It’s Time for Full Legal Equality for People With Diagnoses


In this piece for the National Survivor User Network, Liz Sayce argues that people with mental health conditions will continue to stay silent about their distress until they have full equality and citizenship under the law, including protection from employment discrimination and coercive psychiatric interventions.

“Most social movements see full legal equality as one fundamental milestone in their progress: think of the US civil rights movement overturning segregation everywhere from lunch-counters to universities, or the LGB movement in the UK campaigning for an equal age of consent and equal marriage.

Yet in mental health there is no clear, united campaign for law enshrining human rights.

Meanwhile many in the mental health world are working strenuously for cultural change – changing the conversation in mental health, making it easier to speak openly – but without pressing for equality under the law. I want to suggest that cultural change won’t happen without legal change – without full equality and human rights.”


  1. wtf? Why are there no comments here, in over a month?….
    Actually, I’d say it’s time to do away with the bogus “diagnoses” altogether….
    The “diagnosis” *itself* is a form of second-class citizenship.
    To think that some bogus psychiatric “diagnosis”, and full citizenship are compatible is delusional at best.
    That’s like saying, “We need to treat those slaves as if they’re full citizens”….

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  2. Yes, I have a proposed solution:
    Simply make the system work by having any “mental health professional” able to certify any person as
    “worthy of my services”, *IF* that person freely requests that.
    That way, the onus would be on the “clinician” to justify their paycheck, and not depend on a bogus label slapped on a person. Seems this would eliminate most so-called “stigma”, too….

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