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A Mental Health Alternative for Youth in Denmark May Be Shut Down: Save Gaderummet!

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Gaderummet is an innovative psychosocial alternative for young homeless people in Copenhagen, Denmark that may be replaced by a more traditional mental health service. Here's an easy e-mail action you can take to help show there is international support.

A Mental Health Alternative for Youth in Denmark May Be Shut Down: Save Gaderummet!

Youth participants in front of Gaderummet with a banner that reads, "Right to Self-Determination and the Open Door!"

Update 7 March 2008: Mayor Warming responds to e-mail resulting from the below MindFreedom alert, read his e-mail along with response from protester here:

Original alert:

Politicians May Force Closure of "Gaderummet" in Denmark

"Gaderummet" (translation: a space in the street) is a community in Copenhagen, Denmark, providing psychosocial help for young homeless people with problems who have chosen to do without the "help" of the system.

The award-winning facility had been funded by the government, but the funding was withdrawn in May 2007 because the management of "Gaderummet" didn't want to "conform to the mental health system."

Since May 2007, the staff and users of "Gaderummet" have been struggling to keep the facility running in spite of the lack of money.

Politicians are now threatening their lease.

It appears that the government is willing to establish another facility for the young people, on condition that it allows a larger role for mainstream mental health services.

Marian B. Goldstein, a member of MindFreedom International in Denmark, said, "The young people at Gaderummet are absolutely capable of making their own decisions. Just like anyone else, they have a right to determine on their own which kind of life, including what kind of help they want. Closing Gaderummet will leave them without any democratic choice. It will expose an additional number of young people to a life on the street, to drug-abuse and criminality."

Marian said that Gaderummet is one of the last remaining sanctuaries where young people can get non-medical support.

Help these young people stop the closure of their last refuge!

Easy Action You Can Take by E-Mail to Keep the Door Open!

Show there is international attention!

You can e-mail or write your protest to the mayor of the social area in Copenhagen, Mikkel Warming, who is directly responsible in this case.

E-mail Mayor Mikkel Warming:

Sample message -- though your own words are best:

Dear Mayor Mikkel Warming:

The young people at "Gaderummet" are able to make their own choices, just like anyone else. They have a right to self-determination and empowerment. Please do not shut down "Gaderummet." Please support alternatives to the conventional mental health system that affirm the human rights of clients!


Your name, address & contact info

Please let others know about this situation.

Additional actions:

1. Please copy your message and/or e-mail your support for Gaderummet to activist Marian B. Goldstein, MindFreedom member in Denmark, at:

2. E-mail a message of support for Gaderummet to the Social Department:

3. You may also write to the Minister for Social Affairs, Karen Jespersen:

Att. Karen Jespersen
Holmens Kanal 22
1060 København K

Gaderummet has put a petition on the web:

I've posted a translation on my blog:

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Chuck Hughes is a psychiatric survivor activist from Santa Barbara, California.

"I find inspiration and mental support in MindFreedom," says Chuck. "I like associating with like-minded activists for human rights in mental health. When I go into a Board or Commission and say I am a member of MindFreedom International. It gives what I say a lot more validity and my voice carries a lot farther. My first of eight involuntarily institutionalizations was at age 23. I have witnessed much injustice in mental health. I have been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. My goal is to help stop forced outpatient psychiatric procedures, seclusion, restraints and other human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern is the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages."
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