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Mad Poetry

Poetry cannot be silenced by psychiatric oppression. Here are some examples. Also, MindFreedom Journal has usually had a column of excerpts of Mad Poetry, edited by Bonnie Schell; see info about the journal elsewhere on this web site. You may submit poetry to that column at poetry(at)mindfreedom(dot)org. Please note that by submitting your poem you agree to MindFreedom publishing the whole poem, or excerpts of it. The MindFreedom poetry column is meant to give glimpses of the wonderful poetry out there, and so portions of poems are often used to illustrate this.

Folder Tom Greening poetry to change the mental health system
Tom Greening has written many humorous poems challenging the current mental health system, and what is called 'normal,' which he decidedly is not.
Link Mad Poet
One of the folks who was involved in the planning meetings for the coalition that became MindFreedom International told us about this web site by a Mad Poet. Thanks!
Page "The Killing of Susan Kelly" by Dorothy Washburn Dundas
While institutionalized for three years as an adolescent in the early 1960s, Dorothy was labeled a "schizophrenic" and forced to undergo 40 combined insulin coma-electroshock "treatments." She experienced and witnessed many atrocities and believes that luck, determination, her own anger, and one compassionate advocate were here best friends on the road to her survival. Dorothy's story, "The Shocking Truth," appears in 'Beyond Bedlam,' and her writings on abusive psychiatric practices have been published in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free Press, and The Miami Herald.
Folder Mad poems by Liz Purcell
Liz Purcell is a freelance writer, psychiatric survivor, and longtime sober alcoholic. She is also the author of Seeds of Sobriety: Practical Daily Readings for Alcoholics and Addicts (Outskirts Press, 2006).
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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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