Sunday, May 16, 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.

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

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?
psychiatric drugs and violence

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

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.

Feral Psychiatry: The Case of Garth Daniels

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.

Open Dialogue Approach Reduces Future Need for Mental Health Services

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

Reimagining Healthcare

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.

Lessons from Soteria-Alaska

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.

Making Peer Counseling Radically Accessible

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.

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

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.

Intentional Peer Support: Creating Relationships, Creating Change

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.

Disobedience: What Can We Risk?

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.
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

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.
candles

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

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.

All Real Living is Meeting

In recent weeks I have taken part in some very powerful meetings at my work place, the Family Care Foundation. By "powerful" I mean that they have been both moving and demanding, Many people who did not know about us before seeing Daniel Mackler´s movie, Healing Homes, have contacted the Family Care Foundation looking for a place where it is possible to get off pharmaceuticals, and to be supported. Even more importantly, they are longing for a place where they are met as a human being, amongst other human beings.

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

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

Some Observations of Soteria-Alaska

If people who work in mainstream biological psychiatry are willing to consider referring people in severe psychiatric crises to a program that operates under both a completely alternative philosophy and model to their own, then I see hope for our world’s mental health system. If our local psychiatric emergency room is willing to refer to a program like ours, then other psychiatric emergency rooms elsewhere in the United States and the world must be willing at least to consider doing the same. For this reason, I do not feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. I feel the system can change.

The CHRUSP Call to Action, and Its Significance

Various instruments of the United Nations have commented on forced treatment, or involuntary confinement, or both (for details, see Burstow, 2015a), and a number of truly critical additions to international law have materialized. Arguably, the most significant of these is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. What makes it so significant? For one thing, it is because this landmark convention puts forward nothing less than a total ban on both involuntary treatment and the involuntary confinement of people who have broken no laws.
crossroads

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

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.
europe

Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?

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.

Inner Fire: Healing and Recovery Without Meds

For five years, I and others worked to create a residential healing community in Brookline, Vermont, where people could recover from debilitating and traumatic life experiences, which often lead to addiction and mental health challenges, without the use of psychotropic medications. We welcomed our first six seekers to a yearlong, therapeutic and farm-based, day program last September, and we now can report on what we have learned during this time.

The FDA Wants to Approve ECT Without Testing

On December 29, 2015, the FDA proposed reclassifying ECT, essentially approving of its routine clinical use. I submitted a statement to FDA, explaining why the FDA should ban ECT until it goes through rigorous testing. I urge others to respond quickly to the FDA’s call for comments.

CRPD Absolute Prohibition Campaign and Course

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.

Truth and Reconciliation: An Evening of Sharing and Healing

On Wednesday, March 20, 2016, Rethinking Psychiatry collaborated with The M.O.M.S. Movement and The Icarus Project to host our first Truth and Reconciliation Circle for Receivers and Givers of Psychiatric and Mental Health Services. In this three-hour event, both receivers and givers of psychiatric and mental health services expressed their thoughts and feelings in a structured, facilitated environment.

Medical Science Argues Against Forced Treatment Too

The argument that is usually made against involuntary commitment and forced treatment is that these actions, under the authority of a state, violate a person’s basic civil rights. They deprive a person of liberty and personal autonomy, and do so in the absence of a criminal charge. However, there is another argument, one of adjunctive value, that can be made against involuntary commitment and forced treatment. Medical science argues against forced treatment too.

Announcing an International Symposium and Institute on Psychiatric Drug Risks and Withdrawal

I have given up on psychiatry as a system capable of “being there” for people who are dealing with life and death issues. Psychiatry as a system of care lacks validity. Every day — unfortunately — we learn of new examples proving this statement. But here's the good news: every day we meet people who show us that the predictions of psychiatry are not true; that there are “cures,” that it is possible to reduce or withdraw psychiatric drugs.

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