Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Comments by advocatefan

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  • You brought a purpose for my life. I find it so hard to bear this loss of you. You did not know how much I relied on your existence. You were among us, our voice clear and true. You were a fierce yet gentle teacher, my Guru… I was not often near you but felt that your essence sustained me. I loved you. I loved you.

    I remember meeting with you, Wade, Jenny, Ted, Tanya, of Madness Network News opposing psychiatric practice used as a tool to oppress and control people in this society. I remember distributing Dr. Caligari’s informative compendium on the use and effects of psychiatric drugs to consumers inside of the MH system. I was a member of The Committee for Alternatives to Psychiatry that you founded.

    We gave testimony about the deleterious effects of psychiatric drugs at a hearing of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. You organized a hearing on ECT at another committee of the SF Board of Supervisors and survivors gave personal experience about the injury to the brain ECT caused them. This effort resulted in a moratorium on involuntary ECT in San Francisco at that time. I was encouraged by you to promote self-help consumer-survivor services and to become a City and County Mental Health Advisory Board member. Proudly, I was among the initial group of consumer survivors that founded Spiritmenders in San Francisco (1986 to 2007); a Consumer Run Self-Help Drop in Center that provided a place of our own; a place of respite for those abused or rejected by the systems and persons that were supposed to care and help them. Now, after 28 years as a SF County MH Patients’ Rights Advocate and as a former MH patient who received insulin and shock treatment, I promote people’s rights to autonomy and dignity, respect and full information and consent prior to any proposed treatment. The MH system continues to be dependent on the pharmaceutical industry and uses ECT. I am constantly trying to influence thought and promote changes; sometimes I succeed. You are forever in my heart reminding me that we must be exceptional and brave and committed to our path knowing that each human life is very very precious.

    Fancher Bennett Larson