The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry Campaign Launched

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An exciting new scholarship has been established by The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at The University of Toronto called “The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry”- the very first such scholarship anywhere in the world.

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The famous and trusted critic of psychiatry, the legendary Dr. Peter Breggin had this to say:

“I am Peter R. Breggin, MD and I am a psychiatrist. As a professional long heralded as the conscience of psychiatry, it is my pleasure to endorse the newly formed Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry. Science is demonstrating that psychiatric diagnosis and drugs, electroshock, and involuntary treatment are doing much more harm than good. We desperately need critical scholarship aimed at stopping this epidemic of demoralization, dehumanization, and brain damage.”

Psychiatric survivor and long-time activist Don Weitz writes:

“As a psychiatric survivor, antipsychiatry and social justice activist for over 30 years, I strongly support the Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Burstow’s recent book Psychiatry and the Business of Madness (2015) is a masterful work and brilliant breakthrough. I feel sure the Scholarship will attract and empower many survivors, students, and scholars. It’s time antipsychiatry is officially and widely recognized as a legitimate and growing international movement. This Scholarship will help make it happen”

Correspondingly, survivor, activist, and social sciences academic Dr. Lauren Tenney endorses as follows:

“As a psychiatric survivor and a mad environmental social scientist/psychologist, I am honored to endorse the Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry. How radical! How timely! We are so fortunate to have in Bonnie Burstow, a visionary with a commitment to exposing psychiatry, and assisting people making their way into the field, to not have to fight for a right to hold an antipsychiatry position. State-sponsored organized psychiatric industries target children, women, people of color, seniors, and people from oppressed groups. The opportunities such a scholarship program present are enormous for the growth of research that will hold psychiatry accountable. The important feminist, anti-racist work that can be accomplished from an antipsychiatry framework is significant, not only for those awarded this new scholarship, but for those working with and near those in slated positions designed to allow people to honestly speak out about the damages psychiatry creates. This brilliant move by Burstow is a game-changer that will further solidify the growing field of antipsychiatry in North America, and around the world. If you are able to support this effort, please do so, today.”

To answer some questions that you may have:

Question: Like Lauren, Don, Peter, and Cheri, I am delighted with this development. How can I make a contribution?
Answer: On the memo line of the cheque, enter the words: For The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry.

For Canadians, and indeed, everyone except Americans, write the cheque payable to University of Toronto and send it to Sim Kapoor at: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1V6.

For Americans, make the cheque out to: The Associates of the University of Toronto, Inc., and send it to: Dr. Gary Kaufman, Treasurer, The Associates of the University of Toronto, Inc., 58 West 84th St., # 2F, New York, New York, USA, 10024.

Question: Will I receive a charitable receipt recognized for tax purposes?
Answer: You for sure will receive a charitable receipt and for sure it is one that will be recognized for tax purposes, respectively by Revenue Canada and US Internal Revenue. The receipt may or may not be similarly useful to donors from other countries, though in most cases, probably not.

Question: Can I contribute on-line?
Answer: Absolutely. Just go to: donate.utoronto.ca/Bonnie-Burstow-Scholarship

Question: What is the period during which donations are accepted?
Answer: Donations are being accepted now. The end of the donations period is March 31, 2017.

Question: Will thesis students in Mad Studies who are not (or not yet) fully antipsychiatry also be considered for the award?
Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it okay if I send this letter out to others or post it on a website?
Answer: It is more than okay. Everything that you can do that spreads the word about this radical new scholarship would be greatly appreciated.

Question: How can I get answers to other questions that I have?
Answer: Check out the OISE web entry on this scholarship at www.oise.utoronto.ca. And if you still have questions, contact the committee at: [email protected]

Much thanks for reading this letter. As you can see, this is a scholarship that is meant to be. Those of us who have been working on it long and hard consider what we are doing here a “mitzvah”, for we are aware that students and indeed the world at large will continue to benefit from its existence long after all of us have passed.

As people likewise concerned with social justice, with meaningful scholarship, and with personal and societal well-being – for no less is at stake here – we invite you to join us in this worthwhile endeavor, however much your contribution may be and whatever form it take. And be assured that every contribution helps.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo, Bonnie! Students in anti-psychiatry have long been needed, and now we have them. The future doesn’t just belong to those who would legally abduct, torture, and imprison other people, not to mention slander and defame them, and all, state sanctioned, under medical pretenses. I wish the University of Toronto the utmost success at this venture, and may it burgeon into an effective instrument for achieving social justice and bringing about much needed change. When psychiatry is all about harming people under the pretense of “helping” them, anti-psychiatry is all about ending that harm. What could be more important than doing just that.

  2. Brilliant initiative. Innovative, powerful, and with enormous potential to develop a respected and fastidiously prepared, additional body of knowledge addressing the failure, brutality and human destruction resulting from mainstream psychiatry’s hubris and denial.

    Retired physician.