Tag Archives: CS/X movement

Oregon Consumer/ Survivor Coalition & stuff

Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition delegation meets with Oregon’s
governor

by Rebecca Eichhorn

In June 2008, representatives from the Oregon Consumer Survivor
Coalition (OCSC), Mental Health America, and several individual
consumers were invited to meet with Governor Ted Kulongoski. The
purpose of this historic meeting was to brief the Governor on matters
concerning mental health and consumer affairs in Oregon.

The hour long conversation offered an opportunity to familiarize the
governor with issues facing consumers and the public mental health
services.

Some of the topic discussed at the meeting included:

** The history of the consumer movement

** the concept of “recovery”

** consumer/survivors as partners in treatment

** peer support services, and

** the need for a continuum of mental health services.

The Governor set the agenda and led the conversation asking questions
and indicating genuine interest in each topic discussed. There was
not enough time to cover the Governor’s entire agenda. However, the
topics that were discussed seemed well received and layed the
foundation for a future meeting and continued dialogue with the
Governor regarding consumer voice and issues facing the mental health
system.

Rebecca Eichhorn, MS
OCSC Board Member
Consumer Affairs Specialist
Consumer Care Partnerships

New York Times covers Mad Pride!

http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mf/new-york-times-mad-pride

Protests against forced electroshock-

From MindFreedom news-

(lazy blogger)

May 2008 Protests of Electroshock

by David W. Oaks last modified 2008-05-15 15:00

Electroshock — also known as electroconvulsive therapy — was protested by MindFreedom members in Cork, Ireland; Ottawa, Canada; Montreal, Canada. Here are brief reports from each.

May 2008 Protests of Electroshock

MindFreedom Ireland in Cork, Ireland on 3 May 2008 protesting electroshock.

BELOW are reports from three May 2008 electroshock protests: Cork, Ireland (photo in upper right); Ottawa, Canada; Montreal, Canada.

The reports were compiled by Sue Clark, who is chair of the MindFreedom ZAPBACK Committee to end electroshock.

Update: A photo is now on this web page for each of the three protests.

MindFreedom Lane County will also include protest of electroshock in their 17 May 2008 skit protest The Normathon.

The reports begin with Ottawa, followed by a brief report from Montreal, and then from Cork, Ireland.

May 2008 Electroshock Protests

Photo of protest in Ottawa, Canada on 11 May 2008 of electroshockOttawa protests electroshock on 11 May 2008

[Photo on right, more photos click here.]

by Sue Clark

Hello everyone:

Here are two articles re the ECT protest yesterday in Ottawa. The first one is from the CBC national news. There was a radio show yesterday on CBC radio at 7:30 p.m. I was told and there was a whole show on ECT. I will try to get the transcript. The first article from the CBC they put in Dr. Peter Breggin’s’ name wrong, and put in “Paul Breggin”.

The second article from CTV.ca said in the article “patients” I have free of psychiatry since 1990 and have not been a patient since then.

The ECT protest was also covered by CFRA radio, CJOH TV news in Ottawa, and A channel News in Ottawa. The CBC had a whole story on ECT on CBC radio on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and I did not hear the show. If anyone did, please let me know.

We will be holding the ECT protest every year on Mother’s Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Thank to all who participated in this ECT protest in Ottawa: Steven Wittenberg, my husband, Don Weitz, Graeme Bacque, Jane Scharf, Marco, Phillip and Jen, Cristian and Francois, Elisabeth Ziegeler and Jay, Debbie and Jennifer, Michael, Barbara Mainguy, Karen Dawe, and to the others who were there and to all the people who sent statements and encouragement to to the event: Mary Maddock from Mindfreedom Ireland, Helene Grandbois from Montreal, Dr. Bonnie Burstow from Toronto, Leonard Roy Frank from San Francisco, and Dr. John Breeding from Texas, and to David Oaks and his staff for their support and encouragement.

I will be on a radio show today on CHRY radio 105.5 at 5:30 p.m. which is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
talking about the ECT protest yesterday and other antipsychiatry issues.

Regards,

Sue Clark-Wittenberg
Chair
MFI committee on ECT & Human Rights
Ottawa (613) 721-1833

_______________________

Despite criticism, electroshock therapy commonly used in depression Last Updated: Monday, May 12, 2008 | 12:22 PM ET CBC News<http://www.cbc.ca/news/credit.html&gt; http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/12/electroshock-therapy.html

(you can make comments at this link) – Sue

Despite protests calling for a ban on the treatment, electroshock therapy is frequently used by Canadian psychiatrists to treat severe depression.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) estimates that last year, the procedure, which dates back to 1938 and involves passing electrical currents though the brain to trigger seizures, was used more than 15,000 times in the country.

The figure has remained virtually unchanged since 2002, CIHI says, showing that the popularity of the procedure remains strong.

A report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last week shows the procedure is commonly used to treat drug-resistant depression in seniors.

However, critics of the procedure believe its usage should be stopped, and it is a painful procedure that leads to brain damage.

On Sunday, about a dozen protesters rallied in Ottawa, calling for a ban of the procedure.

Protest organizer Sue Clark-Wittenberg had electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) 35 years ago, and says it has kept her from getting an education and a good job.

“The bottom line is electroshock always damages the brain. Electroshock always causes memory loss,” she says.
ECT survives calls for ban

Dr. Nizar Ladha, a psychiatrist based in St. John’s, has been using ECT for three decades. He says the procedure does induce seizures, but they’re not painful and don’t cause convulsions.

“As an effective and lifesaving treatment, it rates right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” he told CBC News.

Ladha says he has seen ECT help fight depression and prevent many suicides.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association argues that ECT is safe and effective, though the Canadian Medical Association says it can cause memory loss.

But Dr. Paul Breggin, a New York-based psychiatrist, is in a minority of psychiatrists who says the procedure should be banned.

“We’re treating human beings as if they are a very crude machine which can be battered back into shape.”

Still, Dr. David Goldbloom, a psychiatrist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, predicts it will become even more popular, having survived numerous calls to ban it and two provincial inquiries.

“Each time the conclusion is the same — that the balance of evidence supports retaining this to try to help people with depression.”

_______________________

Shock therapy ‘barbaric, inhumane,’ say protesters

Updated: Sun May. 11 2008 18:29:27

ctvottawa.ca/<http://ctvottawa.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080511/OTT_protest_shock_080511/20080511/?hub=OttawaHome&gt;

Past patients of electroshock therapy took to Parliament Hill today, requesting a ban on what they say is torture.

“Stop electroshock before it stops you,” chanted Sue Clark Wittenberg, a former electroshock therapy patient and vocal opponent to the practise.

Also known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the American Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association have deemed ECT to be safe and not cause brain damage.

The protesters claimed ECT is barbaric and inhumane.

Wittenberg said she was subjected to ECT 25 years ago. Now, she claims she suffers from memory loss and difficulty learning. Wittenberg and other patients want the Canadian Government to ban what is considered a therapeutic practice.

“The Canadian Psychiatric Association says on their website that electroshock therapy is safe. That is not true, look at me,” Wittenberg said.

Wittenberg claims 14,000 people in Ontario are subjected to electroshock therapy every year.

According to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, ECT is effective in the treatment of patients with major depression, delusional depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and catatonia.
________________


Protest in Quebec in May 2008 of electroshockQUEBEC PROTESTS ELECTROSHOCK


Montreal protest to ban ECT Saturday May 10, 2008 (photo on right).

Our protest was real success. About 50 persons were there. We had our choir perform two times and chant our slogans.

We had a bannière with “Disons non aux électrochocs Urgence d’agir”.

I made two times a speach one more general on my motivations to make ECT banned and a translation I made of Sue testimony that she send me.

Two other speakers made speeches. Two TVs station were there TVA and Radio-Canada who made a very good report of the situation about ECT not just a report from the protest but also they documented the fact that our Ministry of Health did nothing from the Banken report recommendation 5 years after the report.

Nobody was interviewed to counterfact our statements. The Ministry of Health was interviewed and could just say they do nothing to monitor or to tcheck about the situation of ECT and the women and elderly that were shocked. On the web site of both Radio-Canada and TVA our statement are well put into evidence. We also had interviews for a radio program that will be on the air on next friday night at 8 o’clock cannot say the result of this. We will see.

In general the protest was energizing and everybody who was there will sing our songs with us and say our slogans. Really a very exciting event.

As Mary said we shall overcome
Take care
Love
Hélène

______________________

MindFreedom Ireland protests electroshock in Cork, Ireland


Press Release – For more information contact Mary Maddock of MindFreedom Ireland

3 May 2008

Members of MindFreedom Ireland, the organisation which campaigns for human rights in the mental health system, protested against the use of electro shock as a ‘treatment’ both in our Irish hospitals and worldwide.

It took place outside the G.P.O. Oliver Plunket St. Cork, Ireland between 1.p.m. and 4.p.m.

Many members of the public expressed their own shock! that this barbaric practice was still performed both worldwide and in our Irish hospitals today ‘in the name of help.’

They were more outraged that it could even be legally forced on vulnerable people.

Many of them signed a petition to abolish the practice.

Four electro shock survivors from Cork spoke out and confirmed that it did indeed cause brain damage.

Last year both Kathy Sinnott, MEP and Dan Boyle, Green Party took part in the protest.

The protest was part of a worldwide demonstration in conjunction with Mother’s Day in Canada, to highlight the fact that two thirds of the recipients of shock are women. Messages of solidarity from Canada were read out.

On the same day MindFreedom Ireland celebrated the ratification of the UN treaty on the rights of people with disabilities (this importantly includes people with psycho/social disabilities) which hopefully will stop forceful ‘treatments’ used in present day psychiatry including electro shock.

Mary Maddock was the focus of an article about electroshock in in a major Irish newspaper, to read the article click here.

Some important facts about electro shock commonly known as ECT ( Electro Convulsive ‘Therapy’.

· CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE, MEMORY LOSS AND DISORIENTATION

· IS AN ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

· CAN BE LEGALLY FORCED ON PEOPLE AGAINST THEIR WILL

· TWO THIRDS OF SHOCK VICTIMS ARE WOMEN – MOTHERS AND
GRANDMOTHERS

· IS PSYCHIATRIC TORTURE

Mad Liberation By MoonLight

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)

July 25th, 2008

(Please do not note that the lunar calendar would generally put the show on July 18th but I can’t be in town that night- sorry for the incontinence. You can still listen to KBOO and be surprised at whatever you hear. Try not to get confused, I know I’m trying my best and it’s not working very well. The show will be on July 25th, 1:00 a.m. Friday night.)

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

Please call in!

(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 of Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

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

The world is so full of a number of things…

I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

I digress….

had to post this picture:

Mental Health and Mortality

Per our last post, we reported that in Oregon one-third of people treated for mental health diagnosis die before age 50. If you add “co-occurring disorders”, 89 percent of people treated for both mental
illness and substance abuse die before age 50. These numbers are in line with but also in excess of the national data regarding mortality and mental health.

It’s important to note that the figures are based on people who are receiving treatment. It’s also key to point out that these mortality statistics are getting worse not better. Add to these findings the fact that the most significant factor involved in recovery from mental illness is the length of time one has received treatment; that is to say that the longer one receives treatment, the less likely they are to recover.

What conclusions can be drawn?

  1. Mental health treatment is possibly preventing people from getting well and
  2. Our advances in treatment (new drugs, etc.) are killing us faster and faster.

Is anybody listening? Not much, it would appear. In Oregon we are building a new state hospital system at a cost of half a billion dollars. Our mental health treatment centers and support agencies are stuck in a time warp, oblivious to the facts, ignorant of the potential for recovery and blindly pushing the drugs that are killing us at a rate unprecedented for any other major public health issue.

(Note on the incredibly simpleminded continued reliance on large public institutions: I am of the opinion that as long as we have a system that believes that “some people just have to kept in institutions”, we will have a system that incarcerates a large number of people in these settings. It is only when we say that “no one should be treated this way” that we will begin the to take meaningful steps toward an effective community approach to treatment and support. The state hospitals will continue to suck up the majority of the resources at the expense of real treatment, real recovery and real self-determination. The old arguments that we need these places because of “court mandated patients”, “public safety” and the less acknowledged factor of state employees’ unions who resist the shift to community agencies and settings are are all red herrings and scare tactics with no real value in the discussion. Between 1987 and 1999, with fits and starts, the state dismantled it’s large public institutions for people with developmental disabilities (Fairview Hospital and Training Center/ FHTC, the last and largest). The biggest factor in the process taking so long was the repeated arguments mentioned above. In the end, these all turned out to be empty threats that had no value other than their ability to slow things down. Meaningful, secure and recovery based supports can be engineered in the community. Oregon has already done it before. Some of you may say that their is no correlation or equivalence between these populations but that is also just a lie perpetrated by those who would hold back the future. Fairview held hundreds of individuals with mental illness, hundreds who were court-mandated and thousands of unionized staff. It was once a small city; It is now a field of weeds and grass. I was there. I worked at part-time Fairview in the 1970s and was involved throughout the process of it’s closure.)

The institution is not the only problem. Existing community services are often mismanaged, poorly staffed read the Annapolis Coalition report or in Oregon, the Governor’s report) and typically way behind in their acceptance of recovery and self-directed supports (compare your local clinic with the National Statement on Mental Health Recovery).

Are there any silver linings?

We have a consumer/ survivor movement that is gradually learning to work together and spread our collective wings. We have tiny (microscopic in a national sense) new programs that are consumer directed. use peer supports or embrace self-directed service models. We also have a growing emphasis (in Oregon) on “wellness” as a focus and recovery as a real possibility for all people facing mental health challenges (see: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/index.shtml).

Gradually, the public mental health system is becoming aware of the impact of trauma in the lives of people with mental health issues. While some studies show that as much as 95% of persons with a mental health diagnosis are trauma survivors, our treatment programs are remarkable for their tendency to re-traumatize the afflicted. Effective treatment for trauma has come a long way but is still not widely used. At the same time we are seeing the long term effects of mal-treatment that ignores the trauma factor and leads to greater and greater difficulty in the individual’s ability to recover.

New thoughts are emerging and new ideas slowly joining the mainstream. This from a publication from SAMHSA:

Today’s mental health system has failed to facilitate recovery of most people labeled with severe mental illnesses, leading to increasing expressions of dissatisfaction by people using services, their families, and administrators. Only a fundamental change of the very culture of the system will ensure that the changes made in policy, training, services, and research will lead to genuine recovery. In accordance with the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health report, mental health consumers and survivors, representing diverse cultural backgrounds, should play a leading role in designing and implementing the transformation to a recovery-based mental health system.

This paper provides an outline of how consumers/survivors can catalyze a transformation of the mental health system from one based on an institutional culture of control and exclusion to one based on a recovery culture of self-determination and community participation. At the national policy level, this paper recommends that consumers develop and implement a National Recovery Initiative. At the State and local policy levels, State and local recovery initiatives are recommended. On the direct service level, the paper provides a road map for developing services, financing, and supports that are based on self-determination and recovery.

A recovery-based mental health system would embrace the following values:

  • Self-determination
  • Empowering relationships based on trust, understanding, and respect
  • Meaningful roles in society
  • Elimination of stigma and discrimination

Changing the mental health system to one that is based on the principles of recovery will require a concerted effort of consumers and allies working to bring about changes in beliefs and practices at every level of the system. The building of these alliances will require the practice of recovery principles of trust, understanding, and respect by all parties involved.

(The full article re: above can be found at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/NMH05-0193/default.asp)

Another positive sign is the increasing clinical and scholarly acknowledgement of the role of spirituality in the recovery process (see: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787947083.html, http://akmhcweb.org/recovery/rec.htm, http://www.mentalhealthworld.org/34ddnspirit.html, http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/recovery/lesson1.html to name a few resources).

Peer delivered services are supposed to be rolled out in Oregon during the coming year. The state has made necessary changes in it’s Medicaid Waiver to allow billing for peer mentors and service providers.

While the overall system seems to be riding a hand basket to hell, the growing awareness, solidarity and action emerging from the Consumer/ Survivor/ Ex Patient movement is on a collision course with the system that is, was and wishes to always be. It is either a slow motion train wreck or the harbinger of a revolution in mental health treatment.

Things are on the cusp of a change. Part of that change may need to be the collapse of the current system (including our current, mostly pitiful, community service models) under the weight of it’s own silliness. If it happens, this will not be a bad thing.
If all the case managers, therapists, pills and hospitals for treatment of mental illness disappeared over night…

On balance, would we be better or worse off?

On a completely different note:

Pictures I’ve found interesting lately-

windshield grime-art:

I has a cleaning…

Prince says “hai”

Always remember

To check the music page for new stuff.

BTW- I’d love to hear from you about your own music. Do you have any home recordings I can post? Please, no professional quality shite.

Finally,for today, a little video

Avalokiteshvara – Treasury of Compassion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_cYRAIdTs

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Filed under animated gif, animation, buddhism, CS/X movement, Free Music, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, Music, new music, pictures, silly, Uncategorized, wellness and systems change

Potpourri

UK study/ SSRIs

Millions of prescriptions for SSRIs are written up in the UK each year, but a major study says they’re no better than placebo. What now for the citizens of Prozac Nation?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/26/ssri.study

“Perhaps the next time half a million people gather for a protest march on the White House green,” wrote Elizabeth Wurtzel in her bestselling book Prozac Nation, “it will not be for abortion rights or gay liberation, but because we’re all so bummed out.”

From the West Virginia Gazette

West Virginia disability rights groups are fuming after the owners
of a pre-Civil War mental hospital in Weston renamed the property the
"Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum."

article here-

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/200803190655

Looks like Andrew is drawing on the sidewalks again

My son Andrew, who lives in the SF area, likes to draw on the sidewalk. These and other illustrations of his well-spent time are on his blog- listed to the right- Better Bees Than Bears. Click for larger picture.

Mad Liberation By MoonLight

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)
June 20th, 2008

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

You can participate!

Call in at (503) 231-8187
Please call in! Set your alarm!

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 of Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

Moon Shots

Since this Friday is Mad Liberation by Moonlight, these pictures are to help stimulate your memory so that you stay up at night to listen. Click to make larger.

Found here:

http://www.photon-echoes.com/lunar_images.htm

Mental Health and the ADA-

This is a packet I put together for a training I gave to State of Oregon Human Resource managers.

Click for doc.

mental-health-and-the-ada

BTW: Here’s how the frogs are doing:

Also, check out new recording on the music page…

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Music, Frogs, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, mp3, new music, pictures, Uncategorized