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Next MFI Radio: Neil Gong on "Madness, College & Asian Americans: Create community in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy."

Neil Gong has important insights on what our society can learn from the Virginia Tech tragedy. Neil is a community organizer on college campuses supporting students who are diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Neil's studies include how mental health issues impact Asian American communities. You may listen and phone in to this Internet radio show LIVE this Wednesday, 9 May at 4 pm ET at Host David Oaks. Archives are once more available.

Next MFI Radio: Neil Gong on "Madness, College & Asian Americans: Create community in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy."

Virginia Tech. students in mourning.

MindFreedom News Show This Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 4 pm ET.

Psychiatrically-labeled. College student. Asian American.

These identities have taken on new and at times overwhelming significance in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech. tragedy. Neil Gong would like to create open dialogue to prevent future violence.

What traps should society avoid?

What can our communities learn?

Listen and phone in to the free LIVE MindFreedom News Internet Radio Show by clicking on  every Wednesday at 4 pm ET.

Guest this week, Wed., 9 May 2007, is Neil Gong.

Neil is an intern with the Icarus Project's New York University on-campus organizing team. The Icarus Project is a radical, community based mental health support network that is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. The NYU chapter has worked to create mental health support alternatives to the conventional college counseling center.

The college campus networks Neil works with seek to create community by providing a space for open discussion of madness and difference. Neil is studying cultural theory and critical approaches to psychiatry, with a particular interest in how mental health is understood in Asian American communities.

"The tragedy at Virginia Tech has unfortunately been exploited to promote policies like the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health," said Neil. "The President's Commission recommends that most of the USA  population, including students of all ages, be screened for 'mental illness.'"

Neil would like society to learn from the tragedy at Virginia Tech. without a backlash against people labeled with psychiatric problems.

Said Neil, "Everyone wants to prevent another college shooting. We need to remember that positive social support and mental health support can create community, open dialogue, and prevent violence. However, stigmatization, exclusion, and forced treatment contribute to the alienation troubled students already feel."

This is radio for a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system, hosted by psychiatric rights activist David Oaks, director of MindFreedom. David also experienced the mental health system as a youth when he was institutionalized five times and diagnosed "schizophrenic." For a brief bio click here.

If you listen LIVE to the MindFreedom News Hour jot down the toll free call-in number for the USA or the special call-in number for outside the USA as it is given during the show. Please keep trying, sometimes it takes more than once to get through.

You may e-mail at any time before or during the show to and your comment or question may be read on the air.

Some topics we have been exploring in this series of shows:

  • Will Cho's use of psychiatric drugs be covered up by the Medical Examiners in Virginia?
  • What do we do about media bias about these issues on 60 Minutes and CNN?
  • What do we know about the mental health system's interaction with Cho?
  • What kinds of alternatives were available? What ought to be available?
  • What is it like to be a college student and diagnosed with a psychiatric disability?
  • What do we do about the call for more forced psychiatric drugging?
  • How do we answer concerns about "violent mental patients"?
  • Where can people turn for humane alternatives to the conventional mental health system?

Upcoming MindFreedom Internet Radio Show:

16 May 2007 - Jim Gottstein - psychiatric survivor, attorney, Harvard Law School graduate and founder of -- is back by popular demand! Hear the latest about Jim's ongoing fight to hold Eli Lilly accountable for their criminal cover-up and mis-marketing of the psychiatric drug Zyprexa. Jim will also keep us up to date on his numerous other projects, campaigns and lawsuits.


The MindFreedom News Hour is part of a diverse array of shows on Progressive Radio Network.

On each MindFreedom News Hour you'll hear hear news, resources, and an interview. Shows have covered the history of the psychiatric survivor movement, how psychiatric survivors and concerned mental health professionals are working together on human rights campaigns, and more.

Regular features include networking announcements about successful activism and alternatives.

It's your mind! It's your freedom! Free your mind with the MindFreedom News Hour hosted by David Oaks every Wednesday at 4 pm eastern time.

Just click on at that time and day!


If you have show suggestions, comments, ideas, please e-mail it to E-mail is checked during the show, and your comments may be read live on "the air."

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Samantha Johnson, psychiatric survivor, MFI intern

Samantha Johnson is a 22-year-old psychiatric survivor who is interning at the MindFreedom International office. "I was absolutely in disbelief at how the people were treated at the hospital. It was an environment of emotional abuse interspersed with 'treatments' and 'policies' that could be more accurately described as assault. The tragic thing is that there really are some good people working there, but they are unable to provide people with the help they need inside a system that prioritizes profits over people. It might take five years of counseling for someone to truly recover from a mental health crisis, but it takes five minutes to tranquilize them. This is why I started working with MindFreedom. For 25 years MFI has been challenging the mental health system to see us as human beings- to treat us as human beings- through peaceful activism. At MFI we emphasize individual choice, empowerment, and compassion as necessary aspects of a true healing process."
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