An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time

An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time in Kansas City,

We met at the Kauffman Foundation after the Global Women’s Entrepreneur’s summit. I’m building a business to help people learn accurate information about the psychiatric system, namely that mental health treatments are not evidence based, and psychiatric labeling often does more harm than good. I thought you knew some of this research based on our conversation.

I thought you understood that psychiatric survivors have a different approach than disease marketers.

Peggy Swarbick and Laura Ostrow are psychiatric survivors, here at the Carter Center social inclusion forum.

Peggy Swarbick and Laura Ostrow are psychiatric survivors, here at the Carter Center social inclusion forum.

I have heard your show host numerous guests who are not spreading honest mental health information.

Two months ago, you hosted ReShonda Tate Billingsly, who repeatedly talked about:

I tried to call in but they denied my call, saying that the author wasn’t a subject matter expert and she didn’t want to be put on the spot. Well, I have to explain the problem in the frame of discrimination and prejudice against psychiatric survivors like me.

What is a psychiatric survivor?

I am a psychiatric survivor.  What this means is I survived the treatment, not the illness. There are about 30,000 of us in the US, as I told Reshonda Tate Billingsly in person that night at her talk. I got a standing ovation from her crowd when I mentioned the 12 diagnoses, 29 medications and 7 shock treatments I survived. But I did this by finding honest information.  We are part of a mental health civil rights movement. We are working to free our people from the misinformation about mental health that is reflexively spread by the disease model advocates you talk to. These people have not truly examined mental health research. It is not a matter of life or death for them as it was for psychiatric survivors, so we often know more science than the professionals.

In all oppressed communities, sometimes we just have to make fun of the oppressors. Some of them are even people like your NAMI guests who think they are our allies. Today they said that the “DSM-5 probably the most transparent of all the DSM editions created,” as if there wasn’t over 400 different professional organizations signing petitions against it.

Some of these disease model advocates that you host as guests are so out of touch with the psychiatric survivors’ fight for freedom that they don’t even know we have an agenda. I recently met quite a few of them that didn’t even know our civil rights movement existed. Do you?

 

John Gallagher is a psychiatric survivor proudly displaying his UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt at our national conference.

John Gallagher is a psychiatric survivor proudly displaying his UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress T-shirt at our national conference.

Invite psychiatric survivors to all your mental health coverage:

Please, can you not promote any more sanism, or mental health lies, by putting on the air people who are this out of touch with honest scientific information? We don’t need any more accidental racists or sanists who don’t even know that many of us are fighting for our civil rights and indeed our very lives that are being taken day by day from psychiatric poisoning based on these lies.

Please, whenever you do a mental health show, if you must invite disease model advocates to your show, please also invite psychiatric survivors so that you can promote a more balanced, honest, hopeful message about how emotional distress is temporary, not a permanent illness.

Thanks,

-Corinna West

Wordworks Blog Author: Corinna West

Corinna West is the founder and creative director of Wellness Wordworks, and is an Olympic Team Member and has a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Her Instant Peer Support might be the first in the mental health sector to remove the need for government and charity funding by creating a profitable interaction involving only our business and our direct customers.

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