From University of South-Eastern Norway: “Today, at the ‘Leap Year Seminar’ at the University of Southeast Norway, the annual Prize for Promoting Freedom of Speech in Mental Health Care was awarded to Merete Nesset, a former psychiatric patient, now writer, filmmaker and public speaker.
The event is an open forum for presenting knowledge and ideas for better mental health care, and is arranged in collaboration with the Solidarity Association Starfish and the Foundation for Promoting Freedom of Speech in Mental Health Care in Norway.
In various contexts, the prize winner has shared her own experiences of being locked up in psychiatric wards, of isolation, of restraints and of forced medication:
‘I remember thinking that this so-called treatment is so cruel and inhuman that I need to make use of it for something, someday. I thought all this suffering must not be in vain. I always felt an obligation to contribute to stopping the horrors of coercion, and I felt a strong need to talk openly about the offenses and human rights violations going on behind closed doors—even though the conversation is unpleasant. It’s not just about having the freedom to express myself, it’s become imperative for me,’ Nesset says.”