Friday, 16 October 2015

October Newsletter

Dear Friends, ​

The 10th of October marked World Mental Health Day. "Dignity in Mental Health" was this year's theme chosen by the World Federation for Mental Health, which produced a document for the occasion

Yet, mental health patients still suffer torture in the form of forced detention, coercive drugging and forced electroshock. When will this end?hings only change when action is taken.

We would like to invite you to the next FEEL public event "Drug Tyranny & Human Rights" that will take place on Tuesday the 10th of November at the Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, London, E3 3HJ

The speaker for the event are:

Cristian R. Montenegro (PhD Student at the London School of Economics, member of the Observatory of Human Rights of Persons With Mental Disabilities - Chile) “Global Legal Frameworks and Local Struggles: Experiences from Latin

Paula Peters (national DPAC steering group - Disabled People Against the Cuts) “The Devastating Impact of the Benefit Cuts"

Dave Skull (Mental Health Resistance Network, Mad Pride) “Compulsory Community Treatment Orders and Coercion in Recovery

The event will take place between 7-9 PM, however as every Tuesday the Three Bees Cafe will be open for refreshments from 5 PM.

In the main time FEEL monthly meeting is taking place this coming Monday the 19th. Please join us is you can.

As usual, please find below a list of links and events that might be of your interest.



Michael Kingsbury (In Lambeth, Ying Tong) directs the world premiere production on the 50th anniversary of The Philadelphia Association and of Laing’s experimental asylum at Kingsley Hall in Bromley-by-Bow.

Alan Cox plays Ronnie Laing in this provocative, freewheeling comedy by the acclaimed playwright and journalist Patrick Marmion.

The Divided Laing will showcase at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney, from 17th November - 12th December.


​Toynbee Hall and Middlesex University are hosting a seminar: Justice cuttings.
Legal aid cuts and experiences of accessing justice for those in need- to share findings from their joint research that explored the needs and experiences of people who feel they have nowhere else to turn because of legal aid cuts. One of the issues that will be under discussion in the seminar is mental health. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss the impact of legal aid and other cuts on different groups and communities and help to identify possible solutions. The seminar will take place:
Date: Monday 9th November 2015, Time: 3pm to 6:30pm
Venue: Linklaters LLP (Auditorium) - 1 Silk Street London EC2Y 8HQ GB

If you are interested in attending this event, click on the link below to see more information and register:


Power, Interest and Psychology: developing David Smail’s ideas
Thursday 12th November 2015 - Friday 13th November 2015 at Novotel Birmingham Centre

This exciting interdisciplinary event will appeal to anyone wanting to understand the connections between psychology and disciplines such as sociology, epidemiology, philosophy and cultural studies.

David Smail’s last book, ‘Power, Interest and Psychology’, was published in 2005. His other books include ‘How To Survive Without Psychotherapy’ (1996), ‘The Origins of Unhappiness’ (1993), ‘Taking Care’ (1987) and ‘Illusion and Reality: the meaning of anxiety’ (1984). David was appointed head of clinical psychology services in Nottingham in 1969, a post he held until his retirement in 1998. He was also Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham


More Harm than Good Conference on Psychiatric Drugs

​On September 18th, the one day "More Harm than Good Conference" brought together many of the leaders of the critical psychiatry movement. While the event has passed, the videos and slides from the conference have been made available on the council for evidence-based psychiatry site
The slides from the event can be downloaded here.

The individual videos of each to the talks given at the conference can be accessed on their YouTube channel

The individual talks are:

Dr James Davies: The Origins of the DSM

Robert Whitaker: Our Psychiatric Drug Epidemic

Robert Whitaker: ADHD, Changing the Child Instead of the Environment

Prof Peter Gøtzsche: Why Few Patients Benefit and Many are Harmed

Prof John​ Abraham: The Misadventures of Pharmaceutical Regulation


New Evidence that Antidepressants Are Causing an Epidemic of Violence
A new article has been circulating recently, presenting the strong links between psychotropic drugs and violence.Other evidence shows that people who have exhibited no propensity for violence or aggression can develop violent behavior soon after beginning antidepressants. Not only that, but the use of these drugs might be the very cause of recurrent psychotic episodes.
Proof of how users became more likely to do violence to themselves or others are not new, they are only rarely mentioned in mainstream services, and information suppressed by the conflict of interest of the pharmaceutical firms.

More in the following links:

Ask the FDA to Warn Patients of SSRI Violence!

Please take part in this action, writing to the FDA to expand black box warnings on SSRI medications.


Press Release of the Hochschule Niederrhein,
University of Applied Sciences

After more than two years of development the Biographische Archiv der Psychiatrie (Biographical Archive of Psychiatry - BIAPSY) is now online. An initial compilation of 130 biographical entries featuring influential individuals from the history of psychiatry is now available at

The innovative online archive was developed at the Hochschule Niederrhein under the supervision of Professor Dr. Burkhart Brückner of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences. The project was made possible by a funding programme for the humanities and social sciences offered by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On the one hand the online archive features famous individuals from the world of science, on the other it also includes patients and members of their families. "In accordance with the principle of a ‘history from below’, we are also documenting the viewpoints of patients with psychiatric experiences. "We therefore combine the historiography of the psychiatric profession with patient-centred historiography," Brückner comments, describing the participatory approach of his team.

Which role do the patients play in the history of psychiatry? Which famous individuals were the most influential? Why does a person become a psychiatrist or psychotherapist? These are typical questions that were at the centre of focus during compilation of the short biographies. "We seek to address these questions in their respective socio-historical contexts," Brückner reports. "Particular attention was paid to ensuring scientific quality. Our sources and texts comply with the medical historical standards," he continues. The earliest entry in the online archive presents the Late Medieval English mystic Margery Kempe. However, the emphasis is on individuals from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Another criterion: Only individuals who have been deceased for at least two years are included. So far, around 40 percent of the existing biographies have also been translated into English. The most famous people featured in the archive include Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, Karl Jaspers, Carl Rogers and Emil Kraepelin. The patients’ perspective is documented in articles such as those on the 17th-century Englishman James Carcasse, the 19th-century German author Friedrich Krauß or Anna Pauline Bleuler, the sister of the Swiss physician Eugen Bleuler (who coined the term "schizophrenia" in 1911 and was both a professional and a relative). Brückner also cites the Italian Adalgisa Conti: "From 1914 onwards, she spent a total of 65 years at an asylum in Arezzo; her fate is a typical example of the conditions in such institutions until the reforms of the 1970s." There are plans to extend the archive in the future. "BIAPSY is open for suggestions and other contributions. The project is now off the ground and everyone who feels competent can submit a suitable biography. We will then review the texts and ensure that they meet certain quality standards, after which they will be made available online," explains Brückner." We may also be looking for private donations or applying for new research funding that will allow us to extend the Biographical Archive of Psychiatry," Professor Brückner continues. Press contact: Tim Wellbrock, University Communications Office of the Hochschule Niederrhein: Phone: +49 (0) 2151 822 2934; email: Dr. Christian SonntagPressesprecher und LeiterReferat Hochschulkommunikation Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences

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Entries Courtesy of Dr Stephen Woodhams:

David Cooper: anti­psychiatry revisited

David Coopers was one of the initiators in 1965 of the 'social experiment' at Kingsley Hall. Perhaps more than any other of the professional participants, If in retrospect the term confused as much as helped understanding of the project, it was David Cooper who coined the term 'anti­psychiatry'. His contribution was to perhaps the main link between radical re­thinking of 'madness' and the wider New Left. The Dialectics of Liberation congress in 1967 was in large part the work of David Cooper. Subsequently David Cooper, RD Laing, the Philadelphia Association parted company, each following their own path. In the course of time David Cooper has come to be over looked, and his strategic position in making possible critical thinking around 'mental health' forgotten. It is therefore of significance that the Philadelphia Association have added to their website the following link, Psychiatry Anti­Psychiatry Re­Visited

This as yet is a website in development. Those associated with FEEL or who otherwise read this Newsletter, may however have memories or know of David Cooper and be interested in contributing to remaking the radical politics associated with his name. And with the fiftieth anniversary of the Dialectics congress only two years away, this is an suitable time.


It seems that among the the very highest in the land unanimity as to what makes us bonkers is no longer to be found. Alas, no less an illustrious body than the Division of Clinical Psychology of The British Psychological Society (how's that for an impressive name?) have declared a 'paradigm shift'. They have dared to question the sacred and holy rite that our bonkersness lies in our biology. Even that those famous chemical imbalances, for which we need all those re­balancing chemical stuffed drugs, may not be quite so certain as claimed. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is not pleased (to be fair if someone came along and said you've been talking cobblers for years, nor might you be). For the outcome of this most noble feud we shall no doubt have to wait. Meantime though you might wind up your psychiatrist at your next appointment by putting between you a copy of the Position Statement­1325.pdf

Critical Psychiatry Network Conference

The British Psychological Society's History & Philosophy of Psychology Section in collaboration with the UK Critical Psychiatry Network invites submissions for its 2016 Annual Conference to be held at Leeds Trinity University 22nd­23rd March. The theme of the conference is the history of mental health, with a keynote address from Dr. Joanna Moncrieff (University College London). Papers are invited in related areas such as clinical psychology, psychiatry, service users, resistances to psychiatry, critical perspectives and interventions. For further information go to:­mental­health­joint­annual­conference­history- and­philosophy­psychology­section­and­uk­criti

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