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Media, mental health, and Virginia Tech tragedy

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Selected media chronology related to news and analysis about the interaction of the mental health system with Seung-Hui Cho.

Media, mental health, and Virginia Tech tragedy

Virginia Tech

6 May 2007

Personal reflections by a psychologist who identifies as an individual who has had mental health care: Al Galves calls for more alternatives in an essay about the Virginia Tech Tragedy.

2 May 2007

MindFreedom Virginia files a Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Virginia Medical Examiner's office to disclose any toxicology reports about Cho, which may shed light on whether or not Cho was on a psychiatric drug at the time of the shooting. To read the text of the FOIA letter click here.

Live show with Martin Rafferty, MindFreedom Youth Outreach Coordinator and host David Oaks.  They will field questions and comments about the issue of youth, mental health and the Viginia Tech tragedy. For details click here.

1 May 2007

MindFreedom issues a statement calling for "full disclosure" about any toxicology examination of Cho, the results of which the Virginia Medical Examiner has promised to suppress according to the Roanoke Times. To read the statement click here.

30 April 2007

Martin Rafferty speaks out about his personal experiences on forced  medications as a youth, and his current thoughts on the tragedy that occured just weeks ago in this powerful essay. For more click here.

29 April 2007

60 Minutes runs biased piece called "Armed and Dangerous" about the issue of guns and people who have been through the involuntary commitment. Here's how you can talk back to 60 Minutes.

28 April 2007

The publication National Journal runs an article about the Virginia Tech tragedy and its impact on the forced psychiatric drugging debate. While the article appears to slant toward the use of forced psychiatry, at least it quotes MindFreedom director David Oaks about the importance of hearing from people "on the sharp end of the needle."

26 April 2007

The Roanoke Times reports that the Larry Hill, a regional spokesman for the Virginia Office of the State Medical Examiner will refuse to release information about Cho: "He said neither the toxicology report nor autopsy results will be publicly released." For the full article click here.


25 April 2007

Archives of free live radio MindFreedom call-in shows are now available for you to listen to online. Shows 18 April and 25 April focus on the Virginia Tech tragedy. To go the MF Radio Archive page click here.


24 April 2007


22 April 2007

A college student who experienced the mental health system writes about what it is like to be faced with multiple prescriptions of a variety of psychiatric drugs in this essay called Psychiatric Drug Bingo (the piece was written before the VT tragedy).


21 April 2007

  • An Associated Press article in the Washington Post lists some of the signs over an 18 months period that Seung-Hui Cho was showing signs of extreme mental and emotional distress and differences.
  • Steve Miccio, leader of a mental health consumer run organization in New York State called PEOPLe, Inc., issues a "Call to Action' about the VT tragedy.
  • More media begin to use the order of his name preferred by his family and on his records (Americanized by placing the last name of "Cho" last) rather than traditional Korean style (last name of Cho first).


20 April 2007

  • Alison Hymes is a member of MindFreedom in Virginia who has a blog and is providing comments -- representing herself and not any organization -- about the recent tragedy.
  • A national coalition of organizations run by mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors issues a public statement asking that "everyone learn."


19 April 2007


18 April 2007


  • Mother Jones magazine asks, "What was Cho On"?
  • The tragedy is sparking a national discussionson about college student mental health issues, such as in this article regarding students at University of California.
  • The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Seung-Hui Cho attracted so much attention for his mental and emotional problems and differences, that some students predicted he would turn out to be the killer when the murders were announced. The question arises, "What else could have been done?"
  • The New York Times reports, "[Seung-Hui Cho] also took a prescription medicine. Neither Mr. Aust nor Mr. Grewal [his roommates] knew what the medicine was for, but officials said prescription medications related to the treatment of psychological problems had been found among Mr. Cho’s effects."
  • MindFreedom Blog: "I was a college 'mental patient,'" by David Oaks, personal reflections about youth, the psychiatric system, and the Virginia Tech tragedy.
  • PsychCentral reports Seung-Hui Cho appears to have been placed into a psychiatric institution for about two days in 2005.
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Hugh Massengill

Hugh Massengill, psychiatric survivor and MFI member, addresses opening session of City of Eugene, Oregon, USA conference on Choice in Mental Health Care as a Human Right at the University of Oregon.
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