(With thanks to Eugene Leblanc for work already done)
Who are we?
We are three psychiatric survivors (people who have survived psychiatric treatment) and one ally who believe that no one should ever be punished or “treated” for what they think, feel, perceive, sense, imagine, believe or experience. We believe that extreme emotional states stem from poverty, discrimination and other social ills, rather than problems in people’s brains or genes.
What do we stand for?
Human and civil rights: No one should ever be locked up in a facility or “treated” against their
will, or without understanding all the risks and being informed about non-medical alternatives.
Choice: A wide range of options should be available for those experiencing emotional trouble,
including giving and receiving the kinds of support we want, from the people we trust.
Connection: Isolation kills. We want to help create true community, including safe spaces,
virtual and physical, where survivors can connect to help ourselves and each other.
Education: We want to promote alternative views on the causes of madness and distress,
recognizing the connection between poverty, homelessness, discrimination and other social
factors and “mental illness.” We encourage the study of the history of psychiatry, and the history
of resistance against it (see madinamerica.com/wpcontent/uploads/2019/06/ResistanceMatters-April-2019.pdf).
Advocacy: We hope to find effective ways of helping people who are being (or in danger of
being) treated against their will, or who want to safely withdraw from psychiatric drugs; and to
direct people to existing and emerging groups and organizations that may be able to help (see, for instance, withdrawal.theinnercompass.org).
Common sense: We stand against the idea that anyone benefits from incarceration in hospitals, solitary confinement, physical restraints, electroshock “therapy,” or the forced use of dangerous and poorly studied drugs.
When should we start?
Now! The need is urgent, because more and more people are being diagnosed, hospitalized and drugged against their will every day.
Where is this work needed?
In every province and territory of Canada.
Why is this important?
Psychiatry says there’s something wrong with our brains, and only they can fix us. We say that
extreme emotional states and unusual beliefs and behaviour are natural reactions to unnatural
circumstances, rather than symptoms of any disease. Psychiatry sees problems within
individuals. We see problems within society that cause people to become angry, confused,
How will we do it?
We hope to:
Use this website, as well as social media and in person get togethers (when and where possible) to help like minded people across the country meet each other, discuss problems and solutions, and exchange knowledge and information.
Develop educational materials and presentations and raise awareness within media, schools, governments, social justice non-profits, etc., and among health practitioners, funders, insurers and others, to present a different view of “mental illness” and what to do about it
Provide information and support for safe psychiatric-drug withdrawal.
Work to develop and promote safe houses and support groups that are independent of the mental health system.
Launch an online version of Phoenix Rising: The Voice of the Psychiatrized (see psychiatrized.org/PhoenixRising/PhoenixRising.htm), with a focus on humane, right- oriented ways of addressing extreme emotional states and on challenging the principles and practices of psychiatry.
Refer people to free or inexpensive legal support and advocacy of various kinds.