Study Begins into Violence Against People with Mental Health Issues


The non-profit Empowerment Council and Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-Violence Coalition based in Toronto, Canada have announced the launch of a study into prejudice, hatred and violence directed against people with mental health issues. As part of the study, they are seeking input from the public.

“People with mental health issues are more likely to be the victims of violence. We know this,” wrote Empowerment Council advocate Lucy Costa in a blog post announcing the study. “However, given the propensity of violence experienced in so many ways (some obvious and some not visible), an important question emerged for us: Why is there no framework for discussing the volume of violence experienced by this historically disadvantaged group of citizens?”

Although situated in Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Empowerment Council states that its membership, board and staff are all current or ex-clients of mental health or addiction services. The Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-Violence Coalition describes itself as “a group of psychiatric survivors, mental health advocates, workers, community members, and researchers”.

“We do not discuss this disdain for people with psychiatric disabilities, particularly the most vulnerable who are poor and ‘don’t fit in’. We talk ‘around it’ — for example, when we discuss how people are excluded from our neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping malls, or events. But, what motivates this exclusion? When is it fear and when is it hatred?” continued Costa in her post. “This topic of violence is broad and complex but we felt it was time to delve into the kinds of violence experienced on a daily basis, including the scope of understanding about this violence from consumer/survivors, and how people make sense of violent events that occur in their lives.”

Costa also discussed the violence that occurs in psychiatric facilities. “Is ‘more training’ the best response? Why is this the most often sought narrative and remedy for intervention? Do we need something else?”

“We would love your help and feedback,” concluded Costa. “Do you have suggestions about what would assist in having a better understanding of the violence people experience in their lives?”

Comments can be submitted below the post.

A closer look at violence in the lives of people with mental health issues (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health blog, January 19, 2015)


  1. I got involved after being threatened with forced injection ‘needle rape’ at a UHS facility. and there was the assault of my ‘girlfriend’ in the place by staff for ‘defiance’.

    They seem to back off when you remind them that you may see them outside after your stay.

    It was a nightmare that place, insult to injury salt on a wound. A money machine from hell that is UHS.

    Costa also discussed the violence that occurs in psychiatric facilities. “Is ‘more training’ the best response? Why is this the most often sought narrative and remedy for intervention?

    Maybe because pharma front groups do the ‘training’ ?

    That has to be it.

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  2. RE: Do we need something else?

    Jails and prisons the video record when they do violent stuff like cell extractions.

    The same methods of recording should be used when staff uses force against a ‘patient’ at a ‘hospital’ instead of some sloppy notes and clinical words used now if they even write it down at all.

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    • Ok: So even our political detrackers say the “MI” are more likely the victims than the perpetrators of violence, then hence why the prohibition of gun ownership for those “adjudicated.” Personally, I have no desire for a gun, but I find it galling that my name (disturbing the peace) is judicially mixed in with rapists and murders. A couple of weeks ago, Peter from BookTv, was interviewing a psychiatrist. As a interviewer he most usually manages to create a convivial atmosphere. Not so this time. The psychiatrist was forced to admit that the “helping hand of her profession” left her patients in a legal quandary. So it is not a chemical balance like diabetes after all. As for direct physical violence directed against me, both times were by staff. As for my professional life, much to my consternation “my history” was the motivating force used to push me out of my position. Oh yeah, and the violence done to my kidneys came from the Lithium. As for the fate of the poor stack of Washington Post’s that I threw in the corner, I feel totally remorseless. (The Washington Post, despite the hagiography treatment it gets by the liberal establishment has had a hand in pushing us into every major war of the past century. And to make things official the new owner of the Post, Jeff Bezos has contracts with the CIA through Amazon. To add insult to injury, columnist Bob Levey periodically run a column denouncing us bike messengers as two-wheeled terrorists. Basically giving motorist carte Blanche to endanger our lives. So not surprisingly I have no love lost for any of these soul sucking institutions. I slept fine at night with out having to lie to myself. I just wonder how psychiatrist spin this in their heads so they can sleep at night.

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  3. Go after restraint protocol.

    I was institutionalized against my will, which isn’t the problem, and medicated against my will, which isn’t a problem either; they’re the reasons I’m alive today and living in wellbeing on two great medications, for the last 10 years.

    However a sinister and cruel nightmare began within an hour of my entry into the locked unit. I was very agitated as was a familiar pattern of the bipolar I was diagnosed with when I was 44 years old. I was watching Oprah on TV and, in an empty room!, I turned up the volume in order to hear it properly. One of the male assistants turned it down, without explanation or good cause. I then turned it back up. This went on several times more. Each time I became further and further angry, agitated and aggressive.

    Then he grabbed me by the arm and paraded me back and forth in front of a room with a sinister looking low-to-the ground hard double bed size surface in the middle of the room. It had an alarming looking metal strap on each corner, to secure one’s wrists and ankles. I was absolutely terrified. It seemed to me that he wanted to torture me with this restraint. But I was too far into anger and agitation to get out of it, myself. Still he kept parading me back and forth in a threatening way, insisting I calm down. I couldn’t, because of what he had done to incite me and then threaten me. I could not get out of my anger. And he knew it.

    Instead of sitting and talking with me, gently assuring me I was going to be okay and that I could watch TV at a level I could hear it, he then called two women to join him in forcing me face down on this platform, and yanking my arms and legs spread eagle where he strapped me in with heavy leather straps. I cannot begin to tell you how terrifying this was, to be restrained this way. Then he threatened me that if I didn’t calm down I would remain there until I did. Then his two cohort nurses injected with a high dose of Haldol, closed the door and left me to suffer alone. I fell asleep. Later he came in an in a condescending manner told me he would release of one the restraints if I behaved myself. And the succeeding ones, one by one if I continued to cooperate. I was putty in his hands. He broke my spirit. I have never been the same after this evil, wicked assault. He derived pleasure from doing this to me, which makes it truly wicked.

    I had been in another locked unit where I was given an injection of Haldol for agitation, however I was left in a room on a reclining bed that had no restraints, whose door was left open, reducing fear and anxiety. It worked. I relaxed under the influence of Haldol and was able to move past the agitation.

    But this other hospital took an altogether hostile, punishing, subjugating approach to me. Again, if had simply talked with me and explained that he could give me something to make me less agitated, and that I was welcome to watch Oprah, I would have complied. I could have received the Haldol and slept right there on the couch in the living room. I would have woken refreshed.

    He was one sinister, evil man. I felt it; I knew it. I sensed it. It is obvious by the things he did. His two nurses went right along with him. He was not a nurse, but he orchestrated the event.

    Restraining is fraught with problems for patients. We don’t always recover. I haven’t. It wasn’t necessary. This man took perverse pleasure in what he did to me. It was torture and I knew it, but I couldn’t do anything to avoid it. He had inflamed me, on purpose, and then he got off restraining me and abusing his power to subjugate.

    The solution was not to educate this man as to proper restraint procedure, it was to identify his dark side and fire him, and to not have hired him in the first place. You must discover effective testing for potential hospital aids for personality disorders, particular sinister traits , and indicators of an abusive disposition.

    Plain and simple? He and his nurses tortured me. They agitated me into a state of anger than I cold not get out of, then punished me for it in one of the most spirit-killing procedures known.

    Go after the restraint issue! Look for the dark side of the human soul. Discover testing that will reveal this in potential mental hospital staff.

    I was the object of this very wickedness. It was a hard next 6 years looking for medications that would work. It was made even more difficult because I was doing so as a wounded soul.

    I was the object of more than hatred, but sinister, evil, wicked perverse pleasure in torturing me. Yes, psychiatric institutions torture.

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  4. The second arena in which I was the object of violence was when I was living on my own and very ill. I had lost all my boundaries. I didn’t know to say ‘no’ to threatening individuals — all men. I was vulnerable and defenseless. It was as though I wore a neon sigh announcing, “I’m defenseless. Abuse me.” And men did.

    I was raped numerous times, subjected to bizarre sexual behavior, taken by a con artist for $4,000 and then physically assaulted when I finally was able to say ‘no more.’ He threw me onto the ground, dragged me around by my feet then left the room. I thought he had broken my back.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg of the 6 years of looking for medications that would work.

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  5. Sexual abusers, and abusers of all types found their way to me when I was ill. There are far more perpetrators in our society than I EVER imagined. It seemed that every time I turned around, one of them got ahold of me and acted out his perverse behavior and fantasies. Mentally ill women, in particular, are subject to this type of societal abuse. We are extremely vulnerable and very often, defenseless.

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  6. Personally, I never had a problem being “excluded from our neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping malls, or events.” I only had a problems with bigotry and violence by medical professionals (and their alleged child abuser friends). And according these medical professionals’ medical records, their goal was apparently to proactively prevent possible legal action due to a “bad fix” on a broken bone, a “Foul up” with some drugs (not initially prescribed for mental health issues), and the medical evidence of the sexual abuse of my child, that had not been reported to DCFS as is legally required.

    I was defamed with all three of the “major mental illnesses” (but not to my face, just in my medical records) within three weeks of seeking assistance due to the common and serious ADRs and withdrawal effects of the drugs these doctors had given me. I ended up being poisoned with various groups of six drugs, all of which had major drug interaction warnings with each other according to What ultimately ended up being called “bipolar” by these doctors, was likely anticholinergic intoxication poisoning, according to my medical research.

    Thankfully, decent but disgusted nurses finally realized what was going on, handed over my medical records, and told me to find a new PCP. Another nurse I knew from my neighborhood called me out of the blue and told me the nurses in our neighborhood are disgusted by some of the doctors. I read the medical records, which were filled with misinformation from the alleged child abusers, so I knew enough to get away from the psychiatrist who’d been poisoning me. I went to another doctor, who refused to medically explain the poisoning, or properly report the medical evidence of the child abuse. After this doctor had weaned me off the last drug I was taking, he ended up refusing to treat my family and recommended we switch both doctors and medical insurance groups, so we did.

    At this point, I of course knew not to pass my child and my medical histories on to our next doctor, and started researching medicine myself. One of the nurses was kind enough to follow my family from the first PCP, to both subsequent PCPs, and she did try to protect my children and I. I did end up suffering from a drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity “manic psychosis,” of sorts. This resulted in a sleep / walking talking issue one night. I was dragged out of my own bed in the middle of the night by five paramedics, as the sixth paramedic told the other five that what they were doing was illegal because I was neither a danger to myself, nor anyone else. I had agreed to just go back to sleep. They took me to our local hospital, which was no longer covered by our new insurance group.

    This hospital inexplicably put me on a hypnotic drug, Etomidate, and medically unnecessarily shipped me, not to the closest hospital covered by my new insurance, but to a doctor named V R Kuchipudi. According to the medical records, he admitted me with a nonexistent “chronic airway obstruction.” When this “airway obstruction” did not result in the “brain death” of this kind former “organ donor,” it seemingly magically turned into “bipolar.” No HIPPA forms had been signed by me, but the medical records I eventually picked up showed the admission documents had forged signatures on them.

    This 135 lb pacifist was then terrified of rape as six giant men strapped me to a bed and pumped me full of nine different drugs. I was “snowed” (drugged until only the whites of the eyes show) for ten days. I was finally let out of the hospital, against the wishes of the psychiatrist who had been grotesquely miss-medicating me, because my health insurance company refused to pay for lifetime incarnation. V R Kuchipudi was arrested seven years later by the FBI for having lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped to him, “snowing” patients, and performing unneeded tracheotomies for profit (google his name).

    Personally I believe that hypocritically poisoning people with major drug interaction laden cocktails and the mental and physical torture I experienced at the hospital, all to cover up prior easily recognized iatrogenesis and medical evidence of child abuse, by doctors was extremely violent behavior. The terrorization of me in the hospital was the absolute most appalling experience of my life, hands down. However, this is all claimed to be “appropriate medical care” in the US today.

    It strikes me the too lucrative nature of today’s medical industry has resulted in attracting psychopaths into the medical field, so we now need to take away the power of doctors to force and coerce toxic treatments onto patients for their own personal financial motives.

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    • Oh, and I do so hope the medical community will also get out of the business of covering up sexual abuse of small children some day as well. My pastor was kind enough to explain to me that the nightmare I dealt with is “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” In other words, historically and still today, the psychiatric industry has always been in the business of defaming and discrediting people to cover up child abuse and easily recognized iatrogenesis for the wealthy or well connected (religions) and incompetent doctors.

      Perhaps the medical community would cease to be the third largest killer of Americans if the White Wall of Silence was acknowledged as counterproductive to good medical care, and the incompetent and unethical doctors were encourage out of the medical field instead?

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      • It is those unjustly given the right to legally and unscientifically defame others, for profit, and while hypocritically promising to “first and foremost do no harm,” who have the “delusions of grandeur.” Perhaps giving some within a society this right, is wrong? Could it be that we live in a stupid and insane society, like Nazi Germany?

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  7. The mental health field was my profession until I had a bleed in my brain. I think became a consumer. I have gotten an education book wise in college regarding mental health issues, then by working with “clients” as a working professional, and finally as a consumer. I now identify myself as an ex-consumer, psychiatric survivor and am passionate about doing civil dialogue around the abuse and injustice happening in the mental health and even health care field.
    I looked at the website for the Ontario mental health and addiction hospital and thinking back on conversations I sat in when working my first thought was that this is a business and I don’t trust it.
    In History right now we are over diagnosing people (bipolar for one) and over medicating. As a people we are marketing illness and selling drugs -making are neighbors sick so we can have jobs. Until we are honest about the fact that we are doing this (grieving in the DSMR5 is now a mental illness) and examine other areas that is happening in health and healing arts true healing will never take place. I like what the bible said about that we could either serve God or mammon (money)

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    • Btw, another psychiatry victim from Europe – this time Poland. A 13year old girl got sick and because the doctors didn’t bother to properly diagnose her she ended up in a psych ward because she was “agitated”. They put her in restraints and she died. Turns out she had toxic level of ammonia in her blood…
      Parents said that the doctors told them that she was agitated but didn’t want to diagnose why – they simply tied her to the bed and left her to die. I guess she was a danger to self or others. Another psychiatry’s success story…

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