR BACKS and stop scapegoating us for the insanity their system thrives on.

    Keep in mind that both Obama AND Murphy are servants of the corporatocracy and have more in common with one another than they ever will with us.

    Demonstrations have their place but we don’t need to make compromises that threaten our integrity and legitimacy simply to put together a large number of people, which tends to happen when quantity is valued over principle. I for one would not be part of an effort to plead with politicians for a few “reforms” in the name of “better mental health treatment.” If we get to the point of making a unified political statement that will be great, but it should be a no-nonsense effort that doesn’t cowtow to the interests of the media and opportunistic politicians, mh professionals, and professional “advocates.”

    But something needs to be done, that’s for sure, cuz it’s much harder to repeal legislation than to stop it in the first place. Hopefully others will join this discussion or a similar one, maybe there could be an ongoing MIA blog or something dedicated to stopping this legislation?

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