When we launched Madinamerica.com a little more than two years ago, we had in our sights the day when we would begin publishing original journalism pieces. Today, we have finally reached that goal.
Rob Wipond, a freelance journalist based in British Columbia, tells the story of Cindi Fisher and the consequences she faced after she became a non-compliant mom. It is a story that I am sure will resonate with many of our readers.
There are many reasons we have wanted to commission journalism pieces, but a principal one is that we think the mainstream media’s coverage of psychiatry and mental health issues is often quite poor. The articles that appear so regularly fail to challenge, in any significant way, the common wisdom (or fail to challenge those in positions of authority and power.) There is an old adage that a journalist’s job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, and yet, on this particular topic, the media reports all too often do the reverse.
We hope that MIA Reports, which is what we are dubbing our journalism enterprise, will help fill in that gap. There is so much that needs to be reported and written about: the medicating of foster children with antipsychotics (that is a story of harm done on a grand scale, in my opinion); the expansion of outpatient treatment laws; the long-term effects of drug treatments; and so forth. At the same time, we want to write about the many ways that people are working to reform the system, and working to create new paradigms of care. Peer-run respite houses, the Hearing Voices Network, and efforts to replicate the success of the Open Dialogue program in northern Finland all need to be reported on in more thorough fashion.
We, of course, will need the support of our readers to continue this journalistic effort. Many of you have given generously and provide us with support on a monthly basis, and we thank you: Rob Wipond’s article is an example of what your support makes possible. We hope that our readers will find his article to be an interesting and worthwhile read.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.