The Huffington Post Carries Attack on Alternatives 2010 Mental Health Conference
Live from Alternatives 2010 in Anaheim, California: MindFreedom director David Oaks says more than 1,000 mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors have registered, and there's lots of great news. But rather than cover this news, The Huffington Post is once more carrying a political attack by extremist D. J. Jaffe. You can ask The Huffington Post why they broadcast hate speech about our people, but they do not broadcast any voice from the "mad movement" itself. [Update 5 Oct. 2010]
Lauren Spiro, with leaders from National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, announce successfully lobbying for more than $1 million in mental health peer delivered services.
Update 5 Oct. 2010: The Huffington Post has closed comments to the blog entry by D. J. Jaffe that attacks Alternatives 2010. But you can still e-mail a strong but civil message to The Huffington Post editors, see below.
by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International
I'm reporting live from the Alternatives 2010 conference here at Anaheim California.
For 25 years the US federal government has done at least one thing really well in mental health: They've funded an annual gathering of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors who lead innovative peer-run programs for mental health.
You'd think a blog like The Huffington Post would be intrigued about how a marginalized population has been finding its own voice, creating its own groups providing effective peer-delivered services, and influencing Washington, D.C.
For example, across the street from Alternatives, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery held a reception last night. Their director Lauren Spiro announced they had helped lobby for more than $1 million for more mental health peer-delivered projects (see photo above). Please note that this coalition carefully meets in another hotel, so that no taxpayer funds are spent on their advocacy activity.
You won't find such news in The Huffington Post. Instead, as they have many times before, The Huffington Post has run one more tired diatribe by extremist D. J. Jaffe, which you can read here.
In case you haven't heard of D. J. Jaffe, this advertising-executive-turned-mental-health-advocate once suggested that our family members should purposely turn over furniture before calling the police on us, to make their case more convincing for forcing us to the psychiatric emergency room (to read an archive of his bizarre piece, click here)!
In his Huffington Post blog, Jaffe has repeatedly called for making it easier and easier to get court orders to force us to take psychiatric drugs, and he does that again in The Huffington Post "news coverage" of Alternatives 2010. I wonder if this Huffington Post blogger even bothered to show up here in Anaheim, because what he describes does not match reality. That passes as news coverage?
While you can add your comment directly to the debate on Jaffe's blog entry by logging in on The Huffington Post at the above link, it's time to actually contact Huffington Post and ask a simple, strong, civil question. You can do this without registering on their web site.
A sample question - though your own words are best:
"Hey Huffington Post... You have several writers covering mental health. But why don't you give prominent coverage to any representative from the mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor movement? Don't we have a voice? The disability movement has a saying, 'Nothing About Us, Without Us.' Maybe it's time for you all to learn that lesson. If you carry hate speech such as Jaffe's, then what about our speech?"
Please e-mail a civil but strong message now. You can contact The Huffington Post here:
Also, there's a web form there for 'corrections', and Jaffe has a lot of errors you can mention. It figures, since apparently he did not even attend the event he's 'reporting' on.