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Why we're active in the Campaign for Choice in Mental Health Care

We asked two members of the campaign committee, "Why is the MindFreedom Choice in Mental Health Campaign important to you?"

Matt Morrissey:Matt Morrissey

I know what it is like to be in emotional distress and to undergo the invalidating "treatments" of the current system. When seeking help, people must be given an array of choices along with informed consent-- this would have been extremely helpful to me at the time of my distress.

For me, political action against human rights violations in the mental health system is one half of the picture; offering & promoting viable alternatives to people in distress is the other half. We cannot sit by and watch people be turned into zombies, we must offer something that works to replace medical model practice.

I'm currently the Director of the Adult Day Program at Full Spectrum Progressive Mental Health, a sponsor group of MindFreedom International. This Program is based in San Francisco and is a working alternative to the medical model. We help people recover from severe emotional distress without psychiatric drugs or force.

For information on Matt's program see http://www.fullspectrum.cc/

[Matt is pictured here speaking at a protest in front of the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco. Photo by Tom Olin.]

Florence Brown:

 

I am very interested in what works for consumer/survivors. I believe the best source for this information are those who have used choices that result in recovery. Full recovery is possible but it's not happening in traditional mental health programs where the primary and often only treatment is medication. We desperately need alternatives that lead to recovery!

 

I am a nurse, a woman, and a minority from a very large family with limited financial resources. I've spent most of my life learning about what works to maximize success. I discovered mental health and spiritual principles that do work for persons with limited resources or for those who have been abused or denied full accesss. I believe that to achieve full freedom and success, each person must become actively involved in their own education, growth and recovery.
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Dorothy Dundas

While institutionalized for three years as an adolescent in the 1960's, MindFreedom member Dorothy Washburn Dundas was labeled a "schizophrenic" and forced to undergo 40 combined insulin coma-electroshock "treatments." Dorothy says, "I experienced and witnessed many atrocities. I believe that luck, determination, and my own anger and one compassionate advocate were my best friends on the road to my ultimate survival and freedom." Through a number of op-ed pieces, she has voiced her opposition to abusive psychiatric practices. Her poster, "Behind Locked Doors," which she created from her hospital records, is used in training programs. Dorothy lives in the Boston area where she has raised her four wonderful children. She founded and is the sole driver in her "safe, friendly and reliable" car service called The Crystal Lake Express.
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