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Positive Policy to replace Forced Psychiatry

Human Rights are an important and evolving concern in this area. Intrinsically linked to the provision and seeking of services in today's world.


The United Nations

Convention in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ratified by Australia and other nations

Introduces to opportunity for implementing an evolving framework for human rights.


As many of us know, the social determinants of health are increasingly recognised.


And for those of us who are Victims of institutional abuse in Psychiatry


As well as victims of discrimination and stigma.


The development of human rights solutions for persons in crisis that evolve beyond medicalisation and allow the Psychosocial approaches that increasingly many have found to help resolve even complex distress & trauma are increasingly important.


As a person who has been lucky enough to gain access to psychosocial approaches which allowed me to resolve  complex experiences that were labelled "scizho-effective" from a medical perspective, and enforced with Violence when I refused that perspective and treatment.


These developments in understanding are watched with interest.


They are central to the evolution of our understanding of what crisis means and how to respond to it as a community.


The rights based approach is increasingly looked to on a world scale as the resolution to issues of stigma, discrimination, human rights and an evolving landscape of support.


That respects all persons and the community.


It would be interesting to hear other's thoughts.


On these points by Human Rights Lawyer and Survivor of institutional abuse in Psychiatry, Tina Minkowitz.


Re: Positive Policy to replace Forced Psychiatry

Thanks for sharing @Fredd50, what is your opinion of it? I know that you are watching with vested interest given your past experience. 

Re: Positive Policy to replace Forced Psychiatry

Hi @Ali11 

I thought it was great to be honest

I've been very keen for an abolition of forced psychiatry for a very long time

in fact, one of the most traumatic things about my last admission in 2018,

when I thought that psychiatry had changed after working for 2 years with someone who

didn't follow the medical model

was the way in which I was humiliated by the psychiatrist who was supposed to be helping 

me for saying that as a community we needed to get rid of forced psychiatry,

because force requires violence - how else can it be enforced if a person refuses and tries to leave?


It is also something that takes the pressure off services to be helpful - if a person can freely 

leave the provider needs to make themselves helpful, they can't just rely on a captive audience.


One of the problems has been, of course that a lot of people say 'but what can we replace the current services with'. 


Until now most of the discourse that I heard on that front pointed out that ending an abusive practice shouldn't start with requiring a replacement. But, of course, as many of us know - when things feel really bad people often to instinctively seek the support and shelter of their fellow humans and should be able to do that safely free from violence, abuse and exploitation.


The problem of forced psychiatry is threefold

1) It's used as a back-door to bypass the legal system when people are seen as socially disruptive

2) It is seen as the only service to provide for people who are in deep crisis or distress, to the point of being suicidal or in an altered state of consciousness, other helpful services are quashed so the illusion is that there is no other way to support but drugs, and medicalisation

3) Because it is forced, it inherently requires violence to police people who do not submit


Tina Minkowitz addresses these issues very bravely and well, I felt and also very briefly which is good.


I had been confused where to go with it thinking on the one hand people should be able to 'choose services' but on the other hand remaining concerned because there are deep concerns of ethics and best practice embedded in some of the more out-dated practices of the so-called 'biomedical model' that need to be addressed regarding whether it should be even offered as-is, without serious re-consideration. But there was so much pressure being applied.


I felt Tina's points offered ways through all of the minefields without shying away from the real problems:

a) We do need to be able to address disruption with kindness in our society because sometimes people do break down to the point where they are disruptive

b) We do need to offer safe single point services that respect each person's worldview and shouldn't be forcing people in crisis to negotiate a competitive field of vested interests, but all services offered need to respect that person, not try to indoctrinate them into a view that benefits the service provider.


I thought what she said was very apt.

But i'd love to know others thoughts about it from both a service provider point of view, an experience of disability point of view and the point of view of everyday community members.

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