Freedom Center Wins Legal Presentation Award

Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 23:29


Posted on Oct 20, 06

Will and Aby drove 19 hours to present freedom center's legal work and table for fc and Icarus Project at the international center for the study of psychiatry and psychology (icspp) annual conference in washington dc. icspp is one of the leading and oldest professional organizations of dissident shrinks challenging biomedical psychiatry, founded 25 years ago by peter breggin.

this year's conference was themed _Mental Health And the Law_ and was chaired by Jim Gottstein of PsychRights. Aby and Will presented a paper on legal advocacy efforts in Massachusetts entitled

REDD: Regulation Enforcement Deficit Disorder: The Failure of Mental Health Legal Protections In Massachusetts, A Discussion of Diagnosis, Etiology, and Treatment Plan for One of the “Best” States in the US.

They won the prize for Best Legal Presentation by Psychiatric Survivors -- $500!

Congrats to Will and especially Aby for all their hard work in learning about the legal system and fighting for people's rights.

Here is the summary of the presentationl; audio should be available soon:

"Massachussetts is among the most progressive mental health legal systems in the country – on paper. Since 2001 psychiatric survivors at Northampton MA's Freedom Center have learned legal advocacy from the ground up, emphasizing close connection with the survivors of mistreatment themselves, their testimonies, and their frustrated efforts at resolution. Freedom Center offers a comprehensive assessment of failed mental health law in Massachussetts from the perspective of people usually silenced and marginalized by legal discourse and policy discussion. What MA laws and regulations are routinely disregarded? How and why does the system disregard them? How does the culture of law and legal advocacy reinforce regulatory failures? How do the “recovery,” “peer-run services,” and “trauma-informed care” approaches also fail? How has the “consumer movement” been enlisted in supporting a failed regulatory system? And what, specifically, do legal advocates need to do to prevent and treat Regulation Enforcement Deficit Disorder?"

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