“’Psychiatric Survivor’ Wilda White Says She Is Ready to Lead”


When Wilda White recovered from a manic episode triggered by her ADHD medication, she had lost her relationship, her home, and her dream job as a public interest lawyer.  She reached a turning point when, she told Seven Days newspaper, “in the course of trying to figure out what had happened to me, I went on the website Mad in America.” Through the site, she connected with a job listing from Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, a non-profit dedicated to empowering and protecting the rights of people labeled “mentally ill.”  She is now their executive director.

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  1. When it comes to Vermont and the person who’s currently running for president – what are Bernie Sanders’ views on psychiatry and would it make sense to push him on that issue? I know Vermont is home to some good initiatives and this guy seems to be responsive to pushing (the kind of Black Lives Matter did as of late). Maybe this would be one way to bring the issue to the public attention and inject our views into the conversation…

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    • I like your idea. But, I also think it would be political death for any candidate. When pressed on the issue of drug abuse in New Hampshire (I think it was) the only candidate who responded was Clinton. And, her response was a restatement of the “war on drugs” which hasn’t accomplished anything. More of the same old, same old.
      I do believe Bernie could be a good agent of actual change, but he is fighting a huge battle against corporate interests that control everything that is currently allowed to happen in main stream mental health. I know none of the rest of the pretenders would challenge it. They are already bought and paid for.

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      • I’d not rely on any politician but he’s the best bet in terms of one who would probably listen to a well organized advocacy group. And he does have an uphill struggle – why the mainstream media can’t shut up about the racist and sexist rants of one particular candidate on the republican side, they’ve labelled Bernie extremist and as of late are trying not to cover him at all. Sometimes they would talk for 15 minutes about Hillary and Biden, who’s not even running and “forget” to mention him, even though he’s leading in New Hampshire and recently in Iowa. Which suggests he’s the change we can believe in ;).
        In any case – whoever wins the organized movements with clear objectives is necessary to achieve change.

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  2. Sanders sat in a circle in the grass with us and we conversed during the Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression when we met in Vermont in 1985. I remember zilch about his position, if he had one at the time. Most liberal leftists are as clueless as anyone else about the myth of “mental illness,” so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a “more money for treatment” type, but I don’t know.

    As for Wilda, sounds like she needs to do a bit more consciousness-raising before she presumes to “lead” survivors. But MIA would be a great place to start.

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