Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Initiatives

News, reports, and blogs by leaders of alternative treatment programs, and those organizing legal and political efforts to change our current drug-centered paradigm of care.

Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were "damage," "barbaric" and "torture." We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order. There is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment to the FDA.

Intentional Peer Support: Creating Relationships, Creating Change

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IPS is about creating a power-balanced, relational context in which we can begin to explore and even challenge the stories we have been taught. We can name our experiences, and challenge the meaning that we have constructed around those experiences. This fundamentally alters what we think of as “help,” but also challenges social and political constructs of disability.

Reimagining Healthcare

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The conventional Western classification systems of health conditions are based on flawed science shaped by reductionist, hierarchical, and profit-driven ideologies. THEN wants to create a new paradigm built upon principles drawn from systems science, the life course perspective, developmental neurobiology, and other evidence-informed studies.

Feral Psychiatry: The Case of Garth Daniels

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Garth Daniels, a 39-year-old Melbourne man, has been shackled for 110 days and forced to undergo ECT 94 times at three times a week against his will. Last year, his family asked me to provide a second opinion on Garth’s case. As predicted, my recommendations against continued ECT were quickly dismissed by the hospital. There are critically important issues at stake in this case.

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

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Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

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Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.
psychiatric drugs and violence

Prescripticide: A Proposal for Action and a Request for Your Help

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The primary factor protecting psychiatry’s unwarranted power and authority is that it is perceived as shielding society from folks who are believed to be dangerous. It would seem, then, that one logical step toward reducing society’s trust in biological psychiatry would be to reveal the evidence of a significant correlation between the use of prescribed psychoactive drugs and the commission of violent acts against oneself or others.

Mental Health Advocacy in California: Perspectives of Advocates and Decision-Makers

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In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn, Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. The objective was to pilot an approach to help CAMHPRO evaluate the impact of consumer advocacy in the state and to document the activities that advocates engage in (e.g., legislative testimony, demonstrations, campaigns).
crossroads

2017: A Wake-up Call on Mental Health and Human Rights

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At Mental Health Europe, we see 2017 as having been a crossroads for mental health and human rights. Let’s ensure that this yields concrete change in 2018 with the support of like-minded communities ready to take the discussion to the next level and truly enact this as a civil rights movement.

Making Peer Counseling Radically Accessible

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I imagined a world in which anyone can hit a button on their phone and be connected with a compassionate and empathetic listener, 24/7. So in 2019, I founded Peer Collective. Today, there are 30 peer counselors on the platform offering 30-minute counseling sessions for just $14.

Disobedience: What Can We Risk?

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It is possible to heal, and at the same time healing also means restoring the part of oneself that can face violence and disobey to protect what is most sacred. I am that sacred, and so are you.

CRPD Absolute Prohibition Campaign and Course

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For a long time I have been interested in offering a course on CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) to pass on my knowledge to other activists and allow more people to take up the frustrating and passionate responsibility of human rights work. Finally I have come up with a plan that is doable.

Open Dialogue Approach Reduces Future Need for Mental Health Services

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The Open Dialogue psychiatric treatment approach is associated with reduced utilization of mental and general health services for Danish youth.

Psychosocial Disability and Legal Capacity: Don’t Bargain with Human Rights

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For persons with psychosocial disabilities, one of the most fundamental rights laid out in the CRPD is the right to equal recognition before the law and legal capacity (Article 12). Our latest Position Paper focuses on Article 12 of the CRPD.

CHOICES Back on Track

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Last year I reported that CHOICES, Inc. had lost its way and was implementing an ACT team. There is no doubt in my mind that CHOICES was on the wrong path, but the new Executive Director is committed to getting CHOICES back to a peer-run program.

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

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Hearing Voices Network self-help groups are an important resource for coping with voice hearing, study finds.
europe

Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?

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European citizens from 27 different countries will soon go to the polls to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. As an advocacy organisation, we see those elections as an opportunity to call on current and future European leaders and policymakers to bring mental health to the heart of European policies.
candles

And They Said it Wouldn’t Last – Rethinking Psychiatry Celebrates its 7th Year

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Rethinking Psychiatry is proud to continue the work that began in 2010 in Portland, and we look forward to many more years of challenging the dominant paradigm in mental health and providing new perspectives and solutions.

Lessons from Soteria-Alaska

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Yes, Soteria-Alaska is closing. And its sister organization, CHOICES, Inc., has lost its way. As the person who conceived of both of these and got them going, I have some thoughts that might be worthwhile about what went wrong; what should or might have been done differently; and most importantly, what lessons might have been learned.

Pushing for an Informed Consent Benzo Bill in Texas

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Dr. Raymond Armstrong and I are currently working together to push Texas lawmakers to adopt restrictions on the prescription of benzodiazepines and sleep drugs. We feel fortunate to be able to draw from the experience of the benzo movement in Massachusetts, and we are grateful for the information that long time advocates like Geraldine Burns have provided us.

Eat Breathe Thrive: Chelsea Roff on Eating Disorders, Trauma, and Healing with Yoga and...

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Chelsea Roff is the Founder and Director of Eat Breathe Thrive (EBT), a non-profit with an inspired mission to bring yoga, mindfulness, and community support to people struggling with negative body image and disordered eating. I reached out to Chelsea to learn more about her life and organization, which she writes, “…is like AA for people with food and body image issues, plus yoga and meditation.” Chelsea shared her journey from life as a patient to yogi, author, and innovative community organizer. With her permission, you can find this interview below.

Hearing Voices, Emancipation, Shamanism and CBT: Thoughts After Douglas Turkington’s Training

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When Doug Turkington, a UK psychiatrist, first announced to his colleagues that he wanted to help people with psychotic experiences by talking to them, he was told by some that this would just make them worse, and by others that this would be a risk to his own mental health, and would probably cause him to become psychotic! Fortunately, he didn’t believe either group, and in the following decades he went on to be a leading researcher and educator about talking to people within the method called CBT for psychosis.

The Soteria Project.

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During the 1970s, the head of schizophrenia studies at the NIMH, Loren Mosher, conducted an experiment that compared treatment in a homelike environment (called...

LERNing Through Research, Advocacy, and Experience

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The Lived Experience Research Network Issue Briefs series promotes change through multiple perspectives. We recently launched our inaugural Fall 2013 edition of the LERN Issue Briefs series. These two-page briefs highlight issues of importance in the behavioral health and disabilities fields.

Update: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill Hearing

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The hearing for Bill H4062: Informed Consent for Benzodiazepines and Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics took place on Monday – in the middle of an April snowstorm! The discussion clarified some important points in the legislation and gave survivors an opportunity to tell their stories. I was so proud to be there and witness the courage, camaraderie, resilience, advocacy, and vulnerability of fellow survivors. This legislation is our chance to be heard. As one survivor said, through tears, to the committee, “Do not let my suffering be in vain. I beg you to pass this bill.”

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