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City of Eugene Mayor Meets with Mental Health Consumers & Psychiatric Survivors

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Fifty mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, along with a few allies and media representatives, met with the City of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy for two hours to address issues of concern.

City of Eugene Mayor Meets with Mental Health Consumers & Psychiatric Survivors

Mayor of Eugene Kitty Piercy

Mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors met for two hours with City of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy in a free public forum to share their concerns today, 22 Feb. 2007, at the Eugene Public Library.

  • People diagnosed with a psychiatric disability spoke out about:
  • Experiences of homelessness - most in the room had experienced living in the streets, and some currently were living in the streets.
  • Problems with the police - several participants reported negative interactions with the police.
  • Discrimination and human rights isues.
  • The need for alternatives, especially the way non-drug alternatives are sometimes not offered.
  • Public education.

Fifty psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers meet with Mayor Kitty PiercyThe free event was sponsored by several groups working with mental health clients, including:

• MindFreedom Lane County • Safe, Inc. • Lane County Mental Health Consumer Advisory Committee • Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA) • Laurel Hill Client Council • Life & Universe • Pathways Class on Organizing • Trauma Healing Project

Hugh Massengill, a psychiatric survivor on the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission, also spoke about the opportunity for mental health consumers and psychiatric suriviors to speak out to the Police Commission and a new Blueribbon Commission on Homelessness.

KMTR-TV provided brief media coverage. Larry Dobberstein from Community Access Television videoed the event and intends to air it on their cable show.

See related items below for information about MindFreedom Eugene and MindFreedom Lane County, along with a PDF file you may download about opportunities for people with psychiatric labels in Lane County to speak out. The photos of the event are by Hugh Massengill.

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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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