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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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Lauren Tenney, psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

First involuntarily institutionalized, at 15, Lauren Tenney is a survivor of psychiatry. She has been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. Her goal is to help stop forced psychiatric procedures, detainment, and confinement, human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern are the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages, but particularly children and senior citizens, forced drugging, restraints, seclusion, behavioral interventions, and coercion of any kind. Lauren, a Mad-Activist/ Artist/ Author/ Academic/ Adjunct Professor is coordinating The Opal Project, an outcome of participatory action research she coordinated for field research in the PhD program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation topic is: "The Institutionalized "Community." She became involved with WE THE PEOPLE when the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and MindFreedom International needed someone on the ground in Brooklyn, New York to coordinate a response where Esmin Green was murdered-by-neglect. She now lives in Albany, NY with her service dog-in-training and cat. For more info: www.TheOpalProject.org and www.etrash.tv
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