World Mental Health Day Protest: Demanding Alternatives to ‘Chemical Cosh’ Psychiatric Treatment
WHY: On the 10th of October 2008, World Mental Health Day, a collective of campaigners will symbolically escape St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital in Tottenham. Dressed in pyjamas we will go ‘on the run’ and push a psychiatric bed across North London to Parliament Hill.
The Crazy Bed Pushers will give out wanted posters and pills to members of the public and shout ‘Psychiatry is off its trolley!’ At various points in their journey they will be chased by ‘normality testing’ researchers and a giant syringe to symbolise the narrow-minded drug focused approaches that still dominate NHS mental health treatment.
Many present will be former in-patients who have experienced the use of forced drug treatment as well carers, mental health professionals and others concerned by the emphasis on control in psychiatry and the lack of holistic alternatives offered (i.e. talking therapies, creative activities).
At the summit of Parliament Hill from 4pm - 6pm we will have a “Mad Hatters Tea Party” to celebrate alternative approaches to madness and recovery. Why not join us - Come along in fancy dress or as yourself!
This Great Escape Bed Push aims to honour the life of Daniel Galvin 1979 –2008. In August this year, aged just 29, Daniel died of a heart attack, a problem known to be associated with the drug Olanzapine (a commonly used anti-psychotic drug) that he was given, at times on a compulsory basis for the last 5 years.
Daniel was a bright, gentle young man whose life changed irrevocably when he was given powerful psychiatric drugs at the age of 15 after experiencing ‘unusual thoughts ‘ and sleep problems. Reacting severely to the medication – in Daniel’s own words he was left feeling ‘totally deadened and zombified’ - he was hospitalised in St Ann’s at the age of 16, never recovering from the devastating fallout of his treatment.
We want the Daniels of the future to get real choices about their treatments so that the chemical cosh approach to mental health becomes a thing of the past.
See also: www.bedpush.com
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