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Welcome to the Mad in America podcast, a new weekly discussion that searches for the truth about psychiatric prescription drugs and mental health care worldwide.

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system.

Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking psychiatric care around the world.

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Mar 10, 2018

This week on MIA Radio, we interview Tina Minkowitz. Tina is an attorney and survivor of psychiatry who represented the World Network for Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in the drafting and negotiation of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Tina is a strong proponent for the abolition of all forced psychiatric interventions and played a major role in attaining a shift in international law in favor of such a ban.

In this interview, we talk about how the United Nations came to support the abolition of forced psychiatric treatment and why Tina believes that abolition of forced treatment, not reform, is necessary.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Tina came to be interested in the intersection of international human rights law, disability rights law, and the issue of forced psychiatric treatment
  • Why Tina believes in the abolition, not reform, of forced psychiatric treatment
  • That the threat of forced treatment against some psychiatric survivors can be traumatic to the entire survivor community
  • The barriers to the abolition of forced treatment, including public perceptions of people labeled mentally ill and lack of awareness of non-coercive alternatives
  • That advocacy is needed to eliminate the 72-hour hold, not just ECT, forced drugging, or outpatient commitment
  • Why forced treatment constitutes physical violence
  • That we don’t need to put in place alternatives to the current mental health system in order to demand an immediate stop to forced treatment
  • How mental health policy should center what we now consider alternative practices, such as peer-run services, hearing voices groups, and in-home supports
  • How the issue of forced treatment fits within the disability rights framework
  • Tina’s current activities with the Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

Relevant Links:

The Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

Campaign to Support CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment

CRPD Course

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities