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SAMHSA sez:

43.7 Million Americans Experienced Mental Illness in 2012

$31 Million Announced To Improve Mental Health Services for Young People

Nearly one in five American adults, or 43.7 million people, experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2012 according to SAMHSA. These results are consistent with 2011 findings.

[Does anyone else besides me suspect that the reason so many are diagnosed is because of marketing of psycho-pharmacological drugs?]

Top Three Reasons Adults Did Not Get Mental Health Treatment in 2012

  • They worried about affording the cost.
  • They thought they could handle the problem without treatment.
  • They did not know where to receive services.

“The President and Vice President have made clear that mental illness should no longer be treated by our society—or covered by insurance companies—differently from other illnesses,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act and new parity protections are expanding mental and substance use disorder benefits for 62 million Americans. This historic expansion will help make treatment more affordable and accessible.”

Related note (click to read whole article):

The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.

Caught Nuzzling Mic

Another news item:

On December 12, 2013, Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013”. While the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health applauds Congressman Murphy’s inclusion of provisions that would reauthorize the Mental Health First Aid Act (S.153/H.R.274), the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (S.116/H.R.2734), the Children’s Recovery from Trauma Act (S.380), the Excellence in Mental Health Act (S.264/H.R.1263), the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013 (MIOTCRA;S. 162/H.R.401) and the Behavioral Health IT Act (S.1517, S.1685/H.R.2057), we decry provisions that would effectively reverse the progress made in mental health treatment and support over the past 30 years.

For decades, organizations such as the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health have been working to add a more balanced approach to mental health services and treatment. The National Federation advocates for the rights of children, youth and young adults who experience mental health challenges. As family members, we feel it is important that our loved ones are able to receive the support they need while remaining at home and in the community. We realize that mental illness does not affect just one person, it is something that the entire family experiences; therefore, it is crucial that initiatives are in place to support the entire family unit.

Rep. Murphy’s bill magnifies the stigma of mental illness by creating an extremely biased link between mental illness and violence. Countless studies have determined that the relationship between mental illness and violence is minimal and that individuals experiencing mental health challenges are 11 times more likely to be the victims of violence than the general public.

The National Federation rejects the expanded use of involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) and urges Congress to champion practices proven to be effective in facilitating a holistic approach to treatments and supports for children and youth who are experiencing mental health challenges and their families.

Finally, the National Federation strongly opposes legislation that threatens to essentially dismantle key efforts and programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which functions as the lead public health agency dedicated to mental health and addiction treatment, services, and supports. Transferring authority away from SAMHSA and decimating significant activities within the Department of Health and Human Services are not in the best interest of our most vulnerable citizens who are striving to be participating members of their communities.

The details in this bill reflect the continued, urgent need for a national conversation with individuals who experience mental illness, their families, and their communities to facilitate the creation of systems and networks that support maximal health, safety, and welfare for all community members. We urge Congressional leaders to take this opportunity to create legislation on behalf of their constituents that solidifies a bond among all stakeholders that highlights the dignity, respect, and self-determination of all individuals.

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health issued this statement in response to the bill.

Cat Bowling

More old Cuckoo’s Nest poetry by JN:

01-30-2009AD

5:20pm

Spoken Cold-Mountain

 [I had given him a copy of Cold Mountain Poems and this was his reply]

Breeze is cold, wet and fresh

Unknown writer I read his writing

Chilled the soul to touch his spirit

Vast as the array of description

Oneness not disconnected was He

Truth in the sporadic words- adrift the snow

Cliffs for bed softened his head

Reading the stone carved wit

Closer to the mountain I get

As I thought those rolling weeds in the wind

Climate is cold to touch, but normal for the universe

Who is wittier?

Mother Nature or the man who wrote?

Void isn’t the mountain with minerals galore

Treasures of the mind I must find

Breaking illusions is for me

This is my trail to this mountain

Entering meditation is salvation

A bird and animal not to sight!

Vast self to roam

Free indeed is the writer in me

Wrote a letter to karma

Issued a food through the threshold

Moonlight glistening snow winds I see

Cold-Mountain: we’re all alone, so it spoke these words

You are home sparkled the stream of life

Years ago I would not have stayed

Fleshy thing in the way

Ghosts are the host that talks wisdom to thee

By JN

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Filed under animated gif, animation, bees on cherry trees, cats, Cold Mountain, Jim, kittens, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, Mental Hell Treatment, Mystic Poetry, pictures, poetry, Re-blogged, Shameless Commerce

Ray Update from MindFreedom

MindFreedom News – 15 April 2009
Nonviolent Revolution in Mental Health
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

    Ray Sandford Declares “Guarded Victory” for MindFreedom Ray Campaign

    Because of Public Pressure, Ray’s Psychiatrist May Quit Case

The bad news is that this morning, 15 April 2009, Ray Sandford of 
Minnesota had another involuntary, outpatient electroshock, also 
known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

The good news is today’s forced electroshock could be Ray’s last.

Maybe.

Ray Sandford called the MindFreedom office this afternoon to say that 
because of growing public pressure, Ray’s main psychiatrist Dean K. 
Knudson plans to quit as Ray’s psychiatrist. Dr. Knudson has been 
ordering the forced electroshocks.

If Ray is quickly assigned a new psychiatrist more sensitive to Ray’s 
human rights and need for humane alternatives, then Ray could be free 
of his ongoing forced electroshocks. Ray has had more than 40.

Dr. Knudson had scheduled Ray’s next forced shock for 30 days from 
today. The court order allowing Ray’s forced electroshock does not 
mandate the psychiatrist to prescribe it.

Ray said that his general guardian, Tonya Wilhelm of Lutheran Social 
Service, told Ray in a phone call today that she had talked to Dr. 
Knudson personally. According to her, Dr. Knudson’s insurance company 
expressed concern to him about the enormous grassroots campaign that 
MindFreedom is building to stop Ray’s forced electroshocks.

RAY CAMPAIGN TO CONTINUE

“Tonya told me that because of all the controversy, Dr. Knudson’s 
insurance company may force him to stop being my psychiatrist,” said 
Ray. “Absolutely this is a guarded victory. I want to be sure to 
thank people for their diligence, and for everything they’re doing to 
support me.”

David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International commented, 
“Today is USA Tax Day. If Ray’s supporters keep it up, it looks like 
taxpayers may get a break, and not waste their money torturing Ray 
any more.”

The Ray Campaign will continue, said Oaks. “We need to stay vigilant 
about Ray’s rights, make sure Dr. Knudson quits, and help Ray find a 
better lead mental health professional pronto.”

The Ray Campaign also raises a question: How many other Ray’s are there?

Said Oaks, “It is proven beyond a doubt that there are others 
throughout the USA and internationally who are getting electroshock 
over their clearly expressed wishes. Every USA state and every nation 
needs a ‘Ray Law’ to stop this nightmare forever.”

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

    ACTION ACTION ACTION

*** PLEASE SHARE THE GOOD NEWS OF THE RAY CAMPAIGN’S “GUARDED VICTORY”!

Forward this alert to appropriate places on and off Internet!

*** LEARN ABOUT THE RAY CAMPAIGN!

For background including Ray Frequently Asked Questions, Ray’s Web of 
Links, YouTube video of Ray and his mom, National Public Radio 
coverage
, how to participate in campaign, and more, see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

*** UNITY WORKS!

MindFreedom International unites to take action for a nonviolent 
revolution in the mental health system.

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, mindfreedom news, wellness and systems change

Grist

for the mill. Obtained from various web locations.

Concerning Premature death associated with bipolar disorder

 

 

Evidence of premature death for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder comes from a study published in Psychiatric Services (abstract available). This study adds to previous warnings discussing risk factors contributing to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. The authors reviewed 17 published studies (between 1959 and 2007) involving more than 330,000 people.

October 20, 2008

Antipsychotic meds and heart disease

 

 

An NIMH study (n=1125) comparing antipsychotic medications and cardiac heart disease found the “risk for CHD differed significantly among the medications.” Risk, marked by elevated cholesterol, was highest for those taking olanzapine (Zyprexa, Zydis) and quetiapine (Seroquel). A decreased risk was noted for those taking risperidone (Risperdal) and ziprasidone (Geodon). Cardiovascular disease is a contributing factor to the shorter life span of people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

January 16, 2009

Sudden death associated with anti-psychotic drugs

Researchers from Vanderbilt University say the rate of sudden cardiac death is twice as high (29 versus 14 per 10,000) for people taking anti-psychotic medication than for those who aren’t. Based on analysis of 15 years of Medicaid data from Tennessee, authors of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/360/3/225) conclude that despite expectations that they differed, first and second generation anti-psychotic drugs have similar, dose-related risks.

March 29, 2007

Medication choices for treating bipolar

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study (N=366) appearing in the on-line New England Journal of Medicine reports that, as an adjunct to mood stabilizers, anti-depressants added no more benefit than a placebo to people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Work was conducted by a consortium of medical schools in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD), sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

http://www.miwatch.org/

 

Article

Premature Mortality From General Medical Illnesses Among Persons With Bipolar Disorder: A Review

Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam, M.D. and Wayne Katon, M.D.

The authors are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle. Send correspondence to Dr. Katon at Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison Services, BB-1661 University Hospital, Box 356560, Seattle, WA 98195 (e-mail: wkaton@u.washington.edu).

OBJECTIVE: Despite recent evidence that patients with bipolar disorder are at increased risk of premature mortality resulting from general medical disorders, there has been no systematic review of published studies. The authors reviewed the literature to determine whether there is evidence of increased risk of mortality from general medical causes among patients with bipolar spectrum disorders. METHODS: MEDLINE was searched from 1959 to 2007 with a focus on bipolar disorder and medical mortality. Published studies in English with more than 100 patients were included. RESULTS: Seventeen studies were identified involving 331,000 patients with bipolar disorder, affective psychosis, affective disorder severe enough to require inpatient psychiatric care or treatment with lithium, or schizoaffective disorder (that is, bipolar spectrum disorders) meeting the inclusion criteria. Compared with age- and sex-matched control samples without mental illness in the general population, mortality ratios for death from natural causes and from specific general medical conditions, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, cerebrovascular, and endocrine disorders, were significantly higher among patients with bipolar spectrum disorders in most studies. This finding was more consistent in larger studies with more than 2,500 patients with bipolar spectrum disorders. Cumulatively, cardiovascular disorder appeared to be the most consistent cause of excess mortality in larger studies. CONCLUSIONS: The available evidence suggests that bipolar spectrum disorders are associated with increased premature mortality secondary to general medical illnesses. Unhealthy lifestyle, biological factors, adverse pharmacologic effects, and disparities in health care are possible underlying causes for this excess mortality.

JournalWatch: http://general-medicine.jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/2009/114/1

Antipsychotic Drugs and Sudden Cardiac Death

Both typical and atypical agents doubled risk for sudden cardiac death.

The latest evidence linking antipsychotic drugs to sudden cardiac death is provided by a retrospective cohort study based on data from Tennessee Medicaid. Vanderbilt University researchers identified 93,000 adults (age range, 30–74) who used antipsychotic drugs between 1990 and 2005; about half used typical agents (most commonly haloperidol or thioridazine), and half used atypical agents (most commonly clozapine, quetiapine, olanzapine, or risperidone). These patients were matched by age and sex with 186,000 controls.

The rate of sudden cardiac death was twofold higher among current users of antipsychotic drugs than among nonusers (about 29 vs. 14 sudden deaths per 10,000 person-years). This significant doubling of risk was noted with both typical and atypical agents. These findings were strengthened by several additional analyses: A dose-response pattern was noted; risk for former (i.e., noncurrent) antipsychotic drug users was similar to that of nonusers; and findings from a propensity analysis (which minimizes the influence of potentially confounding factors) mirrored those of the initial analysis.

Comment: This study provides additional evidence that both typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs elevate risk for sudden cardiac death. A plausible mechanism exists: Antipsychotic drugs block repolarizing potassium currents and can prolong the QT interval. In a strongly worded editorial, the writers advocate sharp reductions in use of these agents for off-label indications (e.g., behavior control in dementia patients) and suggest that patients undergo electrocardiography before and shortly after starting these drugs (to detect QT prolongation).

Allan S. Brett, MD

Published in Journal Watch General Medicine January 14, 2009

Citation(s):

Ray WA et al. Atypical antipsychotic drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death. N Engl J Med 2009 Jan 15; 360:225.

 awesome-hands

1 Comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, wellness and systems change

News from MindFreedom and other discussions

It’s been a while since I posted information from MFI or other mental health consumer discussion, so, here, from old to newer; have a full bowl-

picasso_donquixote

NY Times says minor reform is not enough, but stops short of calling
for what is needed: Laws that criminalize extreme psychiatric
corruption. Please forward. See BOTTOM for actions, including
nonviolent protest, you can take.

lunar2009

~~~~~~~~~~
New York Times Editorial – 4 January 2009

No Mugs, but What About Those Fees

New pharmaceutical industry guidelines should stop most drug
companies from distributing a wide range of trinkets and office
supplies designed to keep their brand names before doctors as a
subliminal inducement to prescribe high-priced drugs.

The new code, which kicked in on New Year’s Day, bars the free
distribution of everything from pens to coffee mugs and staplers by
some 40 drug companies that have agreed to the restrictions. That may
seem like small potatoes, but in the aggregate the promotional
products probably cost about $1 billion a year, as Natasha Singer
reported in The Times. The updated rules are the industry’s latest
attempt to restore public confidence that doctors are prescribing
medicines in the patient’s interest. The code still has too many
loopholes.

Although it prohibits company sales representatives from providing
restaurant meals to health care professionals, it allows the sales
teams to continue providing modest meals in professional offices
while pitching their products. It allows companies to continue paying
for so-called continuing medical education for physicians while
correctly leaving the selection of content, speakers and study
materials to conference organizers. There appear to be no loopholes
in bans against providing free tickets to the theater, sporting
events or resort junkets.

None of the steps yet contemplated by industry or professional groups
would completely sever the medical profession and many individual
doctors from their far more disturbing financial ties to the drug
industry.

Over the years, prominent physicians have received hefty fees for
conducting research, consulting or giving “educational” speeches
touting the virtues of drugs to their colleagues. The new industry
code would limit consultants’ fees to “fair market value,” but
critics believe that still leaves far too much room to pay individual
doctors handsomely.

Two investigations now under way at prominent universities show how
much more needs to be done to aerate undisclosed conflicts of interest.

A prominent psychiatrist at Emory University is accused of taking
large payments from a drug maker – and misleading his university
about the amounts – while heading a government study of the company’s
antidepressant drugs. Three psychiatrists at Harvard whose work
fueled an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs to
treat children are accused of failing to report large payments from
the drug makers, most of which they had not disclosed to their
institutions.

Congress needs to pass legislation that would force all drug and
medical-device companies to report a wide range of payments to
doctors through a national registry so that all conflicts are known.
This is a reform that the industry itself now seems willing to
accept. Better yet, the medical profession needs to wean itself
almost entirely from its pervasive dependence on industry money.

~~~~~~~~~~
** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Please forward

~~~~~~~~~~
You may e-mail letter to editor of *LESS* THAN 150 WORDS to The NY
Times here: letters@nytimes.com. Include your contact info. Letters
referring to a recent NY Times editorial have a better chance of
being run.

~~~~~~~~~~
Link to editorial:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/opinion/05mon1.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/nytimes-psychiatry

~~~~~~~~~~
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Thought financial industry corruption was bad? Psychiatric industry
corruption kills kids.

Put psychiatric abusers behind bars. MindFreedom calls for new laws
and enforcement of current laws mandating prison time for extreme
psychiatric human rights violations.

Join nonviolent protests of psychiatric drug money corruption in
front of American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall
at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, or WHEREVER you are, 17 to 18 May
2009
. Info about this and other events:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_sf

~~~~~~~~~~
Read more about USA Congressional investigation of psychiatric
profession here, including past NY Times articles and editorials:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psych-drug-corp/congress

~~~~~~~~~~
To thank USA Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for leading the
congressional investigation use this web form:

http://grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

mp_yb

MindFreedom News – January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray. ZAP BACK!

Join global nonviolent resistance ONLINE!

This Saturday, 10 January 2009, 2 pm ET, 11 am PT click into:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/davidwoaks

Live Free MindFreedom Mad Pride Web Radio – Special ZAP BACK SHOW.

Ray will be woken up early in his “Victory House” group home near
Minneapolis again this morning, Wednesday, 7 January 2009.

Ray Sandford is scheduled for another forced electroshock.

Under a court order and over his expressed wishes, he’ll be escorted
the few miles to Mercy Hospital, put under anesthesia, and given
another “electroconvulsive therapy” or ECT through his brain.

Ray says, “It is scary as hell every time I go.”

Today, involuntary electroshock continues for Ray and many others all
over the world.

houraidl4

New York Times Article:

Lilly Said to Be Near $1.4 Billion U.S. Settlement

By GARDINER HARRIS and ALEX BERENSON
Published: January 14, 2009

Eli Lilly, the drug company, is expected to agree as soon as Thursday to pay $1.4 billion to settle criminal and civil charges that it illegally marketed its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for unauthorized use in patients particularly vulnerable to its risky side effects.

Today’s Business: Gardiner Harris on the Eli Lilly Settlement
Related
Plea Agreement (U.S. v. Eli Lilly and Co.) (Findlaw.com>

Details of the agreement were provided by people involved in the negotiations.

Among the charges, Lilly has been accused of a scheme stretching for years to persuade doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to two categories of patients — children and the elderly — for whom the drug was not federally approved and in whom its use was especially risky.

In one marketing effort, the company urged geriatricians to use Zyprexa to sedate unruly nursing home patients so as to reduce “nursing time and effort,” according to court documents. Like other antipsychotic drugs, Zyprexa increases the risks of sudden death, heart failure and life-threatening infections like pneumonia in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

The company also pressed doctors to treat disruptive children with Zyprexa, court documents show, even though the medicine’s tendency to cause severe weight gain and metabolic disorders is particularly pronounced in children. Over the last decade, Zyprexa’s use in children has soared.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Patricia Hartman, a spokeswoman for the office, declined to comment.

Angela Sekson, a Lilly spokeswoman, said she could not comment on the status of the Zyprexa negotiations. Last fall, the company, anticipating a settlement, had set aside $1.4 billion for that purpose.

The amount of the settlement is a record sum for so-called corporate whistle-blower cases, which are federal lawsuits prompted by tips from company employees or former employees. In this case, the whistle-blowers have not been publicly identified.

Lilly executives have for years insisted that the company’s Zyprexa marketing efforts were legal and appropriate. When asked whether she could repeat those assurances, Ms. Sekson said, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment further right now.”

It could not be confirmed on Wednesday whether the company would acknowledge wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Without a settlement, Lilly risks being barred from participating in the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs — a huge part of its business — even though such bans are almost unheard of for big drug makers because their products are considered so essential.

In the United States, most of Zyprexa’s sales are paid for by government programs because so many of those taking Zyprexa are indigent or disabled. Zyprexa had sales of $4.8 billion in 2007, making it the biggest seller by far for Lilly, whose revenue that year was $18.6 billion. Depending on dosage, the drug can cost as much as $25 for a daily pill.

The settlement may have little impact on how doctors actually use Zyprexa, because physicians are free to prescribe drugs as they see fit. But drug makers are barred from promoting drugs for uses not specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Zyprexa has F.D.A. approval only for the treatment of schizophrenia and the mania and agitation associated with bipolar disorder.

Zyprexa has generated more than $39 billion in sales since its approval in 1996, making it one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world.

And despite mounting concern about Zyprexa’s risks and the negative publicity surrounding the legal case, sales were $3.5 billion for the first nine months of 2008, 2 percent higher than in the first nine months of 2007. Prescriptions for the drug actually declined, but Lilly raised prices on the drug enough to increase its revenues.

Zyprexa was initially received as a significant advance over an earlier generation of antipsychotic drugs. But a series of landmark studies in recent years have cast doubt on that long-held view and suggested that Zyprexa is no better than older drugs that sell for far less.

A government study published in September, for instance, found that Zyprexa was no more effective in children than an older medicine but caused more serious side effects. The children receiving Zyprexa gained so much weight during the study that a safety monitoring panel ordered that they be taken off the drug.

In December 2006 articles in The New York Times detailed hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers that showed how the company sought for years to play down Zyprexa’s tendency to cause weight gain and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, while promoting unapproved uses.

One 2000 e-mail message, for instance, described how a group of diabetes doctors that Lilly had retained to consider potential links between Zyprexa and diabetes had warned the company that “unless we come clean on this, it could get much more serious than we might anticipate.”

After those articles were published, Lilly threatened to seek criminal contempt charges against Dr. David Egilman, a Massachusetts physician and associate clinical professor at Brown University, who made the documents available to The Times. In September 2007, Dr. Egilman agreed to pay Lilly $100,000 in return for the company’s agreement to drop the threat of criminal sanctions.

On Wednesday, Dr. Egilman said he felt vindicated by the imminent settlement. “I’m glad Lilly is acknowledging their wrongdoing,” he said. “Patients and doctors now know more about the side effects of the drugs they take.”

The government’s case will remain sealed until at least Thursday, when a judge is expected to approve the settlement. People involved in the negotiations say that prosecutors pressed for a resolution in the waning days of the Bush administration to avoid having to get another set of approvals from new bosses at the Justice Department in Washington.

While the settlement is intended to resolve all pending government claims, it is unclear whether all states, which are parties to the case through the federal-state Medicaid program, have agreed to the terms.

Some of the claims and evidence in the government’s case are similar to those made in a pending California state whistle-blower lawsuit in which Jaydeen Vicente, a former Lilly sales representative, described years of what she said were illegal Zyprexa marketing efforts.

Ms. Vicente and other Lilly sales representatives distributed a Lilly study contending that elderly patients who were prescribed the drug “required fewer skilled nursing staff hours than patients prescribed other competing medications” and reduced “caregiver distress,” the lawsuit states. Zyprexa often induces sleep in patients.

“In truth, this was Lilly’s thinly veiled marketing of Zyprexa as an effective chemical restraint for demanding, vulnerable and needy patients,” the lawsuit states.

In October, Lilly agreed to pay $62 million to 32 states and the District of Columbia to settle consumer protection claims related to Zyprexa. It has also paid the state of Alaska $15 million to settle a separate suit and agreed to pay $1.2 billion to 31,000 Zyprexa plaintiffs. Some private Zyprexa claims remain unresolved.

mad-in-americajun03b

MindFreedom News – 14 January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray Sandford today.

Decision: Protest the mental health system, or not?

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

As I e-mail out this message, Ray Sandford is being escorted again
this Wednesday morning, 14 January 2009, from his group home near
Minneapolis, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for another involuntary,
maintenance, outpatient electroshock under court order.

There is a decision each and every one of us needs to make.

It is the same decision Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks
and thousands of others in the civil rights movement had to make.

To protest, or not?

One of my resolutions for 2009 is to nonviolently protest.

Ray — summoning that unstoppable human spirit that always impresses
me in so many psychiatric survivors — asks us to protest.

Survivors of electroshock human rights violations on the MindFreedom
“Zapback” e-mail list, where the Ray Campaign is being coordinated,
also say it’s time to protest the mental health system.

There are many ways, times, places and reasons to protest.

But it begins with a decision.

Ray’s forced electroshock today is not a fluke.

Ray’s forced shock is not because the mental health system lacks
money, though good programs need more resources.

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a few “bad apples” in the mental
health system
.

Ray is surrounded by an array of taxpayer-funded agencies and
professionals who are charged with protecting and helping Ray.

Ray has had court hearings represented by a court-appointed attorney.
He has a conservator, general guardian and a guardian ad litem.
Minnesota legal advocacy, ombudsman and mental health consumer groups
are well aware of Ray’s shock. Minnesota’s Governor Pawlenty has
received hundreds of complaints. MindFreedom filed a torture
complaint with the United Nations.

The headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
[ELCA], whose six Synods in Minnesota own Ray’s guardian agency
LSSMN, say they have been inundated with hundreds of complaints.
Their official response: They’re not in charge of Ray’s shock, though
we never said they were. We asked ELCA to stand up publicly against
forced electroshock, they refuse.

Ray’s forced shock is a sign and symptom of how extremely oppressive
today’s mental health system remains, and how so much of our society
is complicit with this oppression.

Ray’s forced shock is an excruciatingly painful lesson and wake up
call to us all about an oppression so deep, it is seldom named: sanism.

Ray’s courage has educated so many people. Because Ray called the
MindFreedom office this Fall, many people now know forced
electroshock exists, and that psychiatrists sometimes give ongoing
“maintenance” electroshock. Many now know electroshock is often given
on an outpatient basis.

Many people now know that even Americans living in their own homes,
which are supposed to be our “castles,” out in the community, without
being convicted of any crime, can be court ordered to receive such an
invasive, potentially-irreversible procedure.

Now we know.

Don’t let this knowledge become normal. As MLK said, show your
“creative maladjustment.”

When I was an activist in the peace movement, there was a saying. “To
know, and not to act, is not yet truly to know.”

Reading about this on the Internet is not enough.

Each of us needs to decide and prepare:

Protest or not to protest?

When it’s time for a forced shock, Ray is told because preparation
must begin.

The day before, all food is removed from his fridge because to get
ready for anesthesia he cannot eat for a number of hours.

Then early in the morning staff wake him up and he is brought to the
hospital. Ray is put under anesthesia, and electricity is run through
his head inducing a convulsion. He wakes up with more memory and
cognitive problems.

Ray has had more than three dozen and he says, “It is scary as hell
every time I go.”

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a lack of public attention.

Hundreds have spoken out against this ongoing forced shock. Last
month, Ray’s plight was aired on National Public Radio. Ray’s own
elderly mother, a retired psychiatric nurse, has recently pleaded
with Ray’s psychiatrist to stop (since Ray is under guardianship, she
has no official say).

Most recently, Ray was sent to a neurologist for a check-up, but that
did not stop his shock.

The only change this past month is that instead of weekly
electroshock, Ray is now on a complicated pattern of every other
week, followed by every third week, back to every other week. Instead
of receiving his maintenance electroshock last Wednesday as Ray at
first expected, his shock is today.

Why are we surprised?

Based on the hard-won lessons of so many other groups that have
organized for their basic human rights, how can we expect real change
without protest?

In my 33 years in this field, I have seen many colleagues begin to
work in organizations and agencies that are funded by the mental
health system, and many of them are doing tremendously helpful and
crucial work. This work must continue, it’s a sign of hope.

Today it is common to hear mental health system leaders claim this
system’s values have changed to:

* Mental health consumer self-determination.

* Client empowerment.

* Advocacy and human rights.

* Recovery.

* Consumer-driven trauma-informed peer-delivered services.

And again, there are signs of hope.

But we ask:

Why is Ray Sandford getting involuntary maintenance electroshock this
morning?

Why is there a mental health “Abu Ghraib” operating before our very
eyes?

Why does forced electroshock and forced psychiatric drugging continue
in other states in the USA?

Why is forced electroshock growing internationally?

In my study of history, minor reform of psychiatry is not a solution,
minor reform is one of the problems.

Minor reform fuels more of the same.

When you hear a simple call for “more money” for the mental health
system
— without addressing the required fundamental change, watch out!

Remember Ray.

Truly, we need a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system.

Historically, nonviolent revolution requires nonviolent protest.

So there is one question now:

Protest, or not?

Protest begins with a decision. I hope you make that personal
commitment.

If you agree it is time for protest, please forward this to a
colleague and add in your own words, “I agree, it’s time.”

Remember Ray.

– David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

For links to latest news, Ray Campaign blog, and frequently asked
questions about the “No More Shock For Ray Campaign” go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

lunacy-titleCrazy is not even the word for it:

Old news from an unknown source:

“A new generation of drugs is needed,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.”

Dr. Insel admits that another major treatment outcome evaluation study sponsored by NIMH, “Effectiveness of Adjunctive Antidepressant Treatment for Bipolar Depression,” the largest study yet, confirms that the widespread practice of prescribing antidepressants lacks clinical justification. The drugs were of no value for the treatment of depression thereby challenging US psychiatrists’ aggressive use of combined psychotropic drugs. U.S. psychiatrists’ “strongly held beliefs about the efficacy of antidepressants in treating bipolar depression” is not supported by evidence. The practice can be traced to the influence the drug industry has on U.S psychiatry.

The randomized, placebo controlled study was conducted at 22 major research centers participating in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). It focused on patients diagnosed with bipolar I and II who were treated with any mood stabilizer approved by the FDA with and without an antidepressant. Of 366 patients enrolled in the study, 179 were randomized to mood stabilizer and the antidepressant, Paxil, and 187 were randomized to mood stabilizer and placebo. The study was published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, March 28, 2007, and is available free: [Link] Eighteen of the 20 investigators have extensive financial ties to drug manufacturers.

Patients who were randomized to placebo rather than the antidepressant fared better in all outcome measures-except the switch to mania which was reported a fraction of a percent higher among placebo patients-20 (10.7%) compared to 18 (10.1%) of patients on mood stabilizer and Paxil. However, the validity of this outlying finding is uncertain. In his accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Belmaker point out: “Patients who had become manic in response to antidepressants in the past would not have enrolled in the trial, casting doubt on whether the drugs are safe for all bipolar patients.” [Link]

Another confounding element–which is almost always a problem in psychiatric research–is prior exposure to the drugs: Dr. Belmaker notes: “Almost 90% of the patients in the study by Sachs et al. were using a mood stabilizer at randomization. Thus, the study does not address the possibility that antidepressants can cause mania in patients with bipolar depression in the absence of a mood stabilizer.”

And the STEP-BD authors report that some patients were also taking an antidepressant at the time of randomization which was tapered by 50% the first week and withdrawn by second week. Clearly the effects of prior exposure to these drugs and the effect of tapering (i.e. withdrawal symptoms) may bias the results. Nevertheless, the findings are clearly against use of antidepressants in this population.

Table 3 provides the primary and secondary outcome results of the 26 week study. The primary outcome was “durable recovery” defined as 8 weeks of euthemia (non-depressed). The result: 42 of 179 patients (23.5%) achieved “durable recovery” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 51 of 187 patients (27.3%) on mood stabilizer and placebo.

Results of secondary outcomes: “transient remission” defined as 1 to 7 weeks of non-depression: 32 patients (17.9%) achieved “transient remission” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 40 (21.4%) on mood stabilizer and placebo. Discontinuation because of adverse effects: 22 (12.3%) on stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 17 (9.1%) on stabilizer and placebo.

Finally, an unclear secondary outcome criteria “treatment effectiveness” defined as “50% Improvement from baseline SUM-D score* without meeting DSM-IV criteria for hypomania or mania.” No indication of a duration criteria is given. The finding: 58 (32%) of patients on mood stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 71 (38%) patients on stabilizer and placebo.

The authors acknowledge: “we did not study a “pure” placebo group (one in which no active psychotropic medication was administered) and hence cannot establish the effectiveness of treatment with a mood stabilizer alone.”

Dr. Insell got it half right: “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.” However, why does it follow that “A new generation of drugs is needed” ???

What disorder of the imagination do mainstream psychiatrists in the U.S. suffer from that they cannot fathom a world beyond the “next generation” of drugs-all the more so, in light of the evidence that the second generation antidepressants and antipsychotics have proven not only no better than the first generation, but arguably worse ?

ca_suicidal
MindFreedom International – 6 February 2009
Mind Your Freedom in Mental Health
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Four (4) very brief MindFreedom news items for a nonviolent
revolution
in mental health:

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

1) Academy Award and Forced Electroshock

Ray Sandford of Minnesota has now had as many or more forced
electroshocks as the fictional character portrayed in the Academy
Award-nominated film _Revolutionary Road_:

Thirty-seven (37).

Ray Sandford, though, is a real human being.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock re-started for Ray Sandford, and
is slated to continue indefinitely.

Unless everyone acts.

Last week MindFreedom reported that Ray Sandford postponed one of his
series of forced maintenance outpatient electroshocks because of a
health problem.

Ray phoned the MindFreedom office with the sad news that his doctor
approved him for another involuntary electroshock, and Ray received
it yesterday morning, 5 February 2009.

It looks like thousands upon thousands of united people are needed to
unite to stop involuntary electroshock for Ray, and many others. Let
that include you!

For more info on the Ray Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient
Electroshock, see this gateway:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

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

2) “Have a Heart – End Forced Electroshock” Show!

Next Guest on MindFreedom Mad Pride Free Live Web Radio:

Mary Maddock of Ireland — Electroshock survivor, author, and
community organizer.

On Valentine’s, Saturday, 14 February 2009, tune in for live free
Internet radio with MindFreedom, and guests that include Mary
Maddock, co-author of the book _Soul Survivor_. Mary is a MindFreedom
International board member who survived forced electroshock.

You can call in live using either your computer or telephone. We’ll
have the latest news about the Ray Sandford campaign.

Time: 11 am Pacific USA, 2 pm Eastern USA, 7 pm [1900] London UTC/GMT

More info on how to tune in every “Second Saturday” in 2009:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/radio

Get Mary’s book at MindFreedom’s Mad Market at http://www.madmarket.org

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

3) Australia Electroshocking Toddlers

Australia is now electroshocking toddlers, including 55 children aged
four and younger, and two kids under the age of four, according to
news reports.

Read essays and news items here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

In that folder you will find:

a) Essay by dissident psychologist Bruce Levine on Australia
electroshocking young children:

http://tinyurl.com/kid-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
electroshocking-toddlers

b) Essay by dissident psychiatrist Peter Breggin on same:

http://tinyurl.com/breggin-australia
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
breggin-australia-electroshock

c) Australian news story on electroshocking kids, with statistics:

http://tinyurl.com/child-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/child-
shock-therapy

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

4) World Health Organization leader praises MindFreedom International
and Executive Director David W. Oaks

In its legal handbook, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for
zero use of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the
subject:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

WHO is the official health organization of the United Nations.

Benedetto Saraceno, MD, Director, Department of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse at WHO said some very positive words about the work
of MindFreedom International, and MFI director David W. Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/about-us/david-w-oaks

psychiatry346185227_std

From the Independent:

Voluntary psychiatric patient fights for

freedom

By Tim Healy
Wednesday January 21 2009

A WOMAN yesterday asked the High Court to order her release from a psychiatric hospital, claiming her detention is not in accordance with the law.

The 69-year-old woman, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was admitted to the hospital on December 9 after being arrested by gardai.

She challenged this and yesterday a High Court judge ruled she had been lawfully detained at the hospital.

But the woman had taken separate proceedings, which opened yesterday, seeking her release when the hospital decided she should remain after she had agreed to be a voluntary patient.

The woman became a voluntary patient after an order committing her involuntarily was revoked on December 19 by order of a Mental Health Tribunal.

Last Thursday, the hospital refused to discharge her because it was not satisfied this would be in her best interests. The hospital invoked a provision of the Mental Health Act giving it power to detain voluntary patients.

Last Friday, the woman brought a second set of proceedings claiming the hospital has no power to do so because the MHT had already found she was not suffering from a mental “disorder” as required under law before a person can be committed involuntarily.

The case continues.

– Tim Healy

lunacy-kitten_with_a_gun

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Excellent!

First- a Mind Freedom News Alert:

(click pics for animation, full size etc.)

filepile-enforcers

MindFreedom International – please forward
Human Rights in Mental Health – 26 Dec. 2008

BELOW, the main weekly newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, USA — home of
MindFreedom International — published a brief article about how
psychiatrist Darrel A. Regier is a link between revising the “label
bible” of psychiatry and the drug industry.

Dr. Regier is in charge of preparing the new, fifth version of the
American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) powerful “Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual” (DSM). Dr. Regier has forced psychiatrists
participating in the DSM process sign a secrecy agreement, and he has
refused to respond to contacts from organizations such as
MindFreedom, despite encouragement from World Health Organization.

Dr. Regier is also head of the APA’s “APIRE,” their research arm that
collects millions of dollars in psychiatric drug company donations to
psychiatry.

In the article, MindFreedom’s director David W. Oaks says that
democracy needs to get hands on with psychiatry in order to “green”
the mental health system.

AT BOTTOM is more info, including a web page of links to how Dr.
Regier connects the dots between the DSM and psychiatric drug
industry corruption.

~~~~~~~

Eugene Weekly, Oregon, USA – 24 December 2008

Greening of Mental Health?

by Ted Taylor, Editor

Psychiatrists are wrestling with changes in definitions and diagnoses
that will be included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM). The final edition will
have consequences for insurance reimbursement, research and
individuals’ psychological identity for years to come, according to a
Dec. 18 story by Benedict Carey in The New York Times. But will the
content reflect any input from millions of mental health patients?

“We definitely tried to have input and dialogue, and there was none
allowed. Period,” says David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom
International
, based in Eugene.

MindFreedom was founded [in 1986] to advocate against forced
medication, physical restraints and involuntary electroconvulsive
therapy
, says Oaks. Members worldwide identify themselves as
survivors of human rights violations in a mental health system
heavily influenced by outdated practices and pharmaceutical interests.

[Oaks] says Dr. Darrel A. Regier, a key figure in the new DSM, is
also head of the special “research” wing of the American Psychiatric
Association
. APIRE, an independent component of the APA, [led initial
planning for] the DSM and “tends to get millions upon millions of
drug company dollars.”

“Even though Dr. Regier got federal money to hold international
seminars on the ‘future of psychiatric diagnosis,’ he has absolutely
refused to even respond to civil inquiries from anyone outside his
closed-door process,” says Oaks.

Oaks says a prominent official with the World Health Organization’s
mental health section, “has twice personally asked Dr. Regier to
respond to requests from MindFreedom about having mental health
consumer input in the re-writing of the DSM,” and was told “no.” “So
these few hundred unelected mainly rich, mainly white males are
cooking up behavioral guidelines for us all, with zero input from the
public who is impacted by these rules.”

MindFreedom is working to break the undemocratic domination of mental
health care
by the medical establishment, says Oaks. “Our issue is
kind of like where energy policy was in the 1950s, totally dominated
by the system. Now we’re pushing for ‘greening of mental health,’ to
allow for more holistic, empowering, non-chemical approaches, and
especially direct involvement by citizens in helping to plan mental
and emotional well-being programs.”

The revised DSM, due out in about three years, is expected to reflect
some public pressures. Early editions of the book defined
homosexuality as a mental disorder. Protests by gay activists
provoked a scientific review, and the diagnosis was dropped in 1973,
replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance,” and then “ego-dystonic
homosexuality.” Homosexuality as a disorder was dropped from the book
in 1987. Some GLBTQ activists are now lobbying for similar changes
regarding gender identity issues, but others are wanting to keep
transgender identity as a formal diagnosis so that treatment or
surgery can be covered by insurance.

The story can be found by a web search for “NYTimes DSM,” and
MindFreedom International’s website is www.mindfreedom.org — Ted
Taylor, Editor, Eugene Weekly

– end –

original article [corrections bracketed]
http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2008/12/24/news.html#1

APIRE is the repository for much of the millions of dollars that the
psychiatric drug industry pours into the American Psychiatric
Association and its related organizations. As director of APIRE, Dr.
Regier also is in charge of the new DSM.

For a version of above with links at bottom to more info about APA,
DSM, Dr. Regier and APIRE:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mf/greening-mental-health

congressman-lets-c

ACTIONS:

** Ask your Congressperson to investigate the links between Dr.
Regier, APIRE, APA, psychiatric drug industry, and DSM.

** Mark your calendar: MindFreedom plans another protest of APA
Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 2009! Attend, or plan actions
wherever you are from May to July.

** Join MindFreedom! For information about joining MindFreedom today,
click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWS!

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

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office@mindfreedom.org
MFI member services phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (480) 287-8833

(click the pic)

ani-lightning-bolt

Next- News you can really use-

The very best link ever (not an exageration):

http://www.gethuman.com/

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Interview with/ about Ray

ray

Forced Electroshock-

Question: Is “forced treatment” really “treatment” or is it “Torture”?

This is an interview on NPR (click on link):

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98273451

Background (mostly from MindFreedom):

Ray Alerts

(I apologize for repetitive information)

MindFreedom International – 16 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #3: Please Forward

Now see a photo of Ray here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    Media ought to ask, “What is Minnesota Governor Pawlenty’s 
position on Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?”

    Ray gets a one week reprieve.

First the good news.

Within days of MindFreedom launching its campaign on 7 November 2008 
to stop the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray 
Sandford, his doctor has decided to “skip a Wednesday.”

Ray says that this coming Wednesday, 19 November 2008, for the first 
time in months, Ray will not be escorted against his will, under 
court order, from his Minnesota home out in the community to his 34th 
involuntary outpatient electroshock.

So there’s a reprieve for Ray.

For one week.

The bad news is that Ray’s doctor said Ray’s forced outpatient 
electroshocks will resume on Wednesday, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

Ray said his involuntary shock will then continue every other week.

We don’t know if the one-week reprieve is because of the MindFreedom 
campaign, but we know MindFreedom News readers are having an impact.

Since the MindFreedom first alert went out nine days ago, on 7 
November 2008:

    *** Many people from all over the world have e-mailed and phoned 
the offices of the Governor of Minnesota, along with social service 
agencies, media, and the hospital where Ray receives his electroshock 
against his expressed wishes.

    *** For the first time, thousands of people are now aware of the 
existence of IOE — Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock.

    *** A few national and local media are now actively investigating.

    *** Several advocacy agencies and human rights organizations are 
expressing concern and getting involved.

    *** Several volunteer attorneys are now in touch to provide 
assistance.

    *** Volunteers are visiting Ray and sending him their support, 
and Ray tells us he is grateful. One volunteer took the photo of Ray 
shown on the web version of this alert:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    *** MindFreedom’s “Zapback” e-mail list is coordinating the 
campaign.

    *** A disability professor and her class of students have called 
up Ray and are taking on his campaign as a project.

    *** And more.

Thank you, everyone.

Keep up the pressure and the support!

    KEEP IT UP!

First, keep phoning and e-mailing, especially if you have not so far. 
Show there is national and international concern!

Here are the links to the original two MindFreedom alerts, which have 
information about how to e-mail and phone the Governor of Minnesota, 
and how to write or visit Ray:

7 Nov: Alert #1:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray-sandford

12 Nov: Alert #2 – Governor Phone-In Campaign:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/pawlenty-electroshock

16 Nov: Alert #3 – Link to this alert with photo of Ray:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    SOLVE A MYSTERY!

Second, help MindFreedom answer the main mystery.

Despite all this public interest the question remains, “What is 
Governor Pawlenty’s position on Minnesota laws allowing involuntary 
outpatient electroshock?”

Is this Governor, who campaigns for “limited government,” for such 
laws or against them?

Unfortunately, the Governor’s office has not responded to any of the 
many e-mails or phone calls requesting his policy position. The 
Governor’s office is immediately forwarding citizen inquiries to a 
voice mail, and then not replying to the voice mail.

We need media to ask the Governor for us. Please forward this alert 
to all media, small and large, from newspapers to bloggers.

Media can direct questions to:

Brian McClung
Director of Communications for Minnesota’s Governor
phone: (651) 296-0001.

Media ought to ask, “What is Governor Pawlenty’s position on 
Minnesota laws allowing involuntary outpatient electroshock?”

Sometimes the Governor’s office is re-directing calls to the 
Minnesota Department of Human Rights. At first that sounds good. But 
this office says it is only focused on determining whether narrow 
discrimination complaints are legally valid. A spokesperson said this 
department makes no statements about policy.

This Minnesota agency said they are planning a major one-day human 
rights conference
and forum on 5 December. One barrier is the “forum” 
costs $200.

For information on this Minn. Dept. of Human Rights, and their 
“forum,” click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/minnesota-human-rights-conference
or use this link:
http://tinyurl.com/mn-human-rights

You can also keep up with some of the latest developments about the 
Ray Campaign on the MindFreedom blog by MindFreedom director David 
Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-blog

Disclaimer: Because the State of Minnesota won’t reply, portions of 
these alerts are based on Ray’s personal statements. By Ray’s own 
admission, he now has severe memory problems. Therefore, journalists 
may want to find a second source to confirm accuracy.

MindFreedom International – 24 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #4: Please Forward

    You Can Ask: Thanksgiving Reprieve?

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with UN Claiming “Torture” in Minnesota

    The next forced outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford is 
scheduled for this Wednesday morning, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

    Join an international campaign *NOW* to phone Minnesota Governor 
Tim Pawlenty
today and tomorrow, before the shock:

1) Ask the Governor to give Ray Sandford a reprieve from his next 
forced electroshock.

2) Ask the Governor — who claims to believe in limited government — 
if he supports laws in Minnesota allowing this torture: the 
involuntary administration of electroshock therapy (ECT) of people 
living out in the community?

A MindFreedom investigation revealed that Ray Sandford, 54, 
complained of being escorted every week for months from his supported 
living home in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for 
another course of electroshock over his objection.

After the first MindFreedom News international alert, Ray’s doctor 
let him skip his forced shock this past Wednesday, 19 November.

This Wednesday morning, 26 November, Ray expects to be woken up early 
once again to be escorted the 15 miles to what he is told will be his 
34th involuntary outpatient electroshock under special Minnesota laws.

Meanwhile, MindFreedom is filing a official claim with the United 
Nations
calling Minnesota’s abuse of Ray “torture,” using a new 
process and expanded definition by the UN.

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

  ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Join in a MindFreedom international phone-in campaign!

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW* — and insist on talking 
to a staff person.

Call any day, but especially call today and tomorrow, *before* Ray’s 
scheduled electroshock this Wednesday.

From anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

NOTE: Staff is directing many of these calls into voice mail
MindFreedom is not aware of anyone actually getting a response to 
this voice mail.

DO NOT GIVE UP! Politely but FIRMLY insist on on talking to a staff 
person.

If you get redirected to voice mail leave a message, but call back 
until you get an answer from a live person.

If you do receive any helpful information, e-mail it to 
news@mindfreedom.org.

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

    Ray Campaign News Updates:

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with United Nations Alleging 
“Torture” by Minnesota

This past Friday, 21 November, disability advocates met with Ray at 
the Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Ray told advoctates he 
very much supports this campaign.

During the meeting a teleconference was held with MindFreedom 
President Celia Brown in New York City and MindFreedom Director David 
Oaks in Oregon. Celia interviewed Ray so that MindFreedom may file a 
human rights complaint under a new process with a United Nations 
Special Rappateur. Because of recent developments, some types of 
severe psychiatric abuse may now be considered torture by the UN.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock (IOE) is part of a trend to bring 
the power of forced psychiatric procedures out into the community, 
from the back ward to your front porch.

Mind your freedom: Your home is no longer your castle… it can 
become your ward.

Electroshock itself has made a comeback throughout the USA, and 
internationally, without adequate human rights protection.

You may read some of the many public comments that have been e-mailed 
to the Governor at tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-support-letters

For a full-sized photo of Ray click on his image here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray
MindFreedom International – Ray Alert #5
Win Human Rights in Mental Health – Please Forward!
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-5-sandford

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

    Ray’s Next Scheduled Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock is:
    10 December — International Human Rights Day!

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

This Wednesday, 10 December 2008, human rights activists all over the 
world will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the 
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 December is the UN’s official International Human Rights Day.

10 December is also the day that Ray Sandford is scheduled to receive 
his 35th involuntary outpatient electroshock.

NEW ON WEB: Learn Ray’s story — Frequently Asked Questions About Ray 
Sandford Campaign, click here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-faq

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

    Latest News on Ray Campaign

Unless action is taken swiftly, then this Wednesday morning, as he 
has been for most mornings in the last few months, Ray will be 
awakened early by staff in his room at the group residence Victory 
House near Minneapolis.

Once more an escort will bring him against his will the 15 miles to 
Mercy Hospital, where once more — under court order — doctors will 
place electrodes on his head for another electroconvulsive therapy 
(ECT), or electroshock, that can and has wiped out precious memories 
and cognitive abilities from Ray.

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

    The Good News About Ray Campaign:

Because of MindFreedom’s campaign to support Ray Sandford:

* The Minnesota Governor’s office reports receiving “hundreds” of 
complaints. Thank you everyone!

* Three agencies are now working to replace Ray’s non-responsive 
court-appointed attorney with a new attorney.

* National media has finally interviewed Ray for an upcoming broadcast.

    The Bad News: It is Not Enough! Speak Out Now!

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

    ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

It is time to take the Ray Campaign up a notch, peacefully but strongly!

Let this become a top issue in the Governor’s office.

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

memory-ash1

    WHY WON’T GOVERNOR PAWLENTY REPLY? Find out! Ask!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has completely stone-walled!

* His office refuses to issue any statement on the policy of forced 
electroshock.

* He claims he can do nothing, that the courts are in charge, when he 
could at least make sure Ray gets better legal representation for a 
stay or appeal.

* His office operators have been instructed to immediately redirect 
calls about Ray into a voice mail. No one we know of has ever heard 
back. Some operators have hung up on callers.

* Meanwhile, the Governor is sponsoring a $200-a-head luxury hotel 
conference about International Human Rights Day!

    It is time to get creative!

* Ray will not give up!

* We will not give up!

* Don’t you give up!

    Please be peaceful, but be CREATIVELY MALADJUSTED in your next 
phone calls to Governor Pawlenty’s office.

First, get the name of the operator and write it down. Then start by 
asking polite but firm questions about advocacy…

* about citizen input…

* about who to talk to about mental health policy

* about the names and phone numbers of the Ombudsman office

* about mental health policy and the mental health division

* about how poor people can have adequate legal representation…

And only then ask about why the Governor is refusing to speak out 
about Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?

Insist on speaking to a live real person about this issue.

If you do not get a real person with a real reply, CALL BACK.

If an operator hangs up on you, call back and ask to speak to a 
manager and complain.

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

REMEMBER:

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

If you do receive any helpful information or leads, e-mail it to news-
at-mindfreedom.org.

scales_mini

Other Ray correspondence:

November 15, 2008
Attention:
Chair, Human Rights Committee
Office of the High Commission on Human Rights
United Nations

Dear Chairperson,
I am forwarding the letter below, initially addressed to Mr.Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, for your information and possible action. It concerns the forced electroshocking of Mr. Ray Sandford, a psychiatric outpatient in Minnesota. Despite his repeated refusal, Mr. Sandford has been court-ordered to submit to the memory-destroying, brain-damaging  psychiatric procedure of electroshock (”electroconvulsive therapy” or “ECT”).  Together with many other psychiatric survivors and human rights activists, I am absolutely convinced that the health, safety and human rights of Mr. Sandford and thousands of other citizens are being seriously and repeatedly violated by physicians, particularly psychiatrists, as well as Governor Pawlenty and the State of Minnesota.

I would appreciate knowing if the Human Rights Committee considers electroshock, particularly forced electroshock, a form of torture, a serious human rights violation. Many of us psychiatric survivors and human rights activists believe it is. For over twenty-five (25) years, hundreds, if not thousands, of electroshock survivors, other psychiatric survivors, human rights activists, health professionals including several psychiatrists and neurologists, and concerned citizens have publicly and frequently protested against electroshock. We have repeatedly urged a total and immediate ban on electroshock in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand.

To date, I have not received a reply from Governor Pawlenty. Please acknowledge receipt of my letter, I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive Member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto,Ontario M4R 2G3 Canada

November  12, 2008

Governor Tim Pawlenty
State of Minnesota
tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

Dear Governor Pawlenty,
As an antipsychiatry activist and psychiatric survivor of insulin shock treatment many years ago in Massachusetts, I am writng to strongly protest against the forced electroshock (”ECT”) inflicted on 54-year old Ray Sandford in Minnesota. I understand Mr. Sandford is being forcibly taken (”escorted”) to Mercy Hospital  (”Mercy”?)  where he is being shocked against his will or without consent every Wednesday morning. Given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors do not inform patients about the common and severe risks of permanent memory loss and brain damage, and given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors frequently use blackmail or threats and intimidation to get “ECT” patients to consent, no person can possibly give “voluntary and informed consent” to electroshock. Informed consent in the “mental health system” is a compete myth, a sham

Electroshock itself is a traumatic and horrific psychiatric procedure (not “treatment”);  it always causes some degree of brain-damage including permanent memory loss. After having listened to the personal and public testimonies of numerous shock survivors in Canada and the United States and after having read many independent studies of electroshock in the medical-psychiatric literature during the last 30 years, there is absolutely no doubt that electroshock is inherently destructive, inhumane and unethical; the use of force is particularly torturous. State-sanctioned use of police powers to inflict electroshock on Mr.Sandford against his will – and inflicted on any other US citizen for that matter – is a serious violation of his constitutional and human rights, a serious violation of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture, and a serious violation of Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that specifically prohibits any “cruel and unusual treatment or degrading punishment, or torture”.

Thousands of shock survivors, including myself, advocacy and human rights organizations and several psychiatrists and neurologists in the United States and other countries have advocated a total ban on electroshock. Some states in your country have restricted the use of electroshock – for example, Texas, California and Oregon. Why not Minnesota?

I am copying this to the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture, other international human rights bodies, advocacy organizations of psychiatric survivors, several concerned psychiatrists and neurologists, and the media.

In the interests of Mr Sandford’s health, safety and human rights, I urge you to use your office and  power as Governor to stop electroshocking Ray Sandford now.
Stop state-sanctioned torture in Minnesota!
I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M4R 2G3

c: MindFreedom International
United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Committee Against Torture
Amnesty International
Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Editor-in-Chief, The New  York Times

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Links

shadow20820blue

Ricks brief annotated webography on recovery and stuff

Interactive Theater

· Broad access to books, publications and links related to the work of Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal: http://www.tonisant.com/aitg/Boal_Techniques/

· Blog related to Augusto Boal techniques/ Theater of the Oppressed most specific to issues of class and poverty: http://www.tonisant.com/aitg/Boal_Techniques/

· Article on/ review of an interactive performance the University of Missouri (not instructional but gives an impression of the process from an audience perspective): http://difficultdialogues.missouri.edu/theatre.html

· Similar to above, from a performance at Harvard: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/10.05/11-theateroppressed.html

· Wikipedia article on Augusto Boal and the Theater of the Oppressed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Oppressed

Consumer/ Survivor/ Recovery Blogs

· One great feature of all the blogs listed here is that they often have links to other consumer/ survivor sites and resources.

· The author of this blog originally used it to document their journey off psychiatric medications as well as an introduction to alternative forms of care for mental health disorders regardless of whether one is on medications, off medications, or coming off medications. Includes articles submitted by readers/ visitors. Now called Beyond Meds, used to be Bipolar Blast; this site has articles and commentary related to recovery, wellness and personal experiences with treatment: http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/

· The author is a mental health treatment survivor concerned about the state of mental health care in America and elsewhere. The perspective is that we are not getting the kind of results that patients were promised 20 years ago at the dawn of the psychopharmacological revolution. Called Furious Seasons: http://www.furiousseasons.com/

· Author Ron Unger, Eugene native, nationally recognized therapist who promotes the treatment of “psychotic disorders” using cognitive methods, provides information valuable to consumer-survivors and perspectives on non-drug treatments. He incorporates reader commentary and stories of recovery. The title is Recovery from Schizophrenia: http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/blog/

The Icarus Project:

· I’ve given them their own section because they are in a class by themselves. The main site for The Icarus Project is one of the most densely packed web resources you can find. It includes a wide array of mostly free publications, galleries, discussion groups and much more. It began with a nationwide collaboration of folks diagnosed with bi-polar disorder that published a book called “Navigating the space between brilliance and madness” (now in it’s 5th printing and available for download on-line). From the site’s introduction- “We are a website community, support network of local groups, and media project created by and for people struggling with bipolar disorder and other dangerous gifts commonly labeled as “mental illnesses.” We believe that when we learn to take care of ourselves, the intertwined threads of madness and creativity can be tools of inspiration and hope in a repressed and damaged world. Our goal is to help people like ourselves feel less alienated, and to allow us—both as individuals and as a community—to tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.” You could spend all your time reading/ contributing to this site and never get bored: http://theicarusproject.net/

· The Icarus Project Blog is a diverse creation of the on-line community with news and information of interest to project members and organizers: http://theicarusproject.net/blog/5482

· There are many member-blogs hosted on the site that have their own unique contributions. Two that I have found interesting or useful:

· Olinka’s blog- http://theicarusproject.net/blog/olinka

· Squirrel ABC’s blog: http://theicarusproject.net/blog/squirrelabc

Mad Radio:

· These are web-based and broadcast radio sources by consumer-survivors of mental health treatment.

· The Freedom Center, The Icarus Project, Pacifica Radio Affiliate Valley Free Radio WXOJ-LPFM and south-central Alaska’s KWMD in Kasilof produce a radio show weekly (broadcast in Alaska and on some Pacifica Radio affiliates). “The Freedom Center is one of a collection of grassroots organizations springing up across the country in reaction to the prevalence of medication in America. It alerts people to the downside of psychiatric drugs but does not try to force people off them: it seeks instead to help sufferers find the best methods of coping, even if their solution is unconventional by the standards of the medical establishment.” (Forbes Magazine). The show includes interviews and informative information related to The Freedom Center’s objectives, challenging traditional medical-model and forced treatment. Podcasts and archived shows are available at: http://www.freedom-center.org/view/madnessradio_page

· MindFreedom has a streamed and archived radio program hosted by David Oaks and including guests, news, call-in and special topics. The show is streamed at: http://www.prncomm.net/ and archives are available at: http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mfradio/archived-shows and at: http://oaks.progressiveradionetwork.org/

· I do a monthly radio show on KBOO Portland called Mad Liberation by Moonlight. The show is broadcast at 1 am on the Friday night following the full moon (yes, I know that this is actually Saturday; relax, it’s only radio). The program is streamed at: http://kboo.fm/ and archives will eventually (currently this is just an announcement and message board for the show) be available at: http://fullmoonradio.wordpress.com/

Resources:

· Alternative mental health treatment (includes information on aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal, homeopathic and other non-traditional treatments: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/center_index.php?id=15&cn=15

· Another part of the site (above) with alternative medical therapies has a source book on starting peer-led self-help groups: http://www.mentalhelp.net/selfhelp/selfhelp.php?id=866

· Another source for how to start peer-led self-help groups: http://www.selfhelp.on.ca/start.html

· The National Empowerment Center website has a vast collection of articles, handbooks, pamphlets and other material related to mental health recovery. Most of the material is downloadable for free. Partly funded by SAMHSA: http://www.power2u.org/

· Dan Fisher’s website, in case you can’t find enough of his work at the National Empowerment Center: http://www.narpa.org/fisher.htm

· Mainstream mental health information leaning toward recovery and empowerment: http://www.nmha.org/

· Another fairly mainstream site with some good material and links: http://www.mhrecovery.com/

· The official SAMHSA website is a good one to find references, studies and articles that support recovery based treatment models: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/ (for example, a downloadable article on how self-disclosure helps break down stigma and other barriers to recovery: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SMA08-4337/)

· The MindFreedom portal is the doorway to another fairly dense source of news and information on the mental health consumer/ survivor front, including a calendar of protests and events on mental health-human rights. This organization is recognized by the U.N. as a NGO representing people with a mental health diagnosis: http://www.mindfreedom.org/

· The Mental Health Self-help Clearinghouse has tons of information, articles and downloadable manuals for self-help and advocacy (the ultimate step in self-determination): http://www.mhselfhelp.org/index.php

· A web-based support community- something like The Icarus Project in it’s objectives but way different in tone (without the emphasis on “radical” politics): http://www.peoplewho.org/

· Professor Ed offers recovery tools based on a spiritual perspective available on 2 companion sites: http://www.professored.com/ and http://www.recoverycircles.org/

· Another good resource for spirituality and mental health: http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/recovery/lesson1.html

· This is the site for Peter Breggin, the famous anti-drug anti-psychiatrist/ rock-star of the talk-show circuit (not as friendly a site in terms of free access to information but it has some good points): http://www.breggin.com/

· Dr. Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd has developed a system for psychological self-help, step by step, by the numbers: http://www.psychologicalselfhelp.org/

Self-determination:

What? We should ask people what they want before we give it to them??? Preposterous! Or: http://www.self-determination.com/

A downloadable 91-page manual for person centered planning with emphasis on Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH), not specific to mental health: http://rtc.umn.edu/docs/pcpmanual1.pdf

The National Coalition for Self-Determination is a national partnership of people with disabilities, parents, and family members who work to promote federal policies that support the five principles of Self-Determination. The five principles are Freedom, Authority, Support, Responsibility and Confirmation of the role of self-advocates: http://www.nconsd.org/

Mike Hlebechuck of Oregon AMH has a blog on what he calls Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Supports (PORTS), a proposal for self-directed supports in mental health services: http://selfdirectedcare.blogspot.com/

The website of Empowerment Initiatives, the nations first/ only consumer-operated self-directed supports brokerage in mental health: http://www.chooseempowerment.com/

Deb McLean’s page on person centered planning for employment outcomes using the Making Action Plans (MAPS) process: http://www.ilru.org/html/training/webcasts/handouts/2004/02-18-McLeanAnderson/tool.htm

Look around, enjoy.

tarkvoln

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Now available

From The Icarus Project:

Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness

Download the pdf here.

Go to The Icarus Project site here.

Click these thumbnails for Icarus related pictures/ posters-

benefit_poster_email

support_comic_poster

youarenotalone

willhallschizophreniabike_0

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Mad Radio Audio Selection

These are from Valley Free Radio/ Madness Radio:

madnessradio-2008-07cognitivetherapyronunger

madnessradio-2008-07-02spiritualemergencedavidlukoff

chill_pill1

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Moon-Day Soup

Buddhist Video

The Wandering Mind – Andrea Fella Audio Dharma ; Insight Meditation Center ; Andrea Fella

go here.

PORTS

This from Mike’s blog, New Directions:

Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Support (PORTS)

A Mental Health Recovery Model

Developed by Michael Hlebechuk

PORTS is a mental health self-directed care model that combines mental health brokerage services with a peer counseling/advocacy education program and a couple of evidence based practices that actually work. There are no outcome studies to demonstrate the efficacy of PORTS. It has never been implemented. I drafted it up in response to a question for a job interview. I firmly believe, however, that if implemented this model would help people along the road to recovery in ways we haven’t seen yet through a formal program. The 2 page draft that outlines PORTS is located at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/consumers-families/ports.pdf

Here is an excerpt from the first page of the pdf linked above:

Recovery has become a major buzzword in the mental health community. Mental health systems are
beginning to focus seriously on assisting people with psychiatric disability to recover and move on
with their lives.i Scientific research has yielded practices that have an evidence base to support their
effectiveness in helping people recover from mental illness. People with psychiatric histories have
provided valuable input into system design, pointing to new treatment methods and principles that
foster their gaining productive roles in the community and having meaning restored to their lives.
SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services has investigated treatment modalities that put
control into the hands of people receiving treatment. Self-directed care, person centered planning,
and consumer operated services along with evidence based practices have become the cornerstones
to achieving the promise of transforming mental health care in America in ways that promote the
dignity, respect, and recovery of the individual. The paragraphs that follow offer an example of how
various recovery-oriented treatment approaches can operate in concert to promote people moving
on with their lives.
The Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Support (PORTS) Project lies at the core of the
proposed treatment delivery system. PORTS is a consumer-operated service program (COSP) that
provides treatment coordination and resource brokerage services. Individual customers who have
agreed to engage in a recovery plan that includes the goal of obtaining paid or voluntary
employment are referred to PORTS by the behavioral health organization. Customers are linked
with a Peer Advocate Mentor (PAM) and a Recovery Specialist. The PAM is supervised by the
PAM Project, a third party COSP. The PAM will work with the customer to develop recovery
strategies and ensure that services are provided in a dignified and respectful manner. The Recovery
Specialist is a PORTS employee who will coordinate the customer’s mental health and resource
brokerage services.
Customers will receive a PORTS orientation within a week of being referred. During orientation
customers will hear recovery stories from individuals with similar diagnoses who have taken firm
steps to move on with their lives. They will gain hope in learning that people can and do recover
from mental illness. Customers will also learn about PORTS’ mission, self-directed care, selfdetermination
and recovery principles during this first week.
All PORTS services are delivered through a person centered planning process. Through this process
the customer develops a person centered plan with the assistance of a PORTS Recovery Specialist,
the PAM, and any individuals the customer invites to be members of the circle of support. Circles of
support are generally composed of the family members, friends, and professionals the customer
believes are most supportive. The resulting person centered plan is more than a treatment plan. It is
a life-plan; complete with the individual’s dreams and goals and steps to make them a reality. These
steps are detailed in Action Plans.
Each PORTS customer will be allotted an individual resource budget of $2,000 for the first year of
service. Through this budget customers may purchase services and supports within the community
or from a participating mental health provider to carry out an Action Plan. Take, for example, an
Action Plan with the stated goal of obtaining employment. A step toward this goal may be the
purchase of a set of clothes to wear at job interviews. The Action Plan would detail the budgeted
amount for each of these purchases. Core mental health services such as symptom monitoring,
medication management, addictions counseling, acute care and crisis services are provided by the
behavioral healthcare organization per the person centered plan and are not purchased through the
individual resource budget. Fifty percent of the funds that remain in the individual resource budget
after an annual cycle of service are carried over into next year’s budget. An additional $500 is
added to the second and subsequent year’s budgets. All brokered community services and supports
purchased through individual resource budgets must be approved by the Recovery Specialist. All
purchases over $100 must be approved by a representative of the behavioral health organization.

So, PORTS seems to be an approach to implementing person directed, brokerage style services and supports in mental health. Sounds good!

To: Members of the Oregon Consumer/Survivor Council and Interested
Parties
From: Michael Hlebechuk, Chair
Re: Meeting announcement

The next meeting of the Oregon Consumer/Survivor Council will be held
on Wednesday, October 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM in meeting room HSB-352
located on the 3rd floor of the Barbara Roberts Human Services
Building (DHS main office), 500 Summer St NE, Salem, OR.

Minutes of the previous meeting: csc-minutes-081308

Why has the font on my blog gotten so tiny??

From MindFreedom News:

Our soldiers deserve better than a bag of pills

With suicide rates higher than they’ve ever been, the stress of combat and long deployments, the US Military should be doing everything it can to address the mental health needs of its soldiers.

Instead, soldiers in crisis are currently being offered little more than pills.

They deserve better.

They deserve alternatives to the one-size-fits-all, pharmaceutical approach to mental health.

On October 5, 2008 MindFreedom International will delivered signatures to the campaign headquarters of both Barack Obama and John McCain.

From Beyond Meds, a recovery oriented blog found here. For the whole post, go to the source.

When I was at my acupuncturists the other day I basically collapsed on the table after pounding on her office door when I couldn’t tolerate sitting in the office. I REALLY needed to lay down. I can sit in recliner type chairs but an upright chair I can last in only so long and I had reached my limit at the health food store where I had lunch before I went to accupuncture.

I learned that it was the acupuncture that made my endometriosis pain almost non-existent. It is, after all, the reason I went to the acupuncturist in the first place but I didn’t expect such rapid results. Almost totally pain free after two treatments.  She told me that pain is usually the easiest symptom to treat and the rest of my hormonal issues and my basic poor health would probably take much longer to deal with.

Her diagnosis of my situation in the Chinese way of interpreting things is that my liver is in serious shape. Since Chinese medicine deals with the whole being I’m really being treated for everything my body is suffering from even though I presented saying I needed help balancing my hormones.

In any case, I collapsed on her table after being out for an hour—I was sick of staying in bed and so my husband took me to lunch. But that hour was really too much and as I collapsed on her table I burst into tears.

It ended up being like a therapy session. I told her I was dealing with so much anger. And rage. My circumstances so damn frustrating. Doctor after doctor mishandling me. Making me sicker. My rage is targeted mostly at my sister who doesn’t give a shit that I’m sick and at my last doctor who seems to have no interest in admitting any fault and is therefore just as bad as any drug pushing doctor. It’s also targeted at people in the recovery movement who think that their road to recovery is the only road to recovery and they seem to dare to think that if I only followed their way I would be well by now. One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that there are as many roads to recovery as there are people. My recovery stories page on this blog gives a glimpse of this—-all different methods of recovery…I borrow from many of their journeys, but ultimately I trust my gut. And so should anyone else struggling to recover…There is nothing tried and true for every person who has been labeled. No one thing. Perhaps the only necessary ingredient is believing that one can get better and all of these people have that and I do too, in spades.

In any case I have rage. It’s probably primal rage and it’s just glomming on to whoever is an attractive target right now.

How do I clear it out? How do I forgive my sister and my doctor? How do I embrace the giant egos of some of my recovered friends when they seem to condescend on my journey? (please don’t everyone assume I’m thinking of YOU…it’s just a couple of people really)

One thing is clear. I have no mental illness, but I’m very very physically sick. The drugs made me sick. The withdrawal made me sick. My prescribing psychiatrist who is watching me go through this process agrees. My husband who knows me intimately agrees. No mental illness…nope, just sickness caused by drugs and drug withdrawal.

Mad Liberation by Moonlight

The full moon is on October 14th this time. This would make the radio show happen on Friday night, 10/17/08. I have to clear this with Dan but so far, that’s the plan.

Mad Liberation

by Moonlight

Friday! On KBOO Radio 90.7 FM

1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night

(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)

October 17th, 2008

This show is dedicated to Everyone

*who has ever been given a psychiatric label, *who experiences mental health challenges and of course to *anybody who has the misfortune (or good fortune) of being awake at that hour.

You can participate!

Call in at (503) 231-8187

We also hope to have some live in-studio musical

performance by CS/X performers on this show.

(Set your alarm if you aren’t usually up at that time)

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am usually following the full-moon, will be a segment on KBOO radio (90.7 on your fm dial, to the left of NPR), also streamed on the internet on their website, http://www.kboo.fm/index.php will be time for Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

Excerpt From: The Rape of the Mind

Source material- go to

http://www.ninehundred.net/control/

The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing

by

Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D

NOTE: This work has been long out of print, last known publication date 1956, the World Publishing Company. Of course, the technology has advanced and the techniques have been refined, but the principles remain the same.

from the Forward:

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.” -Matthew 10:28

This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine a transformation which can be bought about by some of the cultural undercurrents in our present day society as well as by deliberate experiments in the service of a political ideology.

The rape of the mind and stealthy mental coercion are among the oldest crimes of mankind. They probably began back in pre historic days wheh man first discovered that he could exploit human qualities of empathy and understanding in order to exert power over his fellow men. The word “rape” is derived from the Latin word _rapere_, to snatch, but also is related to the words to rave and raven. It means to overwhelm and to enrapture, to invade, to usurp, to pillage and to steal.

The modern words “brainwashing,” “thought control,” and “menticide” serve to provide a clearer conception of the actual methods by which man’s integrity can be violated. When a concept is given its right name, it can be more easily recognized and it is with this recognition that the opportunity for systematic correction begins.

In this book the reader will find a discussion of some of the imminent dangers which threaten free cultural interplay. It emphasizes the tremendous cultural implication of the subject of enforced mental intrusion. Not only the artificial techniques of coercion are important but even more the unobtrusive intrusion into our feeling and thinking. The danger of destruction of the spirit may be compared to the threat of total physical destruction through atomic warfare. Indeed, the two are related and intertwined…..

from the first chapter:

The first part of this book is devoted to various techniques used to make man a meek conformist. In addition to actual political occurrences, attention is called to some ideas born in the laboratory and to the drug techniques that facilitate brainwashing. The last chapter deals with the subtle psychological mechanisms of mental submission.

CHAPTER ONE — YOU TOO WOULD CONFESS

A fantastic thing is happening in our world. Today a man is no longer punished only for the crimes he has in fact committed. Now he may be compelled to confess to crimes that have been conjured up by his judges, who use his confession for political purposes. It is not enough for us to damn as evil those who sit in judgment. We must understand what impels the false admission of guilt; we must take another look at the human mind in all its frailty and vulnerability.

The Enforced Confession

During the Korean War, an officer of the United States Marine Corps, Colonel Frank H. Schwable, was taken prisoner by the Chinese Communists. After months of intense psychological pressure and physical degradation, he signed a well documented “confession” that the United States was carrying on bacteriological warfare against the enemy. The confession named names, cited missions, described meetings and strategy conferences. This was a tremendously valuable propaganda tool for the totalitarians. They cabled the news all over the world: “The United States of America is fighting the peace loving people of China by dropping bombs loaded with disease spreading bacteria, in violation of international law.”

After his repatriation, Colonel Schwable issued a sworn statement repudiating his confession, and describing his long months of imprisonment. Later, he was brought before a military court of inquiry. He testified in his own defense before that court: “I was never convinced in my own mind that we in the First Marine Air Wing had used bug warfare. I knew we hadn’t, but the rest of it was real to me the conferences, the planes, and how they would go about their missions.”

“The words were mine,” the Colonel continued, “but the thoughts were theirs. That is the hardest thing I have to explain: how a man can sit down and write something he knows is false, and yet, to sense it, to feel it, to make it seem real.”

This is the way Dr. Charles W. Mayo, a leading American physician and government representative, explained brainwashig in an official statement before the United Nations: “…the tortures used…although they include many brutal physical injuries, are not like the medieval torture of the rack and the thumb screw. They are subtler, more prolonged, and intended to be more terrible in their effect. They are calculated to disintegrate the mind of an intelligent victim, to distort his sense of values, to a point where he will not simply cry out ‘I did it!’ but will become a seemingly willing accomplice to the complete disintegration of his integrity and the production of an elaborate fiction.”

The Schwable case is but one example of a defenseless prisoner being compelled to tell a big lie. If we are to survive as free men, we must face up to this problem of politically inspired mental coercion, with all its ramifications.

It is more than twenty years [in 1956] since psychologists first began to suspect that the human mind can easily fall prey to dictatorial powers. In 1933, the German Reichstag building was burned to the ground. The Nazis arrested a Dutchman, Marinus Van der Lubbe, and accused him of the crime. Van der Lubbe was known by Dutch psychiatrists to be mentally unstable. He had been a patient in a mental institution in Holland. And his weakness and lack of mental balance became apparent to the world when he appeared before the court. Wherever news of the trial reached, men wondered: “Can that foolish little fellow be a heroic revolutionary, a man who is willing to sacrifice his life to an ideal?”

During the court sessions Van der Lubbe was evasive, dull, and apathetic. Yet the reports of the Dutch psychiatrists described him as a gay, alert, unstable character, a man whose moods changed rapidly, who liked to vagabond around, and who had all kinds of fantasies about changing the world.

On the forty second day of the trial, Van der Lubbe’s behavior changed dramatically. His apathy disappeared. It became apparent that he had been quite aware of everything that had gone on during the previous sessions. He criticized the slow course of the procedure. He demanded punishment either by imprisonment or death. He spoke about his “inner voices.” He insisted that he had his moods in check. Then he fell back into apathy. We now recognize these symptoms as a combination of behavior forms which we can call a confession syndrome. In 1933 this type of behavior was unknown to psychiatrists. Unfortunately, it is very familiar today and is frequently met in cases of extreme mental coercion.

Van der Lubbe was subsequently convicted and executed. When the trial was over, the world began to realize that he had merely been a scapegoat. The Nazis themselves had burned down the Reichstag building and had staged the crime and the trial so that they could take over Germany. Still later we realized that Van der Lubbe was the victim of a diabolically clever misuse of medical knowledge and psychologic technique, through which he had been transformed into a useful, passive, meek automaton, who replied merely yes or no to his interrogators during most of the court sessions. In a few moments he threatened to jump out of his enforced role. Even at that time there were rumors that the man had been drugged into submission, though we never became sure of that.

[NOTE: The psychiatric report about the case of Van der Lubbe is published by Bonhoeffer and Zutt. Though they were unfamiliar with the “menticide syndrome,” and not briefed by their political fuehrers, they give a good description about the pathologic, apathetic behavior, and his tremendous change of moods. They deny the use of drugs.]

This is powerful reading- I encourage you to take a closer look. The book has ramifications that are very timely both in terms of geo-politics and psychiatric politics.

From my favorite mental health blogger, Ron Unger-

(his blog, Recovery from Schizofrenia-http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/blog/)

Guidelines for changing the mental health system

Posted by Ron Unger on October 5th, 2008

Here in Lane County Oregon, USA, a group known as the Consumer Council, working closely with MindFreedom, has been pushing to put in place official guidelines which would hopefully change the behavior of mental health professionals. Two of the important things we are asking them to do is to quit misleading and disempowering people into believing that genetic and biological explanations of “mental illness” are fact, and to let people know they may eventually be able to live successfully without medication and that help is available to them in making that transition.

So far we have gotten the local mental health system to move forward with some vague and poorly explained guidelines, though even these have gotten the professionals stirred up as they find themselves being asked to take into account consumer concerns. What follows is a copy of an email about the concerns of the “treatment team” of the county mental health department, followed by my rebuttal. I thought it might be of interest to those of you who are pushing for change in your own mental health system.

I have changed the name of the mental health worker who wrote this email, as I didn’t ask her permission to post it here.

From: Brenda
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:04 AM
To: LEVINE Al; *LC H&HS 2411 MLK Mental Health
Subject: RE: attached position on consummer empowerment

Hi, Al,

Sorry for the late reply. I hope this is timely enough for consideration.

Some concerns were expressed at Wednesday Treatment Team about this, both by the LMPs and by the clinicians.

Of particular concern was the paragraph on the second page requiring that “clients be correctly informed about what is known about their mental health condition and providers do not misinform clients with explanations that are disempowering (genetics, chemical imbalance).”

The problem highlighted with this wording is the assumption that information about biological factors that contribute to mental health issues is disempowering. There was a feeling voiced that this particular wording stemmed from local political pressures rather being based on empirical information.

There was also concern stated about the phrase in the third paragraph that stated that “current treatment, including medications, may be necessary for a limited time.” (Italics mine.)

Clearly, it would be misleading for anyone to tell a client that medications may be necessary only for a limited time. For many clients, that is not the case.

Finally, There was a question of what “alternative treatment” means, and an objection to the phrase “dependence on psychiatric medications.”

There is way too much in this document that seems to make specific directives without clear definition of what that entails.

Personally, I believe LCMH needs to make a position statement on consumer empowerment. I just have my doubts that policy and practice (Expressed in the Heading “Consumer Empowerment Guidelines”) should be guided by what appears to be local political pressure rather than by a broader “Memorandum of Understanding” (or some such) of what client empowerment consists of, and which LCMH takes the time and effort to draft on its own, taking into consideration an array of current policy and practice, as well as local consumer input.

If the Consumer Council wishes to make a definitive statement such as the one above, they have every right to do so and, I believe, should be encouraged to do so. However, I do not think it serves anyone well for LCMH to adopt a hybridized version that may bind practitioners to wording that could have unintended consequences down the line.

I think much better wording could be used to express a commitment to increased consumer participation in treatment and a strengths-based recovery model. My concern is that the statement as is stands is focused less on real client empowerment than on limitations placed on what providers may and may not say. I do believe that any clinical guidelines coming from LCMH need to recognize the fact that medication is certainly not the only answer in treating any mental health condition. I just don’t think this is the way to express that reality.

I refer you to the very excellent SAMHSA statement (thanks, Gina!) that answers the question: “What is Recovery?” It has a much more encompassing–and philosophically acceptable–statement on consumer empowerment.

http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma05-4129/

Thanks,
Brenda

[then what follows is my response:]

It was very interesting to read the concerns that came out of the Wednesday treatment team meeting. I understand that many of the guidelines didn’t make much sense to you, that they seemed to unnecessarily limit how providers talk about things and they seemed to you to just be based on politics, and not on any reasoned and evidence based efforts to improve mental health care. I think the fact that you got this impression points out a definite weakness in the guidelines, and that has to do with the fact that they included inadequate explanation of the reasons for their existence.

The guidelines you saw did not come directly from the Consumer Council, though they did start as a result of recommendations for guidelines that were made there. I don’t know who put all the words together as you saw them (and they have been changed more since) but it now seems clear they don’t sufficiently explain why guidelines are necessary, and the basis for them. I think that rather than weakening them till they say less and less (which seems to be happening as they go through more committees and reviews) they need to be revised to clearly explain why they are vitally necessary to protect consumers against harm imposed by the mental health system. Let me attempt to explain here.

If a woman has a physical injury which a doctor has reason to know will leave her permanently unable to walk, and the doctor informs her that she will have to depend on a wheelchair to get around for the rest of her life, the doctor is being perfectly reasonable in telling her that. It may be depressing and initially demoralizing news to her, but it helps her face reality and prepare to get on with her life.

Now let’s consider an example where a woman has a physical injury which is more ambiguous. In the history of medical observation, most people with this sort of injury have not been able to walk again, but a sizable minority have been able to walk again. Let’s consider that in this example the doctor also tells the patient that she will have to depend on a wheelchair to get around for the rest of her life. Do you see the problem with that? If the woman believes her doctor, she will not take an interest in therapy that might get her walking and spending time outside of her wheelchair, and she may well end up permanently disabled, not because of her injury, but because of misinformation from her doctor. This would properly be classified as medical system imposed disability.

In the example above, perhaps the doctor was worried about nurturing hopes that might turn out false, or perhaps the doctor was worried that if she attempted to get out of the wheelchair and walk she would further injure herself and the doctor wanted to prevent any risk of this happening. It doesn’t really matter what the motivation of the doctor was: the patient has the right to hear that there is a possibility of recovery, and the right to pursue a course of rehabilitation therapy even if there is some risk of further injury in the course of the therapy. The doctor violated her informed consent by failing to give her critically important facts about possible treatment alternatives.

I used an example from physical medicine, but the same principles can be applied to a mental health problem. Brenda’s message stated that “There was also concern stated about the phrase in the third paragraph that stated that “current treatment, including medications, may be necessary for a limited time.” (Italics mine.) Clearly, it would be misleading for anyone to tell a client that medications may be necessary only for a limited time. For many clients, that is not the case.” Following the reasoning in Brenda’s message, the doctor in the physical injury example might have stated that he could not tell his patient that she might walk again and not have to depend on a wheelchair, because clearly for many of his patients with such injuries, they were not able to do that! I hope it is obvious to all of you that the doctor’s logic would be flawed. When we say a person “may” recover and walk again, or recover and no longer need medications, that is very different from saying the person “will” recover in that way. All we need to say that a person “may” recover is examples of some people with the given condition who do recover.

(One might also ask how many of this doctor’s patients weren’t able to walk again just because they had been misled by the doctor into not trying to recover. Predictions of failure can make failure more likely, which is why it is critical not to exaggerate the likelihood of failure, or especially critical not to make it appear inevitable.)

Some of you may feel that the above example does not apply, because you are sure that some of your clients definitely have no chance of getting off medications and doing well. I would challenge you though, to find empirical evidence that shows that mental health professionals are able to reliably predict who has no chance of making such a recovery. Harding did a long term study in Vermont of the people with the worst prognosis in psychiatry, people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been hospitalized for years in the so-called “back wards.” She found that decades later, a third or more of these people were off medications, showing no symptoms of schizophrenia, and living lives that involved work and relationships. Similar studies elsewhere also show many recovering (though percentages vary: a similar study in Maine showed a lower rate of recovery, probably because Maine did not offer the same assistance in rehabilitation offered in Vermont.) It seems to me that when we do not objectively know who will recover and who will not, we should just say we don’t know, and let people know they have a chance.

Some of you may claim that you know certain people cannot ever live successfully off medication, because they have already tried a number of times and failed. But the fact that a person had even multiple relapses after quitting medications is still not proof that medications will always be necessary: it is also possible to find stories of people with such multiple relapses who eventually got off the medications successfully and then had decades or the rest of their lives living successfully without any medications. So again, where we don’t have the ability to make a reliable prediction, we would do better to back off, and admit that either outcome is possible, including the possibility that the need for medication may still be for just a limited time, even though there have already been multiple relapses. (Of course, if competent help is provided to a person attempting to get off, which includes not just medical oversight in withdrawing slowly but also development of a relapse prevention plan and assistance in shifting to alternative coping, then it is much more likely that a future attempt to get off the medication will succeed, or at least not end in disaster.)

The mental health system has traditionally been afraid to tell people they might eventually not need medications, because they worry this will make clients quit medications while they are in fact still necessary for that person. But when clients are told that they will need medications for the rest of their lives, or even subtly led to believe they will always need medications just by never discussing with them the possibility that they will recover to a point where they won’t need medications, then the effect is to misinform them in a way that is disempowering (which violates the principle of informed consent). We don’t have a right to do that, and it isn’t adequate mental health treatment. It is much more honest, and it works well, to simply discuss openly the danger of quitting medications abruptly while they are still perhaps needed, and to introduce instead the option of gradually reducing medications while shifting to other forms of coping, always knowing one can resume more medications if it is decided that is necessary. This allows facing the uncertainty squarely, in an honest and transparent manner, with the consumer having a choice about how much risk to take, without the professional attempting to make that choice for the consumer.

Another problem with telling people they will always need to stay on medications, when we really don’t know for sure this is true, has to do with the risks of the medications. If we tell 100 people that they will always have to stay on medications, when in reality 10 of those people could have gotten off successfully if they knew this was possible, then we are responsible for keeping those ten people on highly risky medications for no reason whatsoever. If some of these people die early because of the effects of the medications, then we are responsible for their deaths. We might argue that, if we told all 100 people that they might be able to get off medications then lots of people might try getting off them who can’t handle it and that would cause more trouble overall than would be caused by keeping some people on medications unnecessarily, etc. But my point is, we don’t have any ethical right to make these kinds of decisions for people, or to make the 10 who could get off suffer or even die unnecessarily because it is more convenient for us to not disclose the possibility that some can get off medications successfully.

Another issue: there is also a danger of mental health system imposed disability when people are convinced of explanations of their problem which have a greater sense of permanence and which are less likely to be controllable by the person. That is, when people are convinced that they are mentally ill because of their genes, or because there is some kind of problem in their brain which is strictly biological and has nothing to do with how they are choosing to react to things, such as a “chemical imbalance,” they naturally feel less able to do anything about recovery, other than perhaps depend on taking pills for the rest of one’s life (with usually only partial success at most.) If I have a brain tumor, I’m not going to believe I can get rid of the problems it causes by changing my thoughts and behavior. I think this should be obvious enough to not require research backing, but in fact, for schizophrenia at least, there is research that shows that genetic and strictly biological explanations are disempowering and increase stigma. One article that summarizes this research is attached. [Well it’s not attached in this post, but if you post a comment and request a copy I can email it to you at the address you registered with.]

I have a friend who was in the mental health system for years, where he received both many medications including neuroleptics, as well as electroshock. He described to me how he recovered by reconsidering all his ways of thinking and processing information, in a process that took years. He is now a college professor with national recognition for his work, and of course has not taken any medication for many years. He could not have done this had he believed that he would be inevitably mentally ill due to his genes or some strictly biological process in his brain. Fortunately, he was able to reject the misinformation he got from the mental health system, but I don’t think recovery should have to depend on consumers figuring out how to reject our misinformation: they shouldn’t be misinformed to start out with.

The truth is, we don’t know that any consumer we see has even a genetic predisposition toward a mental illness, much less a genetic “cause” because there are no genetic tests. (You may believe that the evidence that genetic differences contribute to mental illness is strong – some others differ with this – but one thing that definitely doesn’t exist is evidence to show that everyone with a particular mental illness has a genetic difference. For example, there is evidence that genetic differences create a predisposition to PTSD, but for any given person with PTSD, we cannot say that there is a particular genetic difference. There could be many other reasons why that particular person has a mental health problem.) We also don’t know that any consumer we see has any specific brain difference that is causing the illness: there is no brain test for mental illness specifically because there are no brain differences that reliably always show up in people with a given diagnosis and never in people without the diagnosis (nor are there any brain differences that even come close to meeting this criteria.) This means that genetic and biological explanations are simply unproven theories. (They are also rather dubious theories if one attempts to take them as a complete explanation, because no one has ever explained how a mental illness caused by genes or a biologically based brain difference could go away over time in the cases of people who get off medication and go on to live highly successful lives.)

What is essential to maximizing chances for recovery is that consumers be given explanations that suggest a role for the consumer in his or her own recovery. (These explanations do not need to be presented as fact, but just as theories or possibilities that offer hope.) For example, consumers can be told that their mental problem may result from a reaction to life events, reactions which over time they could learn to shift. This conveys the belief that complete recovery is possible and that the consumer has a role in it, which are beliefs that are cited by those who do recover as being essential in their journey.

Just a couple more issues: I was curious about the objection to the phrase “dependence on psychiatric medications.” Was this a purely political objection, or was it based on some kind of reasoning or evidence? It seems to me that from every objective criteria, this is an appropriate use of the term “dependence.” Dependence on something is not necessarily a bad thing: for example if I had an irreparable spinal cord injury, I would happily depend on a wheelchair, and I wouldn’t object to anyone calling it a “dependence.” Clearly, when a person cannot successfully get through a week or a month without taking a bunch of psychiatric medications, they are depending on them. The use of the word “dependence” might also bring up associations with dependence on other substances that have withdrawal effects, but even then this associations cannot be successfully argued to be misleading, because all classes of psychiatric medications have been shown to have withdrawal effects, or “discontinuation syndromes” or whatever you want to call them, at least in many people.

I agree that it would be helpful for the guidelines to go into more detail about what alternatives are and which ones might be accessed through LaneCare services. I think one of the best ways that LaneCare services can actually help is in having a therapist and/or case manager or peer support person guiding people in accessing things that are already available in the community for free, but which are ordinarily not accessed by people caught up in mental health problems. This includes everything from social groups, spirituality, family support, nature, building social support networks, free educational opportunities, exercise options, dietary and substance consumption changes, and other lifestyle changes. Of course, for a consumer to even see these as relevant, they often need to see the possibility of a broader understanding of mental health problems than that which they have often learned in the mental health system.

To sum all this up: I understand very much that the proposed guidelines would just seem an encumbrance on the everyday practice of mental health workers, if the justification for them is not well known. However, I hope I have made the case that there is a very strong justification for these guidelines, in that they contain suggestions which are necessary to avoid mental health system caused disability and even unnecessary death, to fully comply with the principle of informed consent, and to create the strongest possible assistance in recovery. It’s fine to have nice definitions of recovery, such as that found in the ten principles on the SAMHSA site, but it’s also important to have guidelines to insure that mental health workers don’t unnecessarily make such recovery less likely or impossible. I hope what I’ve written here makes apparent the reasons for these guidelines, and I hope in the future we will be able to include a better explanation for the guidelines within the guidelines themselves.

In many respects, these guidelines are a companion piece to the trauma guidelines, which also attempt to make mental health providers more aware of, and avoid, the possibility of mental health system imposed harm. I think we all have a lot to gain from such guidelines. They may temporarily make our work a little more difficult as we learn new things, but what we gain is increased competence in doing what we really care about, which is helping people. That’s a goal we can all agree on.

Ron Unger

Audio Dharma-

(for more talks like this, go here.)

recorded at the

Insight Retreat Center

eugenecash_anger

Insight Meditation Center began in 1986 as a small group meditating together once a week. Today, hundreds of people participate in events at the center throughout the week. Talks are shared with a world-wide audience through the online Audio Dharma program.

(Click the picture below- it makes a nice wallpaper)

Wei Yingwu

A POEM TO A TAOIST HERMIT
CHUANJIAO MOUNTAIN


My office has grown cold today;
And I suddenly think of my mountain friend
Gathering firewood down in the valley
Or boiling white stones for potatoes in his hut….
I wish I might take him a cup of wine
To cheer him through the evening storm;
But in fallen leaves that have heaped the bare slopes,
How should I ever find his footprints!

Bye for now!

-Rick

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