Solidarity with Occupy Psychiatry

Center for the Human Rights of
Users and Survivors of Psychiatry
October 15, 2011
Solidarity with Occupy Psychiatry: Human Rights and Psychiatric
The Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry joins in
solidarity with the pro-democracy movement everywhere to Occupy public space
and take back political and economic democracy that belongs to ALL the people.
CHRUSP endorses the call to Occupy Mental Health/Occupy Psychiatry by linking
the anti-psychiatric abuse movement to the Occupations. We invite everyone to join
in a conversation about alternatives to the medical model of mental illness, an end
to coercive and repressive mental health laws and practices, and creating accessible
relationships and communities.
Robert Whitaker has painstakingly documented how corporate lies and greed have
created an epidemic of brain damage and dysfunction, suffering and disablement.1
Pharmaceutical corporations, the World Psychiatric Association, and the World
Health Organization promote the globalization of this epidemic in the name of
modernizing mental health treatment in low- and middle-income countries.
The mental health industry, including services as well as pharmaceuticals and
electroshock devices, is dependent on enforced compliance with treatment as well
as lies and false promises of healing. Laws in the U.S. and in every other country
permit psychiatric incarceration and forced administration of mind-altering drugs
and electroshock. Some of these laws use guardianship or other substitute decisionmaking based on the premise that we do not know what is good for ourselves.
In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities, a human rights treaty drafted collaboratively by people
with disabilities, including users and survivors of psychiatry, together with
government representatives. Since that time, the UN has recognized that
also R. Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic
involuntary confinement and involuntary treatment in psychiatry violate the rights
to liberty and integrity of person, and can amount to torture and ill-treatment. The
UN has further called for replacement of substituted decision-making with
supportive measures that respect the will and preferences of the person concerned.2
We call on Occupations and People’s Assemblies everywhere to respect our human
rights. We ask you to include in the grievances of the 99%:
The lies, false promises of healing, and medical labeling of difference or
distress as biological pathology, that fuel discrimination, hatred, segregation,
and forced alteration of mind and body, perpetrated by pharmaceutical
companies, shock device manufacturers, the mental health service industry
and government against people who are already survivors of abuse and other
difficult life circumstances and yet have a lot to offer society, particularly
compassion and creativity.
We ask you to remember that we speak for ourselves, in all our diversity, and to
reject any attempts by family member organizations, service provider organizations,
or any organization funded by the pharmaceutical industry, to speak for people
labeled with or experiencing madness, mental health problems and trauma.
Whose bodies? Our bodies. Whose minds? Our minds. Whose choices? Our
choices. Whose speech? Our speech. Whose lives? Our lives. We are the 99%.
See and materials