Sunday, January 29, 2023

Transforming Mad Science and Re-Imagining Mental Health Care Videos Released

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This morning, TransformingMadScience.com released thirteen 20-30 minute video presentations from the 2014 International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) conference at UCLA. The videos include presentations by Bonnie Burstow, Laura Delano, Allen Frances , David Healy, Peter Gøtzsche, Pascal-Henri Keller, John Read, Tomi Gomory, Shannon Hughes, Jeffrey Lacasse, David Cohen, François Gonon, Jonathan Leo, Peter Whitehouse, Robert Whitaker, and Keith Hoeller.

My Thoughts on an Alternative to HB1386 in Colorado (Open Letter)

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I oppose HB1386 and request it be voted down. That, though, is not enough and I know it. So, here, I propose an alternative plan to HB1386.

Defeating Goliath: Mental Health is a Social Justice Issue, and People with Lived Experience...

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While I have lived just a few miles away from the Capitol for the last fifteen years, I have been unsure about getting involved in legislative advocacy. I’ve been intimidated by the complexity of the legislative process, and more inclined to leave it up to others who I perceive as having more experience than me. And honestly, I haven’t felt very hopeful about effecting change. My cynicism had turned to “learned helplessness.” And then along came a mental health bill so destructive, so regressive, that I had to step out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.

Rep. McCann: Taking Away the Jury Trial is Undemocratic. (Open Letter)

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I don't understand your recent sponsorship of a bill to remove "the option for a jury trial for a certification for either a mental health or substance misuse hold."

Recent Success for the Bay Area’s Campaign Against Expanding Forced Treatment

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The Bay Area survivor and peer movement came out strong recently, pushing the Alameda Board of Supervisors to table a proposed expansion of forced outpatient commitment. AB 1421, more commonly known as Laura's Law, says that if a court or judge decides that a person with mental health issues requires treatment, they must abide by a plan determined by a team of professionals on an outpatient basis. The law was passed in California in 2002 but is conditional on California county approval for implementation. Fueled by sensational accounts of the death of Laura Wilcox, who was killed by a man with a psychiatric diagnosis, AB 1421 holds the false promise that force and coercion are the solution to help people in emotional distress.

5 Things You’ve Taught me about Civility, Empathy, and Asking the Hard Questions

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For a time this community intimidated me. I was in somewhat unfamiliar territory. Reading your impassioned cries for understanding and accurate analysis of ideas I'd never really thought about has been moving and enlightening for me. Some of you have been through things I'd rather not imagine. Your stories fiercely bring to mind the fates of some of my closest friends; they remind me of challenges faced and horrors narrowly avoided in my own efforts to "pass," even as I worried I was completely mad. Today I will tell you five things I have learned, and how I would like us to be doing things differently.

MIA’s New Directory of Providers For Psych Drug Withdrawal

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One of the first things I heard from Bob Whitaker when I joined Mad In America was this, "I get emails every single day from people asking if I know where they can get help coming off their medication, and I don't know what to tell them. We need to do something about this."Since then, I've received many messages with the same question myself, and rarely have I been able to offer concrete advice. Thankfully, that has changed! Today, we are pleased to announce the Mad In America directory of service providers featuring practitioners and programs who support withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, as well as other alternatives to the mainstream paradigm of care.

Responding to Attacks on MIA — One Long Night of Zombie Whack-a-Mole

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Mad in America has been under a low-grade attack by hackers for several weeks. I first noticed an odd traffic pattern in our Google Analytics account, indicating that the front page was receiving more than ten views for each unique visitor. This means that some minority of accounts was reloading our front page over and over again. This is called a botnet attack, where a hacker uses a set of zombie computers, often compromised by malware, to perform repetitive tasks.

One Year of Mad In America

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In January 2012, Mad In America went live with a handful of bloggers and the mission to become a central community in the effort to rethink and transform the paradigm of psychiatric care.

I want to offer some thoughts and figures about where we've been in the past year and what we are growing into.

Then I want to ask you for money.

Mad In America Forums and Other Updates

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Today we are launching discussion forums on Mad in America. We intend for these forums to serve three broad purposes. 1) Furthering discussion of the issues raised here. 2) Sharing personal experiences with psychiatric drugs, and 3) Providing a platform for personal networking and activism.

Site Updates and Posting Policy

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Shortly after Mad In America launched at the beginning of the year I was invited to take over the site’s web development and to...

Guidelines for a Thoughtful Discussion

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Back in December,  when I decided to turn madinamerica.com into a webzine, I envisioned it as serving several purposes. I wanted to create a...