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Psychiatric Survivor Movement History

The current era of psychiatric survivor and ally activism is generally considered to have begun in about 1970.

Principles adopted by 1982 gathering of psychiatric survivors.

Each year for many years in the 1970's and 1980's, there was an annual gathering of psychiatric survivors, usually on a different college campus in the US or Canada. It became known as the "International Conference on Human Rights and Against Psychiatric Oppression." At the 1982 gathering in Toronto, participants agreed to these principles.

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Logo for Madness Network News

Logo for Madness Network News

Madness Network News, out of the Bay Area of California, helped network thousands of psychiatric survivors and allies internatioanlly. Their logo was a woman breaking free from a strait jacket.

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Hearing Voices: Resistance Among Psychiatric Survivors and Consumers

Maria Duerr presented this thesis about the history of the psychiatric survivor movement for her Masters Degree in Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in June 1996. (This PDF is 141 pages.)

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Leah Harris

Leah Harris, a second generation psychiatric survivor, discovered MindFreedom in 2000 when she was 25 years old. Her first act in the mad movement was to tell her story of oppression and resistance, and to help edit stories for MindFreedom's Oral History Project. Since then, she has been working in various ways to help achieve the vision of MindFreedom: an end to all forms of psychiatric oppression, healing of all forms of "normality," and the creation of vibrant, colorful communities that honor and celebrate diversity, difference, and the full range of human experience.
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