David Oaks

davidoaks_cityhallRights of Psychiatric Survivors

Ideal Use: psychiatric survivors’ human rights; alternative health programs

Utne Reader magazine periodically names “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” A psychiatric survivor activist – David Oaks, director of MindFreedom International – is named as one of these visionaries in Utne magazine’s November/December 2009 issue,  (See story above under “PV Members Featured articles.”)

David Oaks speaks with passion, humor and clarity as one of the long-time leaders of a “nonviolent revolution” brewing in the mental health system. This  global grassroots movement of “psychiatric survivors” and allies, originating in 1970, promotes humane methods for emotional support while protesting corporate psychiatry’s rapidly growing domination and globalization, over-drugging and electroshock.

Today, more and more families are directly affected by the mental health system. David speaks movingly of his own experiences inside the psychiatric system as a troubled working class student going to Harvard. Despite five psychiatric institutionalizations — including forced drug injections and solitary confinement — David graduated with honors from Harvard anyway in 1977.

David talks about positive, empowering alternatives to traditional psychiatry that are working right now. He calls for democracy to get “hands on” with the direction of mental health care. A proud “mad movement” human rights activist for three decades, David is director of MindFreedom International, which unites 100 grassroots groups. MindFreedom is the only Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of its kind accredited by the United Nations. David works closely with the World Health Organization.

He also edits “MindFreedom Journal,” a key periodical linking an estimated 15,000 activists around the world. Z magazine called it the “best anti-psychiatry journal in the country” and David himself a “brilliant social critic.” Adbusters called MindFreedom “the epicenter of the mad movement.” Progressive magazine called David “the soul of the psychiatric survivors’ movement.”

This popular presenter has spoken at dozens of conferences and events from Chile to Italy, from Alaska to Norway, from coast to coast.
He can address a wide range of topics including:

* Students and the mental health system.
* Psychiatric drug controversies today.
* Alternatives to the mental health system.
* Survival and recovery from mental health problems.
* Globalization of the psychiatric industry.
* History and future of the psychiatric survivors’ “mad movement.”
* What’s wrong with the mental health system, and what really works.
…and more.

David also offers workshops about changing the mental health system.

For more information: http://davidwoaks.com/

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