Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Our Own (1976)

Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System
by Judi Chamberlin

Ms. Chamberlin, who died in January 2010 at age 65, was a civil rights hero from a civil rights movement you may have never heard of. She took her inspiration from the heroes of other civil rights movements to start something she liked to call Mad Pride — a movement for the rights and dignity of people with mental illness. "On Our Own" is the Manifesto for people with mental health disorders.

Here is an NPR piece about Judi Chamberlin which aired on Jan 19. 2010.

This is an important book. The "Mental Health System" still functions in ways that Chamberlin describes. Every day in my office I see patients who get little help except ineffective pharmacotherapy. They see psychiatrists for a few minutes a month for adjustments of their meds. Of course, it's the poor and the disenfranchised who are the cash cows for these treatment centers.