Tag Archives: Mental health recovery

Early Warning: Mad Liberation by Moonlight

(you may have to click for animation)

Mad Liberation By MoonLight- this Friday night!

KBOO Radio 90.7 FM
1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night (PST)
(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)
August 15th, 2008

I promise that I will be there!

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

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 animated gif, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, Uncategorized

If you aren’t Mad you aren’t paying attention

News from MindFreedom and the Bend Weekly News

A State of Oregon study says that Oregonians in the mental health
system die earlier than the general public.

Bend Weekly News in Bend, Oregon, USA covered this news in the below
story, which includes a link so you can download the State of Oregon
study, “Measuring Premature Mortality among Oregonians,” published 10
June 2008.



Report: One-third of mentally ill Oregonians die before 50

Jun 13, 2008 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Oregonians with serious mental illness are dying years earlier than
their neighbors in the general population, and a grassroots health
movement is under way to reverse this trend.

The Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health
Division (AMH) has teamed with consumers of mental health services
and their families, health care professionals and others to implement
a statewide wellness initiative aimed at improving mental and
physical health and longevity.

Death comes before age 50 for one third of those treated for mental
health problems, according to results of a seven-year AMH mortality
study. A staggering 89 percent of people treated for both mental
illness and substance abuse die before age 50. The average lifespan
of someone who is dually diagnosed is 45.1 years, which equates to an
average 34.5 years of potential life lost.

The recent study, titled “Measuring Premature Mortality among
Oregonians,” compared the death records of persons who received
public substance abuse and/or mental health treatment with the
general population.

The early death toll among this segment of Oregonians falls in line
with similar results from national and state studies. More
importantly, it brings into focus what many individuals with mental
already knew; by taking charge of their health, habits and
lifestyle they can add years – and quality – to their lives, said Bob
Nikkel, DHS assistant director for addictions and mental health.

“National research and this study make it clear that persons being
treated for substance abuse and mental health problems have many
risks that may bring on early death,” said Nikkel. “Our most critical
imperative is to help individuals with mental illness live better and
longer lives.

“Mental health and substance abuse is an important quality of life
issue for Oregonians,” he continued. “Dying prematurely not only
destroys human potential, but it has an economic impact as well.”

The AMH study showed substance abuse and mental health clients have
higher risks of death associated with suicide, homicide and
unintended injuries. In addition, they are economically disadvantaged
and vulnerable to many diseases that cause death. For example,
antipsychotic medications used to treat someone with mental illness
are known to elevate the chance of dying from cardiac arrest; others
may lead to diabetes.

The mortality study is available on the DHS Web site at:


Nikkel said a DHS/AMH wellness committee is working to improve the
health and longevity of people with mental illness by drawing on
scientific research, literature and successful practices by user
groups. Here are some of the committee’s guiding principles:

*** We must treat and support the whole person;

*** Care coordination and wellness screening are essential;

*** Access to a range of health care options and basic health care
must be afforded to all Oregonians;

*** Early intervention and prevention across the lifespan saves
lives, makes a difference in years of productive life lost, and
improves quality of life;

*** Medication management and empowerment equips individuals with the
tools and strength to ask questions and work with treatment providers
to find healthier and effective ways to support recovery and
wellness; and

*** Disparities in health care coverage and access to service must be
overcome, along with finding culturally appropriate treatment programs.

Committee members are seeking funding for grassroots-level programs
that encourage education and lifestyle changes and for peer-to-peer
support services.

For more information visit the DHS wellness Web site at:


On a different note-

Talking with my guests at KBOO radio last night we got into a discussion of stories we all had from psychiatric hospitals, some funny, some not and different experiences we had with mental health providers. I think Ann had the idea that we need to have a “secret shopper” project; people could go to various agencies and then provide reviews of the services, respect and treatment they receive. We could then publicize the information to produce a guide that would be useful to folks. A related idea was that we should collect current information regarding services and treatment at hospital psych wards. On the air we got into a discussion about the relative merits of Portland area acute care facilities. Conclusions? We agreed that, at least before their remodel, Adventist was the worst place to stay but had the best food. Our choice for best local facility (as if anyone ever has a choice) was Providence NE. We also agreed that the showers at St Vincent’s leak and flood the rooms.

We had a great time on the program and gave away tickets to the National Air Guitar Championships being held at Dante’s in downtown Portland. The winner was chosen from among callers on the basis of how many diagnoses they had been given. A good time was had by all.

New Music- added last night on the Music Page

Check it out.

Pictures friom my son’s blog- Better Bees than Bears

He’s drawing pictures on the sidewalks of San Francisco.

Ready to breathe

The first tadpole crawled out of the water last night at about 11 pm. Won’t be long before they all head off into the world. Sniff.

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

Mad News from MindFreedom & NY Times

Received this from MindFreedom today:

Sunday NY Times: Congress discovers that Harvard psychiatrist
covered up drug money

Tomorrow’s Sunday New York Times (8 June 2008) will have an item
about a drug money cover-up by a world-famous Harvard psychiatrist
who is considered a catalyst for the enormous increase in psychiatric
drugging of USA kids. See the text of the article below.

NY Times reports that US Congressional investigators led by Senator
Charles E. Grassley discovered that Harvard’s Dr. Joseph Biederman
illegally did not disclose to Harvard authorities much of the more
than a million dollars he received from psychiatric drug companies.

Says NY Times: “[Dr. Biederman’s] work helped to fuel a controversial
40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric
bipolar disorder.” Please forward. At bottom is commentary from
MindFreedom and how you can take action.


NY Times article with photos on MindFreedom web site:

Or on NY Times web site:


Sunday New York Times

Child Experts Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay

By Gardiner Harris and Benedict Carey

June 8, 2008

A world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped
fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in
children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug
makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this
income to university officials, according to information given
Congressional investigators.

By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman,
and a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical
School, Dr. Timothy E. Wilens, may have violated federal and
university research rules designed to police potential conflicts of
interest, according to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of
Iowa. Some of their research is financed by government grants.

Like Dr. Biederman, Dr. Wilens belatedly reported earning at least
$1.6 million from 2000 to 2007, and another Harvard colleague, Dr.
Thomas Spencer, reported earning at least $1 million after being
pressed by Mr. Grassley’s investigators. But even these amended
disclosures may understate the researchers’ outside income because
some entries contradict payment information from drug makers, Mr.
Grassley found.

In one example, Dr. Biederman reported no income from Johnson &
Johnson for 2001 in a disclosure report filed with the university.
When asked recently to check again, he reported receiving $3,500. But
Johnson & Johnson told Mr. Grassley that it paid him $58,169 in 2001,
Mr. Grassley found.

The Harvard group’s consulting arrangements with drug makers were
already controversial because of the researchers’ advocacy of
unapproved uses of psychiatric medicines in children.

In an e-mailed statement, Dr. Biederman said, “My interests are
solely in the advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and
objective study,” and he said he took conflict-of-interest policies
“very seriously.” Drs. Wilens and Spencer said in e-mailed statements
that they thought they had complied with conflict-of-interest rules.

John Burklow, a spokesman for the National Institutes of Health,
said: “If there have been violations of N.I.H. policy – and if
research integrity has been compromised – we will take all the
appropriate action within our power to hold those responsible
accountable. This would be completely unacceptable behavior, and
N.I.H. will not tolerate it.”

The federal grants received by Drs. Biederman and Wilens were
administered by Massachusetts General Hospital, which in 2005 won
$287 million in such grants. The health institutes could place
restrictions on the hospital’s grants or even suspend them altogether.

Alyssa Kneller, a Harvard spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement:
“The information released by Senator Grassley suggests that, in
certain instances, each doctor may have failed to disclose outside
income from pharmaceutical companies and other entities that should
have been disclosed.”

Ms. Kneller said the doctors had been referred to a university
conflict committee for review.

Mr. Grassley sent letters on Wednesday to Harvard and the health
institutes outlining his investigators’ findings, and he placed the
letters along with his comments in The Congressional Record.

Dr. Biederman is one of the most influential researchers in child
psychiatry and is widely admired for focusing the field’s attention
on its most troubled young patients. Although many of his studies are
small and often financed by drug makers, his work helped to fuel a
controversial 40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of
pediatric bipolar disorder, which is characterized by severe mood
swings, and a rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in
children. The Grassley investigation did not address research quality.

Doctors have known for years that antipsychotic drugs, sometimes
called major tranquilizers, can quickly subdue children. But
youngsters appear to be especially susceptible to the weight gain and
metabolic problems caused by the drugs, and it is far from clear that
the medications improve children’s lives over time, experts say.

In the last 25 years, drug and device makers have displaced the
federal government as the primary source of research financing, and
industry support is vital to many university research programs. But
as corporate research executives recruit the brightest scientists,
their brethren in marketing departments have discovered that some of
these same scientists can be terrific pitchmen.

To protect research integrity, the National Institutes of Health
require researchers to report to universities earnings of $10,000 or
more per year, for instance, in consulting money from makers of drugs
also studied by the researchers in federally financed trials.
Universities manage financial conflicts by requiring that the money
be disclosed to research subjects, among other measures.

The health institutes last year awarded more than $23 billion in
grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities,
and auditing the potential conflicts of each grantee would be
impossible, health institutes officials have long insisted. So the
government relies on universities.

Universities ask professors to report their conflicts but do almost
nothing to verify the accuracy of these voluntary disclosures.

“It’s really been an honor system thing,” said Dr. Robert Alpern,
dean of Yale School of Medicine. “If somebody tells us that a
pharmaceutical company pays them $80,000 a year, I don’t even know
how to check on that.”

Some states have laws requiring drug makers to disclose payments made
to doctors, and Mr. Grassley and others have sponsored legislation to
create a national registry.

Lawmakers have been concerned in recent years about the use of
unapproved medications in children and the influence of industry money.

Mr. Grassley asked Harvard for the three researchers’ financial
disclosure reports from 2000 through 2007 and asked some drug makers
to list payments made to them.

“Basically, these forms were a mess,” Mr. Grassley said in comments
he entered into The Congressional Record on Wednesday. “Over the last
seven years, it looked like they had taken a couple hundred thousand

Prompted by Mr. Grassley’s interest, Harvard asked the researchers to
re-examine their disclosure reports.

In the new disclosures, the trio’s outside consulting income jumped
but was still contradicted by reports sent to Mr. Grassley from some
of the companies. In some cases, the income seems to have put the
researchers in violation of university and federal rules.

In 2000, for instance, Dr. Biederman received a grant from the
National Institutes of Health to study in children Strattera, an Eli
Lilly drug for attention deficit disorder. Dr. Biederman reported to
Harvard that he received less than $10,000 from Lilly that year, but
the company told Mr. Grassley that it paid Dr. Biederman more than
$14,000 in 2000, Mr. Grassley’s letter stated.

At the time, Harvard forbade professors from conducting clinical
trials if they received payments over $10,000 from the company whose
product was being studied, and federal rules required such conflicts
to be managed.

Mr. Grassley said these discrepancies demonstrated profound flaws in
the oversight of researchers’ financial conflicts and the need for a
national registry. But the disclosures may also cloud the work of one
of the most prominent group of child psychiatrists in the world.

In the past decade, Dr. Biederman and his colleagues have promoted
the aggressive diagnosis and drug treatment of childhood bipolar
disorder, a mood problem once thought confined to adults. They have
maintained that the disorder was underdiagnosed in children and could
be treated with antipsychotic drugs, medications invented to treat

Other researchers have made similar assertions. As a result,
pediatric bipolar diagnoses and antipsychotic drug use in children
have soared. Some 500,000 children and teenagers were given at least
one prescription for an antipsychotic in 2007, including 20,500 under
6 years of age, according to Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy
benefit manager.

Few psychiatrists today doubt that bipolar disorder can strike in the
early teenage years, or that many of the children being given the
diagnosis are deeply distressed.

“I consider Dr. Biederman a true visionary in recognizing this
illness in children,” said Susan Resko, director of the Child and
Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, “and he’s not only saved many lives
but restored hope to thousands of families across the country.”

Longtime critics of the group see its influence differently. “They
have given the Harvard imprimatur to this commercial experimentation
on children,” said Vera Sharav, president and founder of the Alliance
for Human Research Protection, a patient advocacy group.

Many researchers strongly disagree over what bipolar looks like in
youngsters, and some now fear the definition has been expanded
unnecessarily, due in part to the Harvard group.

The group published the results of a string of drug trials from 2001
to 2006, but the studies were so small and loosely designed that they
were largely inconclusive, experts say. In some studies testing
antipsychotic drugs, the group defined improvement as a decline of 30
percent or more on a scale called the Young Mania Rating Scale – well
below the 50 percent change that most researchers now use as the

Controlling for bias is especially important in such work, given that
the scale is subjective, and raters often depend on reports from
parents and children, several top psychiatrists said.

More broadly, they said, revelations of undisclosed payments from
drug makers to leading researchers are especially damaging for

“The price we pay for these kinds of revelations is credibility, and
we just can’t afford to lose any more of that in this field,” said
Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, executive director of the Stanley Medical
Research Institute, which finances psychiatric studies. “In the area
of child psychiatry in particular, we know much less than we should,
and we desperately need research that is not influenced by industry

– end –


Commentary by David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

I was was once a Harvard student. Grandson of coal miners, at Harvard
on scholarships, I developed mental and emotional problems.

Harvard psychiatrists ordered my forced psychiatric drugging in a
Harvard teaching hospital, McLean. Harvard psychiatrists told me
point blank I had to stay on powerful neuroleptic (“antipsychotic”)
drugs for the rest of my life.

They were wrong.

I graduated anyway in 1977. With honors. I’ve been off all
psychiatric drugs ever since.

In my senior year, a Harvard volunteer agency — Phillips Brooks
House — placed me in a psychiatric survivor group (thank you PBH!).
I’ve spent the last few decades working to prevent psychiatric human
rights violations.

But I almost became one of the early teenagers to be diagnosed
bipolar (and “schizophrenic”) and placed on neuroleptics for all this

An unreported problem is that a diagnosis of “psychosis” like
“bipolar” can lead to decades, or a life-time, of neuroleptic
drugging (antipsychotics). We at MindFreedom are pro-choice on the
personal health care decision to take a prescribed neuroleptic, but
these drugs really are pushed and pushed hard without adequate
advocacy, information, alternatives, etc.

To check out what mainstream medicine has long known about what long-
term neuroleptics can do the frontal lobes of primates, check out the
monkey study in this folder:


or use this web address:


Ben Carey, one of the reporters for the above great NY Times article,
has done a lot of work on investigating psychiatric drug industry
corruption, and he should be applauded. But Ben and I have
communicated, and he knows about the neuroleptic brain damage story.
But — like all other mainstream media — he has chosen not to report

ACTION: Thank Ben Carey for his courageous reporting, but ask when he
will report that neuroleptics cause frontal lobe shrinkage.

E-mail for Ben Carey is: bencarey@nytimes.com

Perhaps somewhere in some college — perhaps Harvard? — there is
hopefully a future “Al Gore of mental health” who will one day show
PowerPoint slide shows to millions of people about this “Greenhouse
effect” of the mind:

The tragic and literal mass chemical lobotomy of millions of young
people through decades of neuroleptics, needlessly, without any
informed consent about the structural brain change, when humane
alternatives exist but are not offered.

Yes, diabetes and weight gain from neuroleptics are horrendous, and
can kill.

But chemical lobotomy?

That could have been me.

And I take that personally.

You can also thank Senator Grassley, and let him know about the
neuroleptic brain damage issue. Very few elected officials have ever
been informed.

MindFreedom supports legislating criminal penalties for individuals
such as Dr. Biederman; make his a humane prison, with lots of humane
alternatives for rehabilitation, but sentence some real time behind
bars, and we can begin to address this crisis.

You can also encourage Sen. Grassley to pass laws to help make
behavior like Dr. Biederman’s a criminal offense.

Sen. Grassley web contact form:


or use this web address:



Filed under CS/X movement, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news

MLBM Radio

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)

May 31st, 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

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am 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.

Your Radio really is talking to you. Join the conversation.



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Saturday Soup

When I was growing up, when my father was alive, we could count on at least one thing (other than that my parents would be drunk). All of the leftovers from the week’s dinners would go into a pot, be heated to boiling and called Saturday Soup. Because my folks were not particularly creative about what they made for dinner, the soup usually amounted to the same basic ingredients, in varying proportions depending on our appetites for particular meals. The main ingredient was spaghetti and meatballs. This was a meal my dad made that was always made in such quantity that there were leftovers, without fail, even on Saturday (quite a thing really- my brother and I generally ate the leftover spaghetti for breakfast and snacks). Another common ingredient was stew. This was made in smaller amounts because it involved buying “real meat”. Another weekly staple was navy bean soup (cheap to make and my dad was in the navy for 23 years). Some items that made it into the soup less dependably but maybe alternating week-to-week included corned beef and cabbage, pork chops, meatloaf, sloppy joes and sometimes things that my folks brought home in “doggie bags” when they went out to dinner (this could be anything from chop suey to steak.

I always like Saturday Soup.

So, today is kind of a Saturday Soup- odds and ends from the past week. Working my way back through time…

Tadpole/ frog habitat reconnaissance

Yesterday I walked quite a bit along the Springwater Corridor and on Powell Butte (near my home) to check on the status of the annual spawning in marginal habitat. Summary:

  • Many wetland/ swampy areas I had identified a few weeks back on the south side of Powell Butte along the Springwater Corridor were already dry, including some spots where I had previously seen plenty of frogs eggs. So much for these guys- there’s always quite a bit of this going on. The frogs don’t seem to have any idea of whether or not the place they spawn will be viable for tadpole maturation. On the other hand, I found several places where the new habitat restoration project in the Johnson/ Kelly Creek watershed had created what look like great spawning places. Some of which has heavy foliage cover for shade and protection from birds. I even saw some baby fish (I was surprised- I thought that it would take many more years for fish to return to this mangled area). For more info on the wetlands restoration project, see my archives or just go to: https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/?s=Kelly+Creek&submit=Search or to


  • On Powell Butte I concentrated on the primary northside drainage system (there is also a pond on the southside that is always healthy and I don’t worry about it). Somebody, I’m thinking the park caretaker or maybe volunteers or just some frog nut like me, had earlier in the spring placed debris and rocks at intervals in the (leaky) concrete lined ditch. A really good idea and I wondered why I hadn’t though of it before. I have been worried about the ditch especially this year because of a less rainy spring and unseasonably hot weather. Even though some of the ditch inflow has dried up, there is still a thriving community of tadpoles, more eggs and algae (for food- before they morph, the babies eat the algae).
    We are still, today, having very hot weather for this time of year. I am hoping that we get some rain soon because the ditch will dry up sooner than usual if this keeps up.
  • There are always a large percentage of the frog babies that don’t make it. Typically, the ditch dries completely by the end of Portland Rose Festival (around the second week of August). At that time I will find almost a solid layer of dried/ dead tadpoles at the bottom of the ditch. My annual effort is to save as many of these as possible before they “croak”. I gather generally a hundred or more at the last possible moment, take them home and grow them in an outdoor tank until they’re mature enough to climb out of the tank and go out into the world. Our current location is close to other wetlands and good basic tree-frog habitat.
  • The trick will be knowing when to gather them. I don’t want to do it too soon because it’s best for them to grow up in the place where they were born. If I’m too late, though, the little guys won’t make it.
  • If you are up at Powell Butte and you see some guy capturing tadpoles (against park regulations), don’t report me or throw rocks. I’m a friend to amphibians.

Mad Liberation Radio

Last night was supposed to be the monthly Mad Liberation by Moonlight show on KBOO but I opted towait 2 more weeks because I had forgotten to publicize it. So, the show will be the last friday night in May, 1 a.m. I will post more info at some later date. I hope to have a dynamite show with several guests.

I’m still looking for work

Enough said. Let me know if you have any leads.

Interactive Theater

We did a presentation this past Tuesday at the First Unitarian Church Downtown and it went well. This Spring’s production is mental Health, Family and Work and is called “A Day at the Office”. There are some more performances but I don’t have a flyer handy so I’ll post them at another time. I believe the next one is June 1st at PSU but I could be wrong.

If you are unfamiliar with Interactive Theater/ Theater of the Oppressed, it is based on the work of Augusto Boal who developed the concept in Brazil as a way of getting urban dwellers and peasants to work together to solve social problems. The way it works is that we present a short play that consists of a series of conflicts that have increasingly bad outcomes. After one performance where we just follow the script, in the second time through the audience is invited to stop the play at any point and take the place of one of the actors to see if they can change the outcome. They are encouraged to avoid taking the place of the “oppressor” in the scene (because in real life you don’t just have that person suddenly have a change of heart and solve the issue as if by magic). They are encouraged to take the place of potential allies (who are present in each scene but who don’t act in a way that helps). We let them take any part they wish, though, because there are always things to learn. The challenge to the actors is to ad lib based on their understanding of their character. (We spend a lot of time in the rehearsal phase doing things to develop the underlying aspects of each character, to understand their thinking and their unspoken reactions to events.

It’s loads of fun for the actors and the audience. And it really does help educate the public and generate creative responses to situations of oppression. Our little group is called From the Inside Out and we are running on a shoestring with individual donations. The actors/ director etc. are all people with a mental health diagnosis and are volunteers. (We’d love to get some money for our expenses, travel and time but we don’t have enough financial support yet.)

Short article: Self-help and recovery by Joann Lutz

My experience with spiritual emergency and recovery has taught me the need to grow beyond cultural conditioning, beyond other’s expectations, to discover what ideas and behaviors are truly life-affirming and growthful for me. My recovery was based around the practice of yoga. It gave me validation for the profound changes which I experienced which were pathologized in the mental health system, such as early morning awakening, fasting, and vegetarianism, which lowered my anxiety level; self-esteem which I cultivated through the slow mastery of the yoga postures; peace of mind from the calming effects of the breathing practices; and an expanded view of who I really am, separate from my personality and its constant ups and downs.

I also experienced the healing power of dance; re-experiencing myself moving through the developmental stages as an infant, toddler, playful child; accelerating my feelings of aliveness; feeling energy moving through my body which was more compelling than the thought patterns which I had falsely identified as myself.

I learned about the value of regular exercise, of a daily spiritual practice, wholesome eating, positive relationships, solid emotional support, inspiring thoughts, connection to the natural world, awareness of body sensations and deep relaxation, in building health.

What I was doing, essentially, was creating my own world, keeping what was positive and staying away from what was not. My yoga teacher, Swami Satchidananda, talks about thinking of our body and mind as a country protected by border guards which will not let anything harmful in. For me, that meant staying away from violent movies, from watching TV. indiscriminately, from overeating, from cigarette smoke, and from negative-thinking people. As time went on, it became easier and easier to build this positive world. I began to see my spiritual emergency as an opportunity for transforming my life rather than as a disability and my feelings of inferiority dropped away.

Joann Lutz, L.I.C.S.W., is a psychiatric survivor currently working as a licensed, holistically-trained psychotherapist and stress-reduction teacher in Northampton, MA and Brattleboro Vt. She can be reached at 413-586-6384.

This is great! Olberman rant on MSNBC re Bush: “Shut up!”


I love it. You can almost feel the spit hit you from the monitor listening to this.

Miscellaneous items for your amusement

Pictures, animation, whatever.

This is me above…

Below, some songs I recorded, wrote many years ago:



I didn’t write this. Yoko Ono. Suprisingly melodic, enjoyable. Don’t be afraid, just listen-


First in a series: The Great Love- Listen to the rest at http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/talks/details?num=OM690&c=p

That’s enough for now.

Have a great weekend.

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Lazy me, more MindFreedom news

The below free MAD PRIDE event is worth traveling to from anywhere in
Oregon! A documentary video crew is traveling two hours to be there!
But no matter what, please spread the word, it’s hilarious. Download
the poster, it’s a blast!


OREGON NEWS RELEASE – immediate release
more information: 541-345-9106 lane@mindfreedom.org


“Mad Pride” group plans public street theater for YouTube

Worship of “Big Giant Pill” during skit called “The Norm-a-Thon”
to poke fun at power of psychiatric drug industry.

Feeling a little crazy? What with war, climate crisis and economic
chaos, who isn’t?

No worries! You are invited to bring all of your problems to an
enormous replica of a psychiatric pill in a free public skit to be
held in Eugene, Oregon, USA, this Saturday, 17 May 2008, at 4 pm.

The street theater — called “The Norm-a-thon” — is organized by the
nonprofit coalition MindFreedom International as part of an
international “Mad Pride” movement that encourages everyone to exlore
their “creative maladjustment.” It’s a unique way to celebrate May,
which is considered “Mental Health Month.”

Update: An out-of-state participant will be part of The Normathon:
Long-time activist Ted Chabasinski from Berkeley, California will be
one of the players. Ted has been a psychiatric survivor activist for
35 years after experiencing ten years of about by the psychiatric
system as a youth. Now an attorney, Ted is a legend in our mad movement!

NEW YORK TIMES covers Mad Pride!

Adding to the excitement… Sunday’s New York Times, 11 May 2008,
Mad Pride, including Eugene’s own MindFreedom and director David Oaks!
Read the article on MindFreedom’s web site at



Just show up!

The skit will include a “Bed Push,” in which a manequin named “Norm”
strapped onto a bed with wheels will be chased through Eugene by
mental health workers in white coats, along with their Big Giant Pill
of course. Mad Pride Bed Pushes have been held in UK, Canada and USA
to challenge human rights violations in the mental health system.

The organizers intend to upload a video of The Norm-a-thon onto
YouTube, as part of an international Mad Pride movement that now
stretches from Canada to Australia, from Africa to Europe. The Mad
Pride events are promoted by the International Association for the
Advancement of Creative Maladjustment (IAACM), chaired by
International physician, clown and celebrity Patch Adams, MD.

Mental health worker Ron Unger, a moderator at the event, will chant
psychiatric labels as participants worship the Big Giant Pill.  One
of The Norm-a-thon organizers, David Oaks, director of MindFreedom
and psychiatric survivor, said, “We promise to question reality,
normality, media and psychiatric drug industry bullying… and have
fun at the same time. We are pro-choice about personal health care
decisions. A number of our members take prescribed psychiatric drugs.
But we all agree it’s time to call for more choices in mental health
care besides drug, drug, drug, drug, drug or drug.”

When not using humor, MindFreedom is also involved in serious
campaigns this month, including the launch of an international United
treaty on disability and human rights. MindFreedom is the
only group of its kind that is accredited by the UN as a Non
Governmental Organization.


The Norm-a-thon:

When: Saturday, 17 May 2008 from 4 pm to 6 pm (start gathering at 3 pm).

Where: Ken Kesey statue (ironically enough) at Broadway & Willamette,
Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Who: You! Come as you are or bring props, signs and costumes (normal
or strange). Just show up, or contact MindFreedom for rehearasal.

What: A peaceful protest prank we will broadcast globally on web via

*** Bring your problems to our Big Giant Pill while a mental health
worker chants.

*** Speak, sing, scream or act your real true feelings in a videoed
Mad Minute.

*** Oppression Olympic Trials! Win valuable prizes, like a nonviolent

*** Cheer for a performance by Youth Committee of Psychiatric Survivors.

*** Free “Normality Screenings” using authentic rubber chickens.
After 1,000 screenings, none has been found.

*** Join a Bed Push so a mannequin named Norm tied in restraints can

[Later on that evening celebrate at a benefit by a MindFreedom
sponsor group, Life & The Universe. The concert will be nearby at 7
pm, Fenario Gallery, 881 Willamette.]

Volunteer now at the MindFreedom office at 454 Willamette, Suite 216,
Eugene, Oregon, USA

ph: 541- 345-9106 email: lane@mindfreedom.org


More info on web about The Norm-a-thon including poster you may


More info about Mad Pride:


More info about Patch Adams and IAACM (which was first named by
Martin Luther King, Jr.):


More info about MindFreedom and United Nations disability treaty:


Also in May: Premiere of documentary, “Little Brother, BIG PHARMA” on
25 May 2008 at Bijou Theater:


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Ron Unger Presents-

This information is forwrded from MindFreedom International. Ron Unger is a a therapist in Oregon who embraces the CS/X movement and teaches cognitive approaches to recovery from serious mental health issues.


MindFreedom Oregon – 12 May 2008
http://www.mindfreedom.org – human rights in mental health



Oregon alternative treatment in mental health seminar:

Ron Unger is a longtime MindFreedom member, and coordinator of
MindFreedom Lane County, who advocates for a treatment alternative
called “cognitive therapy for psychosis.”

This therapy might sound like common sense to many of us: noticing
that people who sound “crazy” can really be understood if we try,
noticing that their problems aren’t that much different than anyone
else’s, and finding the story of how the problems got going and
looking for practical ways to shrink the problem.

However, this therapy is revolutionary in a mental health system that
insists that “psychosis” is a biological brain disorder that can only
be treated with medications!

Details on the seminar are below: this seminar is very affordable to
mental health workers who need CEU credit, and is free to consumers
who might be interested.


Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis: an evidence-based psychological
approach for delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia

A Seminar In Corvallis, Oregon, on Friday June 27, 2008

Learn to:

– Conceptualize psychosis as an understandable reaction to life events

– Use proven cognitive methods to reduce psychotic thinking

– Help clients recover by activating their own rational and self-
organizing process

– Offer an effective alternative to people who receive limited
benefit from medications or who prefer less dependence on medications

Most current treatment approaches frame psychotic experiences as non-
understandable, address them only with medication, and then ask
clients to resign themselves to living with the symptoms medication
does not control.

Cognitive therapy for psychosis, developed mostly in the UK and still
little known in the US, is an evidence-based method with a different
perspective. In this seminar, you will gain insight into the
connections between everyday psychological difficulties and the more
extreme ones we call psychosis. You will become able to track the
story of how psychosis develops and how people became trapped in it.

Then, by hearing about basic cognitive therapy principles,
participating in exercises, and exploring case examples, you will
learn how to collaborate with clients in exploring evidence and
explanations for experiences, and in testing coping ideas. This
process works to restore the client’s role as an active problem
solver capable of making decisions that reduce psychotic symptoms,
and as an active partner in a journey toward recovery.


Ron Unger, LCSW, is a therapist specializing in cognitive therapy for
psychosis. He has given numerous seminars about cognitive therapy and
other psychosocial approaches to psychosis, and on trauma and the
relationship between trauma and psychosis. His presentations
emphasize simple, practical, and humanistic ways of understanding and
relating to human difficulties that can too easily be perceived as
being “beyond understanding.”


* Refute misconceptions that have often discouraged professionals
from attempting psychotherapy for schizophrenia or other psychotic

* Learn about research showing that medical model explanations
actually increase stigma, and identify a better approach

* Understand psychotic symptoms as existing on a continuum with other
human reactions to distressing circumstances

* Utilize the style and the essential steps of cognitive therapy for

* Explore a variety of case examples that illustrate effective

* Identify 3 ways to integrate this psychological approach with
existing treatment methods



A cognitive perspective on psychosis

Continuum from “normal” to “psychotic”

Inter and intra-personal dialogue and its breakdown

Nonlinear causality in psychosis

Stress and trauma as factors

Limits of biological explanations

Multi-factorial understanding and hope for recovery

*Therapeutic Style

Relationship considerations always primary

Goals structured around client concerns

Balance between confrontation and collusion

Collaborative Empiricism

Drawing out client’s rationality

Empathy even when it is challenging

Self disclosure of unusual experiences by therapist

*Two Key Procedures

“Normalizing” psychotic experiences

Developing a formulation

*Approaches for specific issues


Hallucinations and voices


Thought disorder

Negative symptoms

*Putting it into practice

Case examples

Difficulties and possible solutions

Three levels of integration with the existing system

Target audience:

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Case
Managers, Addiction Counselors, and other mental health professionals.

Cancellation Policy:

If you contact us before the seminar date, you can receive a tuition
refund, less a $30 cancellation fee.

Seminar Schedule for Friday, June 27, 2008:

8:00 Check in/Continental Breakfast

8:30 Program Begins

11:50-1:00 Lunch /(on your own)/

4:30 Program ends

Questions? Call 541-513-1811, or email ronunger@efn.org

Credit Information: 6.25 NASW CEU credits approved – attendees
registering for CEUs must attend the full seminar.

Guarantee: If the quality of this seminar does not meet your
expectations, simply explain the reasons for your dissatisfaction, by
mail or email, and you will receive a full refund.

Call early with your ADA needs!

Seminar Location Details:

LaSells Stewart Center

875 SW 26th Street, Corvallis


http://oregonstate.edu/lasells/gettinghere.html for more details on
finding the site, and on parking. Note that while the website says
parking costs $5, it is actually free the day of the seminar due to
OSU being out of session.

Include the book listed below with your seminar registration and save!

*Cognitive Therapy of Schizophrenia (Guides to Individualized
Evidence-Based Treatment) (Paperback)*
by David G. Kingdon and Douglas Turkington

Drawing on the authors’ decades of influential work in the field,
this highly practical volume presents an evidence-based cognitive
therapy approach for clients with schizophrenia. Guidelines are
provided for collaborative assessment and case formulation that
enable the clinician to build a strong therapeutic relationship,
establish reasonable goals, and tailor treatment to each client’s
needs. Described in thorough, step-by-step detail are effective
techniques for working with delusional beliefs, voices, visions,
thought disorders, and negative symptoms; integrating cognitive
therapy with other forms of treatment; reducing relapse risks; and
enhancing client motivation. Special features include reproducible
client handouts and assessment tools. List Price $25: available with
this seminar for just $20!

To Register, please complete entire form (to notify you of any
seminar changes):


Employer Name_________________________________



Home/Cell Ph ( )______________Dept. Ph ( )___________________

Email address______________________________

To register together with another person: send both registrations in
at the same time, and write in the name of the other person(s) here:


Please note: Confirmation/receipts are sent only via email.

Please return entire registration form

Register by Fax: 541-686-2440

Register by Phone: 888-214-3263

Register by Mail:

Ron Unger LCSW

1257 High St. Suite 7

Eugene, OR 97401

Check tuition (includes refreshments)

_____ $99 single registration postmarked three weeks prior to seminar

_____ $79 per person for 2 or more pre-registering together
postmarked three weeks prior to seminar date

_____ $89 per person for 2 or more pre-registering together if *not
*postmarked three weeks prior to seminar date

_____ $109 Standard

_____ Scholarship (free attendance for consumer/survivors and family
members who want to learn more about this approach)

_____ $20 to purchase the book */Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia /
*(See below for a description of this book. It will be distributed at
the seminar – saves you $5 plus shipping costs!)

Indicate method of payment (All registrations must be prepaid):

_____ Check enclosed payable to Ron Unger LCSW

_____ MC (16 digits)

_____ VISA (13-16 digits)

_____ AE (15 digits)

_____ Discover Novus (16 digits)

Card #______________________________ Card Exp. ______________________


V-Code #*: ________________

(MC/VISA/Discover: last 3 digit # on signature panel on back of card.
American Express: 4-digit # on face of card.)

Registrations due one week in advance of the seminar! Walk-in
registrations at the seminar are welcome, but admission cannot be

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More Mental Health nik-naks

From: David Oaks <oaks@mindfreedom.org>
Subject: Re: [OCSC-talk] dialogue with office of Governor
To: Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition <ocsc-talk@intenex.net>
Thanks Dave R.

I’m thinking about the times we testified and met with legislators
about bills.

I’ve been visiting the legislature for about 20 years.

In the early years we were mainly just stopping bad bills. That’s it.
And it was uphill.

It just seems more and more legislators are supportive of mental
health consumer/psychiatric survivor voice, involvement, etc.

Enough? No not enough. But more and more.

Plus there are more consumer/survivors speaking out!

Here’s a photo of two OCSC group representatives (Marie Parcell of
BEARS and Rick Snook of EI) testifying during the last legislative


Here are more photos:


A number of people who showed up had to do so on very last minute
notice, fairly early in the morning, and wait through a lot of other
bills. And thank much to folks like Drake, Beckie and others who have
helped promote these bills. (And thanks to ADAPT trainers who came in
for a state-wide brainstorming session a few years ago that helped
get these bills started.)

True, we won one bill, lost the other… but we’re finally taking the
initiative, filing a bill, and winning.

And yes we have a long way to go, but my point is about the RECEPTION
we had from some legislators. Quite a few know us, support us, etc.

As one legislator passionately put it to us, “You are preaching to
the choir.”

Enough? Not enough. But a bit of hope.

Maybe people could post some of their “legislators who give us hope”
who might support us… that is, elected state legislators who know
some of us personally, who seem to get some of our issues, who
express warm support.

Again, I’m not saying it’s enough, some have a lot to learn.

A few from my point of view from Lane County: Sen. Prozanski, Sen.
Morrisette, Rep. Holvey,



On May 4, 2008, at 8:14 PM, David Romprey wrote:
> Excellent thoughts, and ideas to build on, Pat.
> Also, I learned through David Oaks personally that there are some
> very positive updates in our image on Capitol Flats (I say this due
> to there is NO hill around our Oregon Capitol building, and
> actually somehow seems LOWER than most of the city!).
> David Oaks tells me some Coalition members are being much better
> received.  Part of the image problem is simply knowing and learning
> TOGETHER how well we are doing.  I’m happy about the good news, and
> hats off to some intentional relationship work by folks working
> closer to this cause than I am!!
> The best,
> David R.
> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Patricia M DAVIS
> <Patricia.M.Davis@state.or.us> wrote:
> In response to David and Dan’s comments:
> Hello OCSC Friends,
> Recovery Thinking and Mutuality filled the halls of the Portland
> State University’s conference center last week, April 24-25, as Dan
> Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., National Empowerment Center Director, person
> in recovery, inspired all in attendance to see dreams become
> reality in taking hold of recovery personally and advancing
> recovery thinking in our society and its systems of care.
> That fancy sentence to say, it was an awesome event with Dan and a
> room full of people listening and becoming change agents in their
> own neighborhoods/communities!  People who identified themselves as
> consumers/advocates/patients and x-patients, people who identified
> themselves as family members, people who identified themselves as
> therapists, state hospital employees, people working in provider
> agencies, and people who identified themselves as students.  People
> with all sorts of experience wanting to come together in empowerment!
> By the way, Dan’s presentation was a direct result of behavioral
> health workforce development efforts!  PSU asked consumers on the
> BHWD Committee to coach them on new thinking and the consumer/
> recovery movement last year.  As a result, PSU has added an entire
> Behavioral Health Training Series to their Continuing Education
> Department so that the next generation of “helping professionals”
> will be recovery and empowerment minded.
> The group of friends of the OCSC instilled such hope in me that all
> of our efforts for change over the years is really making a
> difference.  What a fantastic group!  16 members of the group
> signed up to be “official” friends of the work of the OCSC.  The
> group asked to be formally linked to our OCSC web site and  they
> will also stay in touch with each other to support one another in
> their efforts to support you and transform the part of the system
> they touch.
> So group, I’ll create an email group for these change leaders and a
> directory of these friends for you to refer to, but I need to ask
> you about linking them to OCSC.  How would you like this done?
> Should the “friends” nominate someone from their group to get
> connected and be part of the “talk” group, etc.?  A few in the
> group are  in recovery and  working in the system.    Like the
> Oregon Stop Stigma slogan goes…People…JUST People, like you and
> me!
> Which leads me to “whole person” thinking and the wellness
> initiative The more we see wellness and illness as a common human
> experience…all of us move up and down on the continuum, that you
> cannot have wellness in our society or in the body without treating
> the whole person (mind, body, spirit)…and that even the people
> serving at the Capitol can and do move along this SAME continuum,
> the more we reduce stigma and discrimination.  When we go to the
> Capitol and speak, or speak individually to Legislators, we speak
> on behalf of “them” as well as “us.”  We become “all” just people
> and the “us” and “them” must disappear!
> As to “repairing” our image at the Capitol or anywhere.  (In my
> opinion) It’s all about trust, relationship building, and being the
> strong, brilliant unified voice we have become.  Sticking together,
> presenting concise facts, sharing our stories, working in our own
> communities, finding the leader’s at the Capitol who “get it” and
> following other good civil rights movements like that of the
> physical disabilities movement.
> Raising awareness May is Mental Health Awareness Month Educate
> every chance you get!  We are the living evidence!
> Happy Friday All,
> Pat
> Patricia M. Davis-Salyer, M.Ed.
> Training and Development Specialist
> Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH)
> Workforce Development Unit


Can I ask for your help to show there is national and international
concern about the mental health system in the State of Oregon in the

Oregon’s Governor Kulongoski budgeted zero [0] for the state-wide
voice of Oregon’s mental health clients for five years.

At the same time Oregon is one of the very few USA states building
brand new huge psychiatric institutions.

The Governor found half a billion ($500,000,000) for bricks and
mortar for new psychiatric institutions.

But not a dime for the voice of mental health clients. Again and again.

Please take a moment to show there is international concern.

*BELOW* is a letter to the editor by me that was published today, 6
May 2008, in Eugene, Oregon’s daily newspaper, _The Register-Guard_.

Please read my brief letter.

And then ask Governor Kulongoski in a civil way:

“Why Zero?”

Easy ways to ask the Governor via the web are here:


Or see links at the bottom of this alert.


LETTER TO EDITOR – Published 6 May 2008 in The Register-Guard,
Eugene, Oregon, USA:

The Register-Guard’s recent guest viewpoints and letters about humane
alternatives in mental health are appreciated. This community
dialogue is healing and necessary.

I’ve studied the history of the mental health system over the
centuries. Minor reform is not enough. Reform often results in more
money for more of the same. One step to deeper change is to start to
listen to the diverse perspectives of mental health consumers,
psychiatric survivors and their organizations.

Most of the states support the statewide voice of mental health
clients in some way, even if small. Most states fund an office of
mental health consumer affairs, a statewide conference or a
newsletter to support the empowerment of our citizens who are
diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Many leaders in Oregon’s
mental health system and Legislature endorse this common sense idea.

Our advocacy group concludes that a top obstacle to real change in
Oregon’s mental health system is in the office of Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

Since Kulongoski took office, his budget item for the statewide voice
of mental health clients has been eliminated. The governor has
continued to recommend that this funding stay at zero, even while he
raised about half a billion dollars to build huge new psychiatric

Now I hear Kulongoski say that as a superdelegate he may override the
majority of Democratic voters in Oregon’s May 20 presidential
primary. Is there a pattern here of the governor squelching the
voices of Oregonians? Let’s all ask him.

David W. Oaks

Executive director

MindFreedom International

Eugene, Oregon, USA



Two easy actions you can take to ask “Why Zero?”

Encourage funding Oregon’s state-wide voice of mental health clients
in your own words!


Just use Governor Kulongoski’s web contact page here to send e-mail,
phone or postal mail:



The Governor’s Department of Human Services is asking for public
input *now* about their next budget!

E-mail your comment here:



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Mental Health grab bag

An assortment of news and information releases related to the consumer/ survivor movement, broadly:

Mental care – As the nonprofit tries to right itself, critics trace
the crisis to early leadership


The Oregonian

Even though he moved to France more than two years ago, the chief
information officer at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare continues to
collect a hefty paycheck as a full-time employee, telecommuting
across many time zones.

Like the other three members of Cascadia’s executive team, Jeff
Poolin worked at the small predecessor organization that aggressively
built itself up into the state’s biggest provider of mental health

Critics say that small team, leading an insular and top-heavy
management, played a big role in steering the massive nonprofit
toward collapse.

The organization has tried to answer its critics and change its
culture with a leadership overhaul that has for the first time
shifted the agency out of the hands of the small group that built it.
Upper managers were cut by 40 percent. Most strikingly, Poolin is the
only longtime executive still there (and he is still in France).

The changing of the guard might help explain why the state and
Multnomah County stepped in this week to ensure that Cascadia could
continue to work with the 23,000 people it serves each year. Their
eleventh-hour $1.5 million cash infusion will keep Cascadia operating
for at least another two weeks.

But how the company will go on after that and in what form are the
complicated questions now facing the governments that send millions
of dollars to the agency to treat their hardest cases.

To explain the current crisis, it makes sense to go back to the

How did Cascadia start?

In the 1970s, after years providing mental health services itself,
the county decided to decentralize the local mental health system. It
divided the county into quadrants and contracted with four nonprofit
companies to provide the bulk of care in those areas.

But in the mid- to late 1990s, those agencies and a number of smaller
mental health nonprofits struggled financially. Leslie Ford — the
CEO of Network Behavioral HealthCare in Southeast Portland, one of
the four geographic companies — made a series of aggressive mergers
and acquisitions with the goal of consolidating services under a
single banner.

In 2002, Ford successfully united the companies and called the new
amalgam: Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.

Cascadia struggled financially from the start, partly because the
merger included the debt-laden nonprofit charged with providing
mental health services for the west side of Portland.

But it has continued to expand. In the five years since its
inception, the company grew an additional 45 percent. It now has an
annual budget of $58 million, with more than 1,000 employees and 90

Cascadia provides a full spectrum of mental health care — from
housing to counseling to crisis treatment. The roles include
operating walk-in clinics, crisis response and a network of housing
for low-income people with mental illness. Though the bulk of its
business occurs in Multnomah County, Cascadia also provides services
in Clackamas, Lane, Marion and Washington counties and directly to
the state.

Why is Cascadia struggling?

Cascadia has been constantly shadowed by looming financial crisis.
While management decisions and rapid growth played a significant
role, much of the trouble is linked to the thin margins that come
with working in the mental health field, experts say.

Most of the money in Oregon’s mental health system comes from the
state and federal government in the form of Medicaid reimbursements.
That money is passed to counties, which determine how to spend it.
Some counties provide their own services, but most contract with
private nonprofits to provide service.

Because of the dependence on government funding, mental health
providers have coped for years with budget cuts and, more recently,
with mandated changes to how they conduct business. The most
significant is a switch in how they get paid.

Multnomah County and other counties until recently provided up-front
payments to mental health agencies for each client and allowed broad
spending discretion. In 2006, Multnomah County mandated a change:
Agencies now would be reimbursed for specific services after clients
received them. The move was touted as a way to increase fiscal
transparency and ensure that money was going for services rather than

But Cascadia managers said that while the new system was good at
caring for people with mild or moderate mental illness, it failed to
provide resources to care for the very sickest clients. That’s
because it provides no money to track down and help people too ill to
enter or stay in the system on their own. Cascadia’s success reaching
out to those individuals before they ended up in expensive hospital
beds or jail beds was core to the company’s mission.

In June, a consultant estimated that Cascadia employees spent about
30 percent of their work days providing billable services and would
have to double that ratio to break even. That same consultant warned
about incorrect record-keeping. Months later the state ordered the
nonprofit to pay back $2.7 million because of improper payment
records. Cascadia still owes the money.

What has happened so far?

In recent months, Cascadia has laid off more than 250 staff, or about
of a fifth of its work force. Last week it replaced Ford as CEO with
Dr. Derald Walker, who has worked at the nonprofit for just two months.

County and state officials still refused to bail out the agency by
backing its loans.

On Wednesday, the Capital Pacific Bank drained most of Cascadia’s
cash accounts, saying the company had defaulted on a $2 million loan.
Cascadia was only able to make payroll because the state and county
accelerated a $1.5 million payment for services Cascadia already has

The company remains deeply in debt and many of its vendors have
stopped providing services unless paid cash in advance.

Nevertheless, Walker said this week that Cascadia’s focus on cutting
staff and increasing productivity are starting to pay off with
growing revenues.

What happens next?

County officials already have spent weeks working with state and
local mental health leaders planning to shift contracts from Cascadia
to smaller providers and have drafted detailed plans for an emergency
partitioning of the rest of the company’s services and assets should
it be forced to declare bankruptcy.

The county will wait until an independent audit of Cascadia’s
finances is completed later this month before making any big decisions.

Arthur Sulzberger: 503-221-8330; arthursulzberger@news.oregonian.com

News Release – 3 May 2008

United Nations Treaty on Disability and Human Rights Now in
Effect Globally.

Psychiatric Survivors Play Important Role in Creating the
Legally Binding Treaty.

MindFreedom International (MFI) joins with the international
disability rights community in celebrating the entry into force of
the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities.” The UN Convention — a type of binding international
treaty — enters into force today, 3 May 2008, after 20 countries
ratified it.

Celia Brown led the MFI UN team of psychiatric survivors inside the
United Nations. “It’s been great to be in the United Nations with
survivors of psychiatric abuse and many international disability
groups from around the world,” said Celia. “We’re all fighting
together for human rights, self-determination and freedom.”

For the full news release — text or PDF — click here:

or here: http://tinyurl.com/5s5j3k


(2) News Report – 3 May 2008

MindFreedom Ireland Holds Successful Protest of Electroshock

Members of MindFreedom Ireland protested in Cork, Ireland on 3 May
2008 against the use of electroshock as a ‘treatment’ both in Irish
psychiatric institutions and worldwide.

For the brief report of the Cork Ireland protest of electroshock from
Mary Maddock, click here:

or here: http://tinyurl.com/54pnup

For news of other May electroshock protests and events click here:


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Homemade music

Today I thought I’d just post/ repost some of the songs I’ve recorded. The recordings are poor quality- I’m doing this on my own with a cheap mike and a PC and I haven’t the foggiest notion of how to do it correctly. Bear with me.

This Lullaby I wrote as a comfort to myself:


This is an open letter to god- I was a bit angry at the time. I haven’t included all of the lyrics in this version. Most people are ready to stop listening before I get to the end:


This is a song my family sings before meals. The primary lyrics are traditional, the overlay words are mine as as is the music.


A song I wrote for Erin when she was 2 years old (I have songs that I wrote for all my kids; sometime I’ll try to record them; sometime I’ll try to do a better recording of this one, too):


On a completely different note-

An update from David Oaks re the Oregon Consumer/ Survivor Coalition:

Hi OCSC Talk,

I just got off phone after long and, I feel, productive discussion
with Erinn Kelley-Siel, who is advisor in Governor Kulongoski’s
office about human services.

Some of the main points:

* Erinn absolutely agrees to a meeting with OCSC representatives
personally herself, fairly soon. Because more than one board member
of OCSC is right in Salem, this would seem to be do-able! And I think
it can be helpful. I’ve let Mark (as volunteer on communications for
OCSC) and Tracey (as board president) know.

* Erinn agrees she will RECOMMEND that the Governor meet with
representatives of OCSC. Of course, standard disclaimers apply: She
can’t speak for Governor, he has extremely limited timeline, but she
feels such a meeting would be a good idea. I argued that this issue
is beyond money… that it would be helpful for the Governor to send
a signal that Oregonians with mental health issues are citizens, too,
with a voice, and that he supports a new paradigm.

* We both agreed that (a) the constituency we are working for is
extremely disempowered, (b) Oregon is behind on supporting the state-
wide voice of this constituency, (c) moving forward will be a two-way
street: it will take advocacy by elected officials, and also work by

* We agreed that “a new day” has dawned here in Oregon, with
increasing strength of consumer/survivor movement, the depth of
leadership and activity. I brought up names of several leaders whose
names she recognized, and we both agreed these leaders are good
example of this effort: Becky, Rollin, David R., Tracey, and others.

* I was surprised she hadn’t heard about the great work of
Empowerment Initiatives, and I told her about that. Same thing with
Dan Fisher’s work — she hadn’t heard about that. Dan, it would be
great for you to get a packet of your info to her! You and anyone
else is welcome to get her info. Here’s her contact info: Erinn
Kelley-Siel, Human Services Policy Advisor,Office of Governor Ted
Kulongoski, 900 Court Street, Room 160, Salem, OR 97301, ph:
503-378-6549, 503-378-6827 – Fax. E-mail: Erinn.L.Kelley-

* She can’t guarantee on any budget item of course, but she said she
would do what she could to support budget for consumer/survivor voice.

* A key personal concern for her right now is the placement of
housing in community people convicted of crimes — folks under PSRB.
She said there is intense opposition from community groups. We agreed
that mental health client groups — by putting human face on consumer/
survivors — played a key role in responding. And that these are
difficult issues, but a first step should be VOICE of consumer/
survivors in such efforts. I pointed out this needed to be beyond
tokenism. She said there are some meetings about PSRB coming up, and
she personally would like support from people in those, she said
she’d keep me in touch about them.

* She pointed out that just because Bob Nikkel supports consumer/
survivor voice, it may not get into Governor’s budget. She estimates
that out of 100 items that Bob asked for he got 13. I don’t know how
accurate this, but even if that’s at all close to the truth, it is a
big challenge.

All in all, I think it was a constructive meeting. If anything, we’re
certainly doing the right thing by reaching out, creating dialogue.

Consider: As I’ve said, both USA Senators from Oregon (Smith & Wyden)
are extremely passionate about mental health issues. But neither have
ever met with representatives of a state-wide coalition of mental
health consumers/psychiatric survivors. We can’t blame them for that
— such a coalition has not existed until now! I think there’s a
reasonable chance both would agree if asked and the timing is right.
But even if they don’t agree, at least by ASKING the ball is in their

Clearly, now, with the Governor’s office — the ball is in their
court… an indirect benefit of the launch of OCSC already….


Electroshock news, etc.:

Information about electroshock, also called electroconvulsive therapy.

Stop New York State from Forcibly Shocking Simone D!

Info and alerts to resist the State of New York order for even more forced electroshock of Simone D., who has experienced more than 200 involuntary electroshocks (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT).


News Analysis

Electroshock in India: News Analysis

by David W. Oaks — 2007-04-22 07:41

On 1 April 2007 — April Fools Day — in the city of Pune in India, a mental health center held a major event promoting electroshock. The organizers of the promotion covered up hazards about electroshock and gave false information. MindFreedom has a sponsor group in Pune, Center for Advocacy in Mental Health, a project of Bapu Trust. Advocates from Bapu Trust attended the shock promotion event, and here is their news analysis.


New, Free Web Book

The Electroshock Quotationary: New, Free Web Book

by David W. Oaks — 2006-11-25 16:04

Leonard Roy Frank is a survivor of forced electroshock, a long-time human rights activist, an expert editor of quotations, and a passionate MindFreedom supporter. Here is Leonard’s news release about his new book of quotations available online for free.


Download Free PDF of Leonard Roy Frank Electroshock Quotationery

An Electroshock Quotationary edited by psychiatric survivor Leonard Roy Frank is available as a free PDF download.


A Mind to End Shock Therapy

A newspaper article in the Toronto Star in Canada quotes several electroshock activists about the idea of ending electroshock.


A writer on electroshock

A writer reflects on how electroshock has impacted memory. This anonymous piece was posted on the excellent blog by Philip Dawdy, called Furious Seasons.


Evidence of Electroshock Harm

This is a YouTube link to a video with Steven Wittenberg speaking on how ECT harmed his wife Sue.


Call for ECT to be Banned

This is a link to a YouTube video by MindFreedom member Sue Clark-Wittenberg who says ECT should be banned.


NY State New Guidelines on Forced Electroshock

Apparently in response to the state-wide outrage following MindFreedom human rights alerts about two individuals slated for forced electroshock, NY State has issued new “guidelines” about use of involuntary electroshock over the wishes of the subject. MindFreedom’s response: No Means No.


Flyer: “Electroshock = Permanent Brain Damage”

A one page flyer, available in both PDF and Powerpoint format, highlighting the link between electroconvulsive therapy and brain damage.


Psychiatrist tries to silence forced electroshock survivor

In New Zealand, a psychiatrist, Stephanie du Fresne, was administering involuntary electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy). During an outing the recipient of the electroshock went to a TV station and got on national television about her human rights abuse. Dr. du Fresne filed a complaint against the television station, claiming the TV station was violating the right of her allegedly-insane patient to “informed consent” about appearing on national television. On 7 February 2008, a New Zealand High Court “quashed” the psychiatrist’s attempt to stifle free speech.


Gathering in Montreal to Ban ECT

Place Emilie-Gamelin (metro Berri-UQAM), from 2008-05-10 11:00 to 2008-05-10 13:00

The Quebec Committee to ban ECT is honoring Mother’s Day with a gathering to say NO to ECT.


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