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Alert: Say 'NO' to NY Forced Psychiatric Drugging of 'Ann L'

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A New York citizen is being forced to take psychiatric drugs on an outpatient basis out in the community. How you can take easy action via the web to say "no." Update: Now with ocal contats.

Alert: Say 'NO' to NY Forced Psychiatric Drugging of 'Ann L'

Ann L. spent years locked up in Pilgrim Psychiatric Center. She is now in a nearby community residence.

Update

7 November 2008 - Ann L phoned the MindFreedom office that she is back in a psychiatric institution, and feeling overwhelmed. MindFreedom did find volunteers to visit and communicate with Ann L., including an activist attorney.

18 August 2008 - PsychRights Launches Pro Bono Recruitment Effort with MindFreedom's Ann L. Human Rights Alert. Click here for details.


Update

16 August 2008 - Additional local contacts have now been added at the bottom of this alert.


MindFreedom/PsychRights - 14 August 2008


Human Rights in Mental Health Alert - Please Forward


Calling All Human Rights Activists & Advocates: Support Ann L.!


New York State Citizen to be Forcibly Drugged on Outpatient Basis.


Ann L. says her forced psychiatric drugging makes her "sick and is torture." But New York State is aggressively pushing for more forced drugging of Ann L. on an outpatient basis in her own community residence.

Ann L. is 50 years old, and says she has been in and out of the psychiatric system since she was 15. Ann says she was locked up for the past seven years in the notorious Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in New York, where she experienced years of forced psychiatric drugging.

Earlier this year Ann L. finally won her freedom.

She thought.

Ann got out of the institution and has been satisfied living in the community in the Irving Berkowitz Residence in West Brentwood. But now the State of New York is threatening to continue her forced psychiatric drugging while living at home even outside of the institution.

The State of New York is seeking to use "Kendra's Law" to continue to administer forced psychiatric drugs to Ann L. using Involuntary Outpatient Commitment.

Ann L. (not her real name) states that she fears the forced psychiatric drugging will continue to debilitate her health and put her at risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Two independent nonprofit advocacy groups, MindFreedom and PsychRights, have determined that Ann L.'s situation is a priority. They are working together to support Ann L.'s bid for freedom in both the court room and the court of public opinion.

Stop the forced psychiatric drugging of Ann L.!

 * * * ACTION * * * ACTION * * * ACTION * * *


Ann L. asks that you contact New York Governor Paterson. Use this web page:

http://161.11.121.121/govemail

or use this web link:

http://tinyurl.com/ny-gov

Phone: (518) 474-4623. Fax: (518) 486-4170

SAMPLE MESSAGE


Your own words & experiences are best. Please be civil but firm:

"I oppose the State of New York continuing the involuntary outpatient psychiatric drugging of Ann L. who is living in the Irving Berkowitz Residence in West Brentwood, New York. Please stop all forced psychiatric drugging in New York State."

TALKING POINTS


1) Research shows that coercion is bad for a person's "mental health."

People subjected to forced psychiatric treatment have been shown to be at increased risk for drug dependence, disabling side-effects of medication, and suicide. Force can result in damage to self-esteem and the motivation toward recovery, as well as inducing or furthering fear and trauma.

2) People recover when they have a real choice among alternatives and volunteer services.

People recover when they are empowered to make their own choices, when they take responsibility for their own lives, and when they are offered hope. Under the conditions of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment this is impossible.

3) People deserve alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

Psychiatric drugging can cause additional mental and emotional problems, and can even kill. More humane and effective alternatives to psychiatric drugs ought to be offered for those who choose them.

4) Psychiatric human rights violations are life-threatening.

Research shows that people in the state mental health system die about 25 years younger than the general public. Remember the public death of Esmin Green who was denied any help while locked for 24 hours in a NY psychiatric emergency room.

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS



Please forward this alert to all appropriate places on and off the Internet.

It just takes a moment to contact additional New York State officials. If you can also phone or write that is helpful, but at least e-mail them. Be civil, be firm, don't stop!!

Let them all know that forced psychiatric drugging is wrong and must be stopped!

Please contact these New York State officials immediately:

*** Assemblyperson Peter M. Rivera is Chair of the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

He is a crucial elected leader focusing on the field of mental health.

Email: riverap@assembly.state.ny.us

Mr. Rivera can also be contacted via a web form on the New York State Assembly website, here:

http://tinyurl.com/peter-rivera

Phone: (718) 931-2620

Postal address: 1973 Westchester Avenue; Bronx, NY 10462 USA.

*** New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan

While leading President Bush's Commission on Mental Health, Michael Hogan claimed to support empowerment and recovery and human rights.

Complete Commissioner Hogan's web form at:

http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/email/feedback.asp

or use this web link:

http://tinyurl.com/m-hogan

Phone Commissioner Hogan: (518) 474-4403 Fax: (518) 474-2149

*** John Herrion is Director of "Disability Rights" for the NY State Division of Human Rights.

e-mail: jherrion@dhr.state.ny.us

phone: (718) 741-8332

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The above alert was created by the MindFreedom/PsychRights Joint Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism. For more information on the Task Force and sponsoring organizations see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/psychrights/news-20080304

http://www.psychrights.org
http://www.mindfreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLEASE FORWARD THIS ALERT TO ALL APPROPRIATE PLACES ON AND OFF THE INTERNET!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

16 August 2008 Update


The Opal Project in New York has created a web center for updating information, go here:

http://www.theopalproject.org/annl.html

The Opal Project agrees it's important to add local contacts to complain about Ann L.'s treatment. Here they are:



LOCAL CONTACT INFORMATION

 
COUNTY EXECUTIVE & CHIEF DEPUTY

Steve Levy - County Executive
Jim Morgo - Chief Deputy

Addresses:

H. Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788-0099
       
Riverhead County Center
County Road 51
Riverhead, New York 11901-3397
Phone:  (631) 853-4000

       
E-mail: county.executive@suffolkcountyny.gov


SUFFOLK COUNTY CONSUMER AFFAIRS (not mental health, just general CA)

Bruce Dragonette  - Director

North County Complex, Bldg. 340
Hauppauge
NY, 11788-0099
       
(631) 853-4600
   
E-mail: consumer.affairs@suffolkcountyny.gov

COMMUNITY MENTAL HYGIENE SERVICES
THOMAS O. MacGILVRAY, LCSW, CASAC DIRECTOR
   
North County Complex - Building C928
725 Veterans Memorial Highway, P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, New York 11788
   
Phone (631) 853-8500
Fax (631) 853-3117
   
The Mental Health Association:
(631) 226-3900

Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Hygiene Services
Open 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday
(631) 853-8500 
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