From James Gottstein, founder of PsychRights® Jan 17, 2013
Last week, I let you know about PsychRights’ Letter to the President’s Task Force on Gun Violence, which pointed out (1) that a mental illness diagnosis is essentially useless as a predictor of violence and (2) the gun violence discussion needs to include the role of psychiatric drugs in causing violence. PsychRights was not the only one making these points.
However in the rush to pretend to do something, but in the absence of the political will to do anything meaningful about gun violence, a mob mentality has developed to further restrict the rights of people diagnosed with mental illness and force them to endure harmful, counterproductive, psychiatric interventions. In other words, the only thing that all of the players at the table can agree to is, in effect, “Psychiatric Profiling.”
New York rushed through a law that expands state and federal criminal databases of people labeled as mentally ill, unconnected to any actual crime or act of violence, and expanded outpatient commitment (forced drugging in the community).
President Obama’s proposals yesterday include much the same.
In effect, the reaction has been to promote Psychiatric Profiling. To protest this alarming rush to increased psychiatric oppression Tina Minkowitz, and others, have called for and launched the Occupy Psychiatry Event, National Day of Action to Stop Mental Health Profiling 1/21/13 MLK Day.
The idea is for people to take action this Monday, January 21, 2013, on Martin Luther King Day. Please “join,” take photos, videos, etc., and post them to National Day of Action to Stop Mental Health Profiling 1/21/13 MLK Day.
This Day of Action is devoted to:
- To protest the scapegoating of people labeled with mental illness by politicians, media, gun control advocates and the pro-gun lobby
- To protest the discriminatory and coercive provisions of President Obama’s actions and proposals.
- To protest the “NY SAFE Act” rushed through NY’s legislature and signed by Gov Cuomo.
- To invoke our connection to Martin Luther King Jr. and the values and traditions of nonviolence:
- We are a nonviolent community.
- Many of us have been traumatized by violence and do all we can to stop it.
- We are being labeled and profiled wrongly as violent, because of the actions of a few individuals.
- Forced psychiatry is violent.
- The new laws being enacted – in NY and likely at the federal level and in other states – will further restrict our civil liberties and constitutional rights.
- We are protesting nonviolently for our civil and human rights to affirm and celebrate our “creative maladjustment” to a society that pits neighbor against neighbor with a duty to report thoughtcrimes and eccentricities to the state.
(“Creative Maladjustment” comes from several of King’s speeches, including a 1967 speech of King to the American Psychological Association where he called for an International Association to Advance Creative Maladjustment, see http://www.psychologytoday.com/print/53556. David Oaks and MindFreedom International have taken up this call as part of the Mad Pride movement, http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-global/iaacm. We honor David and wish him well in his recovery from serious injuries and surgery.)
On Martin Luther King Day, January 21, 2013, people everywhere are invited to hold demonstrations, vigils and any other nonviolent acts of expression and protest, to inform the public about our point of view and gather in solidarity.
Again, please “join” take photos, videos, etc., and post them to National Day of Action to Stop Mental Health Profiling 1/21/13 MLK Day.
Or Tweet. You can use hashtags #OccupyPsychiatry #StopMHProfiling and #CreativeMaladjustment