Keep Pressure on US Senate for Human Rights in Mental Health: Should I Run For Congress?

Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Activism, Disability, Legislature, Mental Health, Peer Support | 2 comments

NEWS RELEASE — LABOR DAY WEEKEND, SEPT. 2016 — IMMEDIATE RELEASE

David W. Oaks Warns National Group: “Disability Movement Must Unite Against Rep. Tim Murphy’s Attack on Mental Health Human Rights! We Need Revolution!”

As the USA celebrates labor, leaders in the disability movement are gearing up to defend the most vulnerable of the labeled: people diagnosed with a “mental illness.”

For 42 years, David W. Oaks has worked as a psychiatric survivor human rights activist in mental health. This week he addressed a teleconference of a major US disability group. He reflected on a recent overwhelming vote in the US House of Representatives for HR 2646, known as the Tim Murphy (R-PA) Bill.

Oaks presented at the monthly meeting of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), Mental Health Civil Rights Subcommittee. Mike Bachhuber is Chair. Oaks said:

“Support One Another As We Resist This Psychiatric Assault On Our Human Rights!”

Two days after our nation celebrated freedom, 6 July 2016, the US House quietly passed the worst piece of mental health legislation I have seen in my 42 years of human rights activism. This Bill is mis-named the “Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act of 2016.” We hear over and over that the House is divided and paralyzed. The reality is that during this era when it comes to our people, the House showed by voting 422 to 2 that Democrats and Republicans, left and right, are apparently united in throwing us under the bus.

Let’s stop this frightening bill by contacting both US Senators via their website! We must phone these offices after Labor Day. Prevent these terrible ideas from being introduced as amendments in the Senate, into S 2680.

I just have seven points I would like to make because of this historic moment:

  1. REACH YOUR SENATORS’ OFFICES NOW! Psychiatric survivors have overcome so much, I have met courageous humans who have continued to speak out following psychosurgery, electroshock, solitary confinement, discrimination, segregation, and more. They never give up! As every credible disability and mental health advocacy group recommends, please contact your US Senators today! For more info about this campaign: http://www.advocacymonitor.com/an-update-from-the-ncil-mental-health-civil-rights-subcommittee-3/
  2. THE 422-2 VOTE FOR HR 2646 IS PROOF WE NEED REVOLUTION! In Eugene, Oregon we have been very disappointed Rep. Peter Defazio (D-OR) is a co-sponsor. This is why I am considering encouraging people to write my name in as an opponent to Peter in the November election. What do you think? Leave a comment with your opinion. I am following the strategy if Micah White, one of the organizers of Occupy.
  3. MURPHY BILL IS RACIST AND KILLS! Forced outpatient drugging overwhelmingly targets people of color. Instead of addressing the crisis of mass incarceration, this is the newest form of chemical mass incarceration! For more on Murphy’s racism, see: http://138.68.254.83/blacklivesmatter-race-mental-health The family of drugs that is typically used during coercion are the neuroleptics, also known as antipsychotics, such as Haldol and Abilify. During hot weather, these drugs can suppress the brain’s temperature self-regulation; when poor people, who seldom have air conditioning, are forced to have these drugs as the climate warms, there are many deaths. For more info see: http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psychiatric-drugs/death/heat-wave-forced-neuroleptics-death
  4. WE NEED GROUPS AND COALITIONS NOW! For example, thanks National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, you have been doing some great work: http://www.ncmhr.org/
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA WARNING! In the big picture, what I am learning so far, we need to renew our solidarity and support for each other. For example I relied for years on a Facebook group for this campaign. But the admins suddenly shut down the group. We need organization and coalitions that are transparent, and accountable to each of us! Yvonne has a new Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/990352404357602/ or search FB for: “Legislation and Attacks on Survivor Community.”
  6. NO NORMALITY IN MY NAME! After centuries of the mental health industry jumping up and down, up and down on the free minds of millions, we now wonder why our society seems so conformist and like zombies in the face of climate crisis. We psychiatric survivors know about what is a kind of war against human spirit.
  7. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS MAY HAVE A SPECIAL SUPPORT FOR OUR MOVEMENT VALUES! We do not know either way for sure, but Bernie has an occasional contact with our movement issues over the decades. Let us all contact Bernie Sanders’ office. (202) 224-5141. The website to send your comments is: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment The staffperson in the DC office of Bernie who works on disability is Lori Kearns, and her email address is: lori_kearns@sanders.senate.gov

I recently blogged about how we should all reach our US Senators now, and you can read this entry here.

2 Comments

  1. yes, run for congress!

    • Thanks for your encouragement! Please note, my friend, that in a few days you left the only comment. And I wonder if you live in the Eugene area and can write me in? In any case, thanks again for the “yes” I appreciate it!

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