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Chris Busche, 29, forcibly drugged, kept isolated from advocate

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Essex County Hospital Center in New Jersey is holding Chris Busche against his will, forcing him to take powerful psychiatric drugs, and refusing to allow an advocate to speak with staff. Chris has activated his MindFreedom Shield. [Update 12 March 2011]

Chris Busche, 29, forcibly drugged, kept isolated from advocate

Essex County Hospital Center is forcing psychiatric drugs and refusing communication with a MindFreedom member.

Update 14 February 2012: 

Chris freed! For victory news release click here.

Update 12 March 2011:

Al Galves reports the latest news about member Chris Busche, after the MindFreedom Shield alert was issued: 

"I spoke with Chris Busche last week. He is very appreciative of the calls and messages that people have sent complaining about Essex County Hospital's forced medicating and refusing to answer calls from persons to whom he has given permission for the staff to speak. The Hospital staff is working on transferring him to Earth House, described as a 'holistic psychiatric facility' and Chris is pleased about that. I received a call from Dr. Maruri, his psychiatrist, an indication that they are responding to the complaints."

Below is the original alert: 

MindFreedom Shield Solidarity - 20 Feb. 2011 - please forward

Chris Busche, 29: Forced to take psychiatric drugs, kept isolated from friend and advocate

Chris, a member of the MindFreedom Shield, has been locked inside the Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove, New Jersey for about four months. He is being forcibly drugged with antidepressant and antianxiety psychiatric drugs.

Al Galves, a Shield member and MFI board member, has since September, 2010 called the following members of the Hospital staff about Chris. Al has yet to receive a call back even though Chris has signed a release giving the staff permission to talk with him:

  • Cynthia Abbott, Social Worker
  • Dr. Maruri, Psychiatrist
  • Clara Gerr, Patient Advocate
  • Lucia Guarini, Hospital Administrator


PLEASE keep all complaint messages civil and peaceful – though strong.

CONTACT Mary Wilson Harley, County Administrator to complain about the Hospital staff’s forced drugging of Chris and refusal to return the phone calls of Al Galves.

  • Ms. Harley’s phone number: 973-621-4432
  • Ms. Harley’s e-mail address is
  • Ms. Harley’s snail mail address is: 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 510; Newark. NJ 07102

Sample message (your own words are best):

I am calling (or writing) to complain about the forced drugging of Chris Busche, a patient at Essex County Hospital.

Please investigate the refusal of Essex County Hospital staff to return phone calls to a friend who is advocating on behalf of Mr. Busche.

Mr. Busche has signed a release permitting staff to speak with his friend and advocate, Al Galves. Mr. Galves has called various staff at numerous times since September, 2010.

Since November 1, 2010, Mr. Galves has left messages with Cynthia Abbott, Social Worker; Dr Maruri, Psychiatrist; Clara Gerr, Patient Advocate; and Lucia Guarini, Hospital Administrator.

None of those persons has returned a call since that time.

Being inside in a psychiatric institution is difficult enough. Being forcibly drugged is traumatic.

Having staff refuse to even speak with an advocate and friend turns this into a harmful ordeal.



Additional action: 

You can postal mail a comfort card or letter to support Chris here, he would appreciate it:

Chris Busche 
Essex County Hospital Center
204 Grove Avenue
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009 USA



To participate in the MindFreedom Shield, current MFI members are invited to register, and become active.


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Caitlin Belforti: Psychiatric survivor, young adult leader, student

Caitlin is a survivor of maltreatment of Adelphi University's student counseling center. A young adult new to the movement, Caitlin hopes to continue to her involvement in the psychiatric survivor movement and bring more attention to an issue that is all too prevalent and all too ignored. Also an actress and a poet, Caitlin hopes to use the medium of performing arts to spread awareness, and to reach fellow survivors. She says, “Many thanks to the support I have received so far from the cool crowd that is MindFreedom!" Caitlin is speaking at the MindFreedom International peaceful protest of the American Psychiatric Association in Philadelphia, OccupyAPA 2012.
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