MindFreedom News Release

NEWS RELEASE – 4 March 2008 – PsychRights – MindFreedom
Media contacts: Daniel Hazen – 315-528-3385 dan@psychrights.org
Krista Erickson – 541-345-9106 krista@mindfreedom.org

More info & download PDF of news release:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/psychrights

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Forcing Psychiatric Drugs Can Increase Violence,” Warns
New Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism

Promising to fight what they call pervasive and harmful violations of
mental health clients who are involuntarily drugged and
electroshocked in the United States, The Law Project for Psychiatric
Rights (PsychRights) and the MindFreedom Shield Campaign announced
today a joint Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism.
The new partnership of law and nonviolent direct action has an
initial focus in the states of California, Massachusetts and New York.

PsychRights’ President Jim Gottstein declared, “People’s rights in
forced drugging proceedings are ignored as a matter of course,
resulting in great harm to them and decreased public safety.” David
Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International (MFI), noted, “Violence
by a few individuals labeled ‘mentally ill’ has led to a backlash
calling for a massive increase in forced psychiatric drugging.”

Mr. Gottstein added, “Contrary to public perception, forcing people
to take psychiatric drugs can often increase violence, rather than
decrease it. If people were warned that both taking and withdrawing
from these drugs can at times contribute to committing terrible acts,
they and their loved ones can be alert to the possibility and
tragedies averted.”

Krista Erickson, MFI board member and Chair of the MFI Shield
Campaign, said, “I’m excited about MFI and PsychRights expanding our
partnership and focusing the combined power of legal advocacy and
activism on specific cases.” The MFI Shield Campaign supports the
wishes of a member to be free of involuntary mental health
intervention with an international “Solidarity Network” of advocates.
The new Task Force plans to use both the court of law and the court
of public opinion.

Task Force organizers say the combination of PsychRights’ expertise
for strategic litigation and the “people power” of MindFreedom
activists around the country will bring a synergy and geographic
reach to their demands for people’s legal and human rights. Daniel
Hazen, Northeast Coordinator with PsychRights, added, “In the United
States the ‘mental health’ industry is a labeling system that often
dismisses self- determination, legal capacity and alternatives.
‘Treatment’ can be forced through the court systems. People ought to
‘have their day in court’ but this is often far from what actually
occurs.”

MFI is an independent nonprofit coalition defending human rights and
promoting humane alternatives in mental health. The Law Project for
Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the
defense of people facing what they call the “horrors of unwarranted
forced psychiatric drugging and other forced psychiatric procedures.”
PsychRights office is in Anchorage, Alaska: http://
www.psychrights.org. The MFI office is in Eugene, Oregon: http://
www.mindfreedom.org

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