For Immediate Release: Escape From Psychiatry: A Protest and Bed Push Against Abuse in the Mental
July 29, 2pm Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Download Flier here.
877 677 6424
Mollie Hurter-413 527 0919
Video of Bed Push in England 2006:
Website of England Bed Push protest (that's them in photo!:
Since the rise and fall of the Northampton State Hospital northampton has had a well-known history regarding those with mental health diagnoses. The story that often goes untold is that Northampton has a brutal history of mistreating psychiatric patients that continues to this day.
Though Cooley Dickinson has won awards for their practices, many of the patients who have gone through the psychiatric ward have reported forced drugging, psychological abuse, and human rights violations.
On July 29, patients, ex-patients, psychiatric abuse survivors, and their allies are gathering at Cooley Dickinson hospital to protest. The protest will be followed by a symbolic bed-push into downtown Northamtpon, as an effort to raise awareness about the widespread use of force and coercion in the psychiatric hospitals. This bed push is in solidarity with similiar bed-pushes in July (Mad Pride month) in England and Toronto, Canada. After arriving in downtown Northampton patients and ex-patients will speak-out in front of First Churches about their own experiences in the metal health system.
Downtown Northampton is the location The Freedom Center, an all volunteer activist and support group that stands against forced treatment and in favor of self-determination, true informed consent about diagnoses and treatment, and safe and accessible alternatives for dealing with extreme emotional states.
The Freedom Center has existed in Northampton for over 6 years it is a roup run by and for people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses and who have unsatisfactory experiences in the mental health system. While some people do get good treatment, Freedom Center works with many people in Northampton area who have been mistreated and misinformed by Cooley Dickinson, Servicenet, etc.
Freedom Center provides a way for survivors of abuse to have a voice and to call for changes in the system to protect human rights. The organization has provided free peer support groups, a free acupuncture clinic, and free yoga classes as well as a weekly valley free radio show “Madness Radio”. The group has also done public education through hosting events with psychiatric abuse survivors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who address alternative views to the mainstream medical model of mental disorders.
“We’re here to say that human suffering is often related to social,
economic, or political issues and that we need a more sustainable means of dealing with these struggles,” says Dick Gilully, 72 of the Freedom Center.