Playing with Hugh
Or, rather, hue (and contrast, and saturation etc.). All these taken in the past week or two. Click for real size, which is big, btw.
I call this one “very close to fall”.
“General Pictures, Sir!”
MindFreedom Oregon News Alert – Please Forward
MindFreedom International News – 22 October 2009
Ray Alert #22 – Unite for Real Mental Health Advocacy
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward
Today is Victory Day for Ray Sandford!
No More Forced Electroshock for Ray, Ever!
Today, Ray Sandford of Minnesota phoned the MindFreedom office with
some very good news:
It is official.
After more than 40 involuntary, outpatient electroshocks (also known
as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), Ray has won.
The court agreed to his change of guardianship. Ray’s new guardians
support his right to say “no” to intrusive procedures such as
Ray made this comment for MindFreedom International members and
supporters, who have backed his campaign for almost exactly one year.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed. This is wonderful! I’m very thankful. Without
your help I probably would still be sitting somewhere getting more
forced electroshock. So thanks a lot to and your group. Praise and
thank the Lord, amen!”
Said David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, “Ray’s courage
and laser focus led to a campaign that proves the ‘mad movement’ is
alive and well. The sheer level of people power had to break through.
I know some feel discouraged by the immense oppression of sanism.
Think of Ray. There is an ancient Persian saying: ‘No one is tired on
THE SHORT STORY OF RAY’S VICTORY DAY
MindFreedom is encouraging all of Ray’s supporters to celebrate this
week, especially this Tuesday, 27 October 2009.
One year ago this week, on 27 October 2008, Ray Sandford first phoned
up the MindFreedom office. He had asked his local library about
organizations that support human rights in mental health. The
reference librarian gave him MindFreedom’s phone number.
Ray phoned up the MindFreedom office. He said that every Wednesday
morning he was escorted from his group home to a hospital for another
involuntary forced electroshock, under court order.
MindFreedom International investigated and kicked off a public
campaign that became global. Issuing 21 alerts, MindFreedom’s campaign
activated thousands of people who peacefully but passionately
contacted elected officials, held protests, mailed Ray stationery
supplies, won extensive media coverage, visited him, and much, much
more. At least one elected official said they felt ‘inundated.’
But MindFreedom also found that Ray’s oppression was systemic and deep.
MindFreedom volunteers identified and listed on the MFI web site more
than 30 agencies and individuals receiving taxpayer money to
supposedly help Ray. Only a few agencies helped Ray, and most actually
opposed his rights. Because MFI’s web site is so popular, many of
those who oppressed Ray can “Google themselves” and discover their MFI
listing near the top.
Ray’s last forced electroshock was on USA tax day, 15 April 2009.
By coincidence the 15th of April was also the date of the very first
forced electroshock, back in 1938 in Italy, when the subject cried out:
“Non una seconda! Mortifierel” which means in Italian, “Not another!
On 13 May 2009, Ray was escorted all the way to a hospital bed. He was
prepped for another forced electroshock. Because of outrage, hospital
authorities cancelled Ray’s shock at the last second, and he was sent
More victories quickly followed.
Ray’s psychiatrist quit because he said his insurance company was
concerned about all the public attention. MindFreedom helped Ray find
a new psychiatrist supportive of Ray’s human rights.
Ray’s family joined in the campaign. MindFreedom organized a YouTube
video with Ray and his Mom, begging for the shock to end. Ray’s
guardians, an agency under the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA), tried to stop the video from going public, but it got ought.
Ray’s family found a better attorney. Ray found great pleasure in
firing his ineffective court-appointed attorney.
Several concerned Minnesota agencies formed an “ECT Work Group” to
change the law in Minnesota. Two MindFreedom representatives serve on
the committee, but are asking for more than just minor reform.
“SINGLE, SMALL VOICE IN THE FACE OF A MEDICAL GIANT.”
And today, Ray’s final victory is in place: Ray successfully replaced
his general guardians who had supported his forced electroshock.
One of Ray’s new guardians, Daryl Trones, announced:
“MindFreedom has just won a substantial victory! Today I received an
‘Acceptance of Appointment” from Ramsey County District Court
regarding the changing of guardianship for Ray Sandford. Ray no longer
will be subject to ECT treatments. The powers of Successor
Guardianship include the power to ‘withhold consent for treatment of
service, including neuroleptic / psychotropic medications,’ under
Minnesota Statute 524.5-314.”
Daryl, Ray and his family want to thank all of Ray’s many supporters.
Said Daryl, “My appreciation to all the MindFreedom members and
volunteers and especially to David Oaks who orchestrated requisite
forces and passions to pull Ray Sandford from harm’s way. MindFreedom
now bas a successful case study outlining the necessary steps to
extricate persons subject to forced electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Congratulation to MindFreedom Staff and Members and most of all to Ray
Sandford who one year ago was just a single, small voice in the face
of a medical giant.”
Supporters should finally be able to postal mail to Ray Sandford
directly without delay.
You may postal mail your congratulations to Ray here:
4427 Monroe St.
Columbia Heights, MN 55421-2880 USA
You can read the history of Ray’s successful campaign at:
Utne Reader magazine periodically names “50 Visionaries Who Are
Changing Your World.”
A psychiatric survivor activist is named as one of these visionaries
in Utne’s November/ issue, which hits the stands now:
David W. Oaks, Director of , an independent
nonprofit for human rights and alternatives in mental health.
Utne’s listing of David Oaks also zings ABC-TV’s recent national news
coverage of the “mad pride movement,” which has been widely criticized
For Utne’s listing of David Oaks, and to make a public comment, go here:
or use this link:
For Utne’s entire list of 2009 visionaries, starting with the Dalai
Lama who is on the cover, go here:
or use this link:
Said David Oaks, “Utne is one of the few media leaders to acknowledge
the ‘mad movement’ to deeply change the . Utne’s
recognition is really of our whole movement’s vision. This shows we
are still connected to all the other movements for social and
environmental justice, just as when our movement first started. Can we
have a nonviolent revolution now?”
Another Suspicious Death Inside Oregon State Hospital
According to the below MindFreedom Oregon Exclusive Report, another
psychiatric patient died inside Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon
under suspicious circumstances on Saturday, 17 October 2009.
The man — known here as “Patient M” — had apparently been
complaining repeatedly for a month about chest pain, which staff had
allegedly dismissed because of his psychiatric diagnosis. Instead of
medical care, staff reportedly just gave him more psychiatric drugs.
After the patient died, the report says he was left undiscovered all
day by staff who were supposed to be checking on him regularly.
The below is based on several anonymous reports from patients on ward
50F with access to telephones, who took great risk to speak out.
Because of a long pattern of abuse and neglect in Oregon State
Hospital (OSH), this information is offered immediately in the public
interest, but has not yet been investigated by authorities. Each
allegation needs to be investigated before confirmation.
At the bottom are ways you can speak out to demand an investigation,
and also demand support for a state-wide voice for Oregon’s mental
health consumers and psychiatric survivors.
Patients supplying this news did not ask to be anonymous but patients
at OSH have reported retaliation for getting information out in
public. For example, this past week a minimum security patient was
allegedly moved, in shackles, to a more restricted area after he spoke
with Salem reporters about his lawsuit against Oregon State Hospital.
MindFreedom calls on the Governor, the US Dept. of Justice and the
media to immediately investigate the below allegations, especially the
RED FLAGS marked in this report.
EXCLUSIVE REPORT to MindFreedom Oregon
“The medicine is not working.”
The Passing of “Patient M” on Ward 50F in Oregon State Hospital
Over one month ago, “Patient M” had a fellow patient — “R” — help
him write a special letter to the ward medical officer.
In the letter Patient M complained of his chest pain, stomach pain and
Instead of medical treatment for the chest pain, because of his
psychiatric diagnosis Patient M was given more psychiatric drugs as
staff felt he needed them, known in medicine as “PRN.” These
psychiatric drugs were often minor tranquilizers, usually Ativan
(lorazepam) or Klonopin (clonazepam). The psychiatric drugs were
administered whenever he complained of pain.
Two weeks ago, Patient M spoke directly to the Ward Medical Officer
and said that, “The medicine is not working.” He continued to complain
of chest and stomach pain with difficulty breathing. [RED FLAG] He
continued to be given “PRNs.” He was not given a pain reliever, heart
medication or any cardiac testing.
This past week, Patient M has told everyone on the ward who would
listen that he was in serious pain. Other patients were already very
worried about his health. He continued to receive tranquilizers when
Last Thursday and Friday — 15th and 16th of October — were
particularly bad. [RED FLAG]
Patients say it’s important to know that it is policy that all
patients be checked for “location and condition every hour.” For
example, in a widely-publicized escape a month ago, staff had not been
checking on the patient.
Saturday morning, 17 October 2009, Patient M got up for breakfast, and
he was known as a man who never misses a meal. Some said eating seemed
to be his greatest enjoyment, and he was always the first person to
get his food. Because he is sloppy, he got his food delivered to him
outside the kitchen.
At 8:30 am he was given his morning meds. He told the nurse that his
chest hurt “really bad” and he had trouble breathing. He was given his
usual psychiatric drug PRN.
Patient M went to lay down.
A nurse checked at 9:30 am and saw he was lying down. He seemed okay.
Patient M resided in a very over-crowded room typical of the “50
building” at OSH. A short time later one of his roommates said his
eyes were rolled back. “But sometimes he sleeps like that” because of
the PRNs, said one roommate.
No staff checked his condition for the rest of the morning. [RED FLAG]
Lunch on 50F is served between 11 am and 11:30 am. Staff brought his
tray down to his room. They called his name and there was no response,
even though it is well known that he always eats. [RED FLAG] Staff
left, and took his lunch back to the kitchen.
Mid-afternoon a roommate shook his foot to see if he’d wake up. There
was no response. No staff looked in on him to check his condition all
afternoon. [RED FLAG]
Dinner time, 4:30 pm, staff called into his room to announce the meal.
No response. Patient M did not get up for food. Staff did not bother
to bring a tray down for him. No staff checked him.
His roommates complained of the stench of “shit” in the room. This
odor was probably from the natural course of a person who is lying
dead for hours as their bowels evacuate. Staff still stayed out. [RED
Finally, at 7:45 pm OSH medication staff went to his room to give him
his evening pills. This time he was checked. He was so dead cold, no
attempt was made at resuscitation. Some patients believe he was in or
past rigor mortis at this point.
Between 7:45 and 8 pm, patient eye-witnesses allege several things
happened. The room was sealed. Staff were called into what one person
called a “bubble” to speak privately.
Based on patient reports: “It was quiet for a few minutes. Then the
staff became very active. We could see through the nurses’ station
windows that they were handling documents, making photocopies. We
heard one staff say, ‘We’ll need six more of those.’ Then we could see
staff shredding originals of documents they had just photocopied. By 8
pm things had returned to normal. The body was carried out later.”
Over the weekend Patient M’s soiled bed and personal area were left as
is in the crowded room. “The smell was unbelievable,” said one witness.
On Monday morning, 19 October 2009, two days after the death, at the
ward meeting, patients complained about the unsanitary conditions in
this room. Staff took out the bed, bedding and sanitized the area. As
of that evening there was no counseling about the death, and no extra
help provided to other patients on that ward.
No memorial was suggested until patients brought it up at the ward
Patients were questioned at the meeting about “What do you know?” and
“What will you report?” One patient referred to the meeting as an
Patients around the hospital heard about the death only by word of
Many are reportedly saddened.
Because of the request by patients, a memorial is planned.
– end –
ACTIONS * ACTIONS * ACTIONS
Please forward this alert to others who support human rights in mental
The Governor has not responded to e-mails. Please telephone.
PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111
In a civil but strong way, in your own words:
1) Ask the Governor to personally investigate suspicious deaths at
Oregon State Hospital.
2) Ask the Governor to support the state-wide voice of mental health
consumers and psychiatric survivors.
BACKGROUND on OSH & MORTALITY:
Oregon State Hospital has a long history of suspicious deaths.
OSH is nationally famous when its secret discolored copper canisters
were revealed that contain the ashes of some 5,121 patients who died
between 1913 and 1971. The identification of many of the patients is
See the Time Magazine article on Jan. 2009 about OSH ash cans here:
For more photos of the canisters go to this web site from July 2009:
or use this link:
Mortality and people in the mental health system continues to be a
national controversy today in the USA.
A major study by the National Association of State Mental Health
Program Directors showed that people who use the US public mental
health system die about 25 years earlier than the general public:
One possible reason provided in the study is the over-use of
psychiatric drugs, including multiple prescriptions, but this factor
is often omitted or downplayed by those in the mental health system
discussing these deaths.
Instead, the mental health system today is promoting “integration” of
physical and mental health as the answer to this mortality rate.
“Integration” is now a major buzz word in mental health.
Unfortunately, there’s no definition of this “integration.” Is this
the “integration” of psychiatric institutions into the community, as
mandated by the Olmstead Supreme Court decision? A draft of Oregon’s
plan to implement Olmstead does not emphasize the importance of
supporting the voice of mental health consumers and psychiatric
In some places this “integration” buzz word has simply meant increased
prescription rates of psychiatric drugs in clinics that had previously
focused on physical health. Sad about your heart condition? There may
be a psychiatric drug prescription waiting for you, too.
People with psychiatric labels continue to be among the most
How can this “power imbalance” change without a voice?
Since the exact month Governor Ted Kulongoski took office, Oregon
became one of the few USA states to provide zero — 0 — funding for
the state-wide voice of mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors. For more than seven years, there has been zero state
funding for any of those activities — a newsletter, conference,
office of mental health consumer affairs.
During tough times, people with psychiatric labels are supposedly hit
hardest. That’s when we should be supporting the voice of mental
health consumers and psychiatric survivors the most.
However, apparently based on advice from his closest staff, Governor
Kulongoski continues to recommend zero for this state-wide voice each
You can read about the Governor’s legacy of “zero” for mental health
consumers and psychiatric survivors here:
1) PLEASE forward this covered-up news to all interested people.
2) PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111
Be civil and strong, ask for investigation of deaths at OSH, and for
his support of a state-wide voice for mental health consumers and
US Department of Justice (DOJ) is supposed to be investigating Oregon
In your own words, ask that all appropriate results of investigations
by DOJ of OSH be made public, and also be provided to you.
You can e-mail DOJ here:
Or for more DOJ contact info, go here:
You can also e-mail or postal mail Governor Kulongoski, contact info
Please also bring this to the attention of any interested media.
If you did not receive this alert directly from mindfreedom-oregon
news service, you can get on this free, public alert system here:
For more info about MindFreedom Oregon go here:
Autopsy was supposed to be done Friday- I have heard nothing. Key information would be stomach contents, since the hospital claimed he had all his meals that day (whereas eyewitnesses say he was left dead in his room all day).
From Librivox- free audio books
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Have fun, be safe, eat as much candy as you want.