FAST FOR FREEDOM IN MENTAL HEALTH
NEWS RELEASE - 16 August 2003
pre-fast David Oaks 541-345-9106 during fast Mickey Weinberg 626-795-5525
A Fast for Human Rights and Choice in Mental Health
PASADENA, CALIF: On Sat., 16 August 2003 five psychiatric survivors and a dissident social worker from throughout the United States will arrive in Pasadena, Calif. to begin a hunger strike to press for human rights and choice in psychiatry.
Their demand: That the mental health industry produce even one study proving the common industry claim that "mental illness is biologically-based." The hunger strikers charge that the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatry are medicalizing an ever-widening spectrum of human emotion and behavior for financial gain, and are willing to deceive the public while they too frequently humiliate and harm their clients.
"The government gives virtually total support to a quick-fix, pill-pushing model of mental health at the expense of alternative, less invasive ways of helping people in emotional distress," asserts David Oaks, hunger striker and Executive Director of MindFreedom Support Coalition International.
The hunger strikers will subsist on a liquid only diet until the American Psychiatric Association (APA), The Surgeon General, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) respond to seven challenges sent to them concurrent with this news release.
Fourteen mental health academics and practitioners stand ready to review and reply to responses to the strikers' challenge. One, Loren Mosher, MD, former head of schizophrenia studies at the National Institute of Mental Health said, "What we are dealing with here is fashion, politics, and money... I want no part of a psychiatry of oppression and social control."
"The targets of our fast have muddied the waters of mental health for too long," said Mickey Weinberg, hunger striker and MindFreedom board member. "It's time they come clean. They claim science is on their side. We're just saying, 'prove it.'"
MindFreedom Support Coalition International is a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultative Roster Status in the United Nations, and a non-profit that unites 100 sponsor groups to win human rights & alternatives in mental health. Pre-strike contact David Oaks (541) 345-9601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. During the hunger strike phone Mickey Weinberg (626) 795-5525. Web site: www.mindfreedom.org