From Armchair to Action: Winning Human Rights in Mental Health!

You’re Invited to a Free MindFreedom Campaign Action Webinar: 

All who support human rights in mental health are welcome!

Free Zoom Webinar, THIS Sunday, August 15, 2021

For decades, MindFreedom International (MFI) has been one of the strongest independent coalitions for human rights in mental health. Join us whether you’re a past, current, or possible-future MFI member. 

How can you work with others in MFI to effectively win alternatives and human rights through united campaigns? What steps can you take to begin forming an MFI Affiliate in your area? If you are already connected to an independent group, how can you connect with MFI as a Sponsor? 

Date: THIS Sunday, August 15, 2021

You need to register for free as soon as possible. Please click HERE

Zoom will then send you an automatic invite. If you do not see this, check your spam folder and/or search your email for the word zoom. Please note this invite link is unique to you, please do not share it. 

The start of the 15 August 2021 meeting, in several Time Zones:

7 pm ET US
6 pm CT US
5 pm MT US
4 pm PT US
23:00 UTC
8:00 (am), next day 16 August, in Korea & Japan. 

The meeting will be for up to 1.5 hours. MFI Executive Director Ron Bassman will be on this call and he said, “Charles Dickens opened his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with the line, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ If we are feeling that such a time is now, let’s push to make it the best of times.”

Sarah Smith from the MFI office will also be a presenter and said: “This Webinar is important because telling our stories to one another from our armchairs is not enough. We need to support one another and share our collective wisdom for a greater purpose: to go outside our bubbles and speak our truth to strangers, even if we are afraid.”

Other special guests include:

Wilda White
Celia Brown
Daeryun LIM, MAD Pride Seoul Korea
Jim Gottstein
Ted Chabasinski
Rev. Phillip Schulman

Any questions or problems, just contact David Oaks by email.

Yours in Solidarity,

David W. Oaks, Aciu! Institute revolution@aciu.info

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David W. Oaks on Green Disability

Thursday, 15 July 2021, I gave a live, 45-minute online workshop on Green Disability as part of the Alternatives 2021 Conference. We will post the video as soon as it is available.

Below is more information about that workshop:

Green Disability: Peer Support Unites the Mental & Physical Disability Movements

How can peer mutual support in both physical & mental disability movements help humanity prepare for disasters including climate crisis? Our society seems too complacent, but peer support is a practical way for groups to respond to future disasters, and defend vulnerable communities threatened by disasters such as pandemics.

Date & Time: Today, Thursday, 15 July 2021, 4 pm ET, 1 pm PT.

How to Pre-Register Free:

Simply click on this link, fill out the brief form, and then Zoom will email you an automatic invite. If you do not see that invite, check your spam folder and/or search for the word zoom.

You can also register free for the whole Alternatives 2021 conference, accessing dozens of workshops by mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors.

If you missed any workshop, including mine, they will be available for streaming soon. I will announce this as soon as I hear any development.

More MAD Pride Month News

July is MAD Pride Month! Read about resources, networking, calendar here:

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Oregon Action Alert, June 2021:

Prevent Wasting Money on Misinformed, Coercive Mental Health Overreach!

The below alert is especially for Oregonians who support human rights and alternatives in mental health. However, even if you live outside of Oregon, your voice will help show legislators they need to urgently stop this flawed bill.

Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski has had a Work Group on mental health issues. Within this Work Group, the Subcommittee of Oregonians with Lived Experience of the Mental Health System OPPOSES a harmful bill sponsored by Sen. Prozanski: 

SB187 redefines “dangerous” as a legal concept instead of a clinical concept, and increases the number of Oregonians likely to be subject to civil commitment restrictions of their civil rights.

Even though Sen. Prozanski’s Work Group never addressed or voted on SB187; Even though the Subcommittee of Oregonians with Lived Experience opposed SB187; And even though most public testimony was against SB187… Unfortunately, Sen. Prozanski pushed his bill. 

TAKE ACTION:

SB187 is now in the Oregon Joint Committee On Ways and Means. As a joint committee, it has legislators from both the House and the Senate. Please refer to this list of legislators in the Joint Committee On Ways and Means, and if you see any of them that represent you, please write to them and express your opposition to SB187!

Even if your Oregon Senator or Representative are NOT on the Joint Committee, email them and ask them to oppose the bill before the Joint Committee

You can also email to the six leaders of the Joint Committee, the co-chairs and co-vice chairs. You will find their email addresses in the sample letter below. 

For a sample model letter opposing SB187, click here.

To prepare your emails, you can read our one-page Brief Talking Points to Stop SB187

For a longer five-page analysis of the problems with SB187, click here.

To follow developments of this & other related bills, be sure to sign-up for email alerts from our partners at MindFreedom Oregon. Email: mf-oregon@aciu.info. (Version 20210526)

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Virtual Vigil Public Service Announcement: Honor Ivory McCuen

Sunday, 18 April 2021, 5 pm PT

At that time click: tinyurl.com/ivorypeer

This is a free webinar in honor of the late Ivory McCuen (1990-2021).

Ivory died homeless of exposure at the age of 30 on 24 Jan. 2021 at 17th & Chambers in Eugene, Oregon. Ivory was a mother of two boys, and a frequent user of the mental health system. Ivory was known for her love of nature, art, and singing.

Live music by folksinger David Rogers

Speakers include:

  • Breezy Smith, Ivory’s sister
  • Reverend Lois Van Leer, UU Church in Eugene
  • Eric Jackson, homeless rights activist
  • Merri “Kitty” Carlisle & David Oaks, co-chairs of UUCE ATF
  • Chuck Areford, retired mental health worker
  • Christina Peirsol, NAMI Lane County
  • Jacek “Jack” Haciak, Oregonians with Lived Experience
  • Rachel Levy, Rethinking Psychiatry
  • Rev. Phillip Schulman

ASL Interpreting by Patrick Galasso, Closed Captioning ㏄ Available

Co-sponsored by:

  • Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene Community (UUCE)
  • UUCE Accessibility Task Force
  • CareWorks of Lane County
  • MindFreedom International
  • MindFreedom Oregon
  • Oregonians with Lived Experience of the Mental Health System
  • Extinction Rebellion Justice Eugene
  • Planet versus Pentagon
  • Rethinking Psychiatry
  • Aciu! Institute

Ivory’s obituary in Eugene Weekly: tinyurl.com/ivory-eugene

Donations in honor of Ivory can be made to White Bird’s crisis team, CAHOOTS.

For more information, to co-sponsor, or to reach organizers: ivorypeer@gmail.com or 541-914-1469

For the Facebook event page for this Virtual Vigil, click here.

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Oaks Vlog #1: Mental Health, Disability & Revolution

David W. Oaks Vlog text:

Mental Health, Disability & Revolution

7 December 2020

Joe Biden’s Federal Mental Health Agencies

I love you. I am David W. Oaks. And I love you if you’re quadriplegic/tetraplegic like me. If you are a psychiatric survivor like me. Or if you’re not any of those.

My friend, the late Justin Dart, Jr. was a leader in disability. He connected mental health and physical disability. He said over and over and over:

“No forced treatment ever!”

And now I think he would say:

“Black Lives Matter!”

I love you whether you’re a relative who’s a Democrat. And I love my relatives who are Republicans. Justin worked with both.

And as Joe Biden becomes President, I encourage his administration to look at federal mental health agencies. Look at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Why don’t they look more at alternatives? Like Peer Support?

And I especially would encourage Joe Biden’s administration, and everyone in the US and the world,to look at the SAMHSA. That stands for the “Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.”

I’ve done this work for 44 years, and for decades SAMHSA was an ally. They supported empowerment, recovery, alternatives.

But under the wonderful Obama, who I support, they began funding cities for involuntary outpatient commitment. This is court-ordered outpatient mental health.

Now this has been going on quietly all over the US, for decades for thousands of Americans. Your home becomes an institution. You’re court-ordered to usually take drugs, powerful drugs.

Sadly, SAMHSA began funding several dozen sites, with millions of dollars. I’ve tried to get information from them.

They refuse.

Please help. Because SAMHSA is refusing to disclose. One year ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and they still have not told me anything about these programs, in terms of evaluating. One fact is that black people tend to be in these programs more than white people.

Right now, I chair a subcommittee, for a work group in the Oregon legislature, for the Voice & Inclusion of Oregonians with Lived Experience of the Mental Health System. We are concerned about the way alternatives to police violence, like CAHOOTS here in Eugene, Oregon, need to include the peer perspective, or else they can be a gateway to outpatient commitment.

Last week, we met with a representative of CAHOOTS, and they are interested in the peer perspective. Cities all over the US and Canada are looking at CAHOOTS as a model. Our local Affiliate of MindFreedom, MindFreedom Oregon, is looking at these issues.

Wherever you are in the world, you can create an Affiliate of MindFreedom, like MindFreedom Ghana or MindFreedom Ireland, who are doing great work. Or you can use your group’s name and simply be a Sponsor of MindFreedom by endorsing the principles.

I congratulate the National Council on Independent Living. Their Mental Health Subcommittee has adopted MindFreedom’s Shield campaign. And NCIL plans to reach hundreds of Independent Living Centers about this Shield program.

Today, the climate crisis threatens vulnerable people. COVID is related to climate crisis and the way we treat our environment. For us to live seven generations in the future, we absolutely need a revolution, the sooner the better.

But we will have one.

Please look at SAMHSA.

And Lead On!

Thank you.

I love you all.


David W. Oaks is a Revolutionary Consultant with Aciu! Institute (aciu.info). 

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My Keynote at Peerpocalypse Tomorrow Tuesday 7/21/2020

Updated: 20 July, 2:26 pm PST

I will be one of the five keynoters in the main international conference this year, PEERPOCALYPSE, for mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors. Spoiler alert: I will call for REVOLUTION. Below is how anyone can listen to my keynote live and free on Zoom tomorrow, Tuesday, 7/21. (If you miss it, it will be recorded and streamed free.)

The conference is entirely on Zoom, and it is now all free (unless you want continuing education credits.) There are so many dozens of wonderful workshops and keynotes, along with a virtual display. There are participants from all over the world.

Because of my communication challenges, my keynote will be a little longer than others, 30 minutes. Here’s how to listen live directly:

We are the 100%: Mad Pride, Disability & Revolution

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 July 2020
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm CST (11:45 am – 12:15 pm PST)
We will have live ASL by Patrick Galasso
Join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85606595030

Here is the description of the whole event, which ends this Thursday 7/23, from organizers:

PEERPOCALYPSE is a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience.

PEERPOCALYPSE Link: https://www.mhaoforegon.org/peerpocalypse

By the way, earlier today, Monday, 7/20, I gave a workshop with the wonderful Christina Peirsol about combining peer support and activism, entitled Winning Human Rights in Mental Health: Campaign Action Team Support!

If you missed any of the workshop or keynotes, most of this should be recorded and available. Check it out!

Thanks to all the folks who worked so hard to support the empowerment of our people’s voice for all these years with this important annual event, organized out of an office in Portland, Oregon. Aciu!

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