20 April 2007

Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault

CAPA, the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault - has a new weblog. It is an activist group comprised of "activists, psychiatric survivors, dramatists, academics, and professionals." Here's what CAPA is about:
We see problems in living which are currently pathologized as largely created by sexism, capitalism, racism, ableism, heterosexism and other systemic oppressions. We see the very concept of mental illness as flawed. We object to incarceration, electroshock, and the vast array of brain-damaging drugs. We oppose the violation of human rights which is endemic to psychiatry. We see a connection between globalization, intolerance, and the mass marketing of the mental health industry. The world which we strive to co-create is one where people are not pathologized, where care is neither commodified nor professionalized, where choice and integrity are respected, and where we are all joined in caring and creative community to each other and to the planet earth.
CAPA is holding an event on Mothers' Day, May 13, 2007 to protest against the use of electroconvulsive therapy, often referred to as "electroshock," on women - especially elderly women.
The public mistakenly believes that electroshock is a treatment that was only used in the past. In fact, the use of shock has increased in Canada and the United States during the last 10 years.

The two main targets of this destructive psychiatric procedure are women who have recently given birth, and women 60 years and older. With women electroshocked two to three times as often as men, with the physical and emotional damage wrought by electroshock well established, and with the complicity of the state clear, we are declaring electroshock a form of state-sponsored violence against women.
There will be a gathering at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry at College and Spadina beginning at 13:15, followed by a Puppets and People March to Queen's Park. The festivities at Queen's Park get underway at 14:00, and include hearing from CAPA's director, Dr. Bonnie Burstow, women survivors of electroshock, plus performances by Roger Ellis, Friendly Spike Theatre Band, and other special guests. Free food and fun for all concerning a very serious issue.

(Disclosure: Bonnie Burstow was one of my professors at OISE, and is a friend. I volunteer with CAPA.)
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