Welcome to PatRisser.com
January 29, 2024
Welcome to Pat Risser.com, the website of Patrick Alan Risser, mental health and human rights activist. Although Pat left this world in 2016, his legacy and impact continue to be felt.  During his many years as a mental health advocate and leader in the psychiatric survivor (disability rights) movement Pat accumulated a wealth of resources and made these available to advocates and others on his website. Pat also authored and coauthored several important articles that are considered major contributions to the field.

Many of the resources contained in this website are being archived, along with other leaders in the psychiatric survivor movement, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center:


The following summary of Pat's legacy is posted on the UMass website and captures the essence of who Pat was and the impact he had:

A leading voice in the psychiatric survivor movement, Pat Risser worked for years in the cause of civil rights and peer self-help for people with psychiatric disabilities. An Ohioan by birth, Risser suffered severe abuse as a child and was diagnosed with "schizophrenia" in his twenties, although he wrote that his diagnosis changed with each new doctor or therapist.  Finding his condition worsen the deeper he became involved in the mental health system, Risser discovered the value of peer self-help in the early 1980s and became one of the first students in the Consumer Case Manager Aide program, where he trained to work as a professional mental health provider. A dynamic leader, he helped start dozens of self-help peer support groups in Colorado, founded several drop-in centers, and established seventeen Alliance for the Mentally Ill groups. His reputation led to his recruitment to become Director of Mental Health Consumer Concerns, a patients-rights advocacy program in California, with which he enjoyed enormous success. In 1996, he relocated to Oregon and although "semi- retired" due to poor health, he continued to work at the state and national level on mental health issues, becoming chair of Clackamas County Mental Health Council, acting as a mental health consultant, and writing and speaking on a range of topics. Risser died in 2016 at the age of 63.

Primarily a digital archive, the Pat Risser papers contain the writings and correspondence of a significant figure in the history of disability rights. Working in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Ohio, Risser was an early adopter of online technologies to communicate with fellow activists and to raise awareness about the pitfalls of the mental health system. The collection includes several important autobiographical essays by Risser.

While the UMass library contains much of Pat's material, Pat's website was also a great resource. His PatRisser.com website domain was hijacked after his death and then rescued in late 2023 because there was great interest in restoring the website and making the resources Pat had on his website available again as well as a clearinghouse of sorts for other materials written and collected by Pat. A small group of Pat's colleagues, along with his wife Trish, have committed to re-establishing Pat's website. Not only were the materials on the site of great importance and value, we felt it was another way we could honor the life, work and person of Pat Risser. 

Many of the links below go to the Internet Archive and others do not work.  Our mission is to reassemble Pat's materials and make all the links work.  So, welcome to the site- we hope you come back often to check on our progress!



Welcome to the Home Page
Pat Risser
Mental Health Consultant


Here's what I look like (click on the picture to read something about me)

            My current favorite quote:

"I don't believe in 'mental illness'.  My thoughts, moods, feelings and emotions are not a disease, disorder or an illness.  They are me.  They are the essence of my being and what makes me a unique human being."

My Story: Narrative about who and what I am: The Role of an Advocate

"If you have 100 people in a state hospital and find a way to get 50 of them out, I will celebrate with you for the release of the 50. But, the next day I will knock on your door asking about the difference between number 50 and number 51 and wondering why we couldn't get just one more out. And, I will keep knocking until 99 are out because I'll still be concerned about number 100. That's my job, my role as an advocate."




Mental Illness "Prevention" at work in the community (Stoney Creek Club)
Link to Stoney Creek Club


Medical Problems That Cause Psychiatric Behaviors

Identifying and Overcoming Mentalism, by Coni Kalinowski, M.D. and Pat Risser, InforMed Health Publishing & Training

The Wrongness and Problem with Mental Health Court, Forced Treatment, Involuntary Outpatient Commitment, "Assisted Outpatient Treatment"
(Also downloadable in MS Word .doc format)

How to Escape from a Mental Hospital

Stopping Psychiatric Drugs
AndWithdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

AndQuitting Psychiatric Drugs


A Rant on Language - I AM NOT "MENTALLY ILL!"

'Recovery' from Mental Illness: What is it? - Mad Pride!

History of the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient/Ex-Inmate Movement
and, at 635 pages, I recommend downloading it if you need to use it. Download MS Word.doc version here or Adobe.pdf version here. One advantage to downloading it is it's easy to search the document and find specific items. Also, note that I update this document a couple times a year so it's constantly growing and if you're doing something official, you'll want to check to see if you've got the latest, greatest version.  

Pat's Qualifications/Resumes  

(Short Summary)
(Short Summary in MS Word .doc format)
(Comprehensive Resume/Vita)
(Trauma Resume)
(Training Consumers/Survivors as Providers Resume)
(Recovery Resume)
(Self-Determination Resume)

Pat's Online Brochure (Acrobat .pdf format)

Pat's Online Brochure (MS Word .doc format)

Some More Information About Me

If you need to download a copy of a presentation Pat has given at a conference or elsewhere, go here


Training/Teaching Mental Health Clients to Help Themselves

Whether it's called 'Peer Support' or 'Consumer-Operated Services' or 'Consumer Providers' or 'Peer Providers', it's all about someone with lived experience helping another person get through difficulties by providing non-judgmental understanding and support. This requires that the helper have some skill and expertise and even some training to overcome their own issues in order to better help others. This section talks about how to help others.

Link to Pat's "Consumers/Survivors as Providers" Web Page

Definition of "Peer"
(consumer, survivor, ex-patient, ex-inmate, client, user, mental patient, etc.)


Advocacy Connection to the Internet

Here's where you'll find the best of the rest. There are email lists to which you can belong to keep informed. There's also a brief list of web links that will provide you with the resources you need to be a well connected activist/advocate.

Mental Health Oppression and the Human Spirit: The Struggle to Overcome

The Mental Health Client Voice

Force, Coercion and Commitment Information

A List of Alternatives to Seclusion, Restraints
and Other Force or Coercion


A Rant Opposing Mental Health Courts

Advance Directives

Amicus Brief by the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons stating that: "A civilized State does not forcibly drug its citizens, no matter how offensive. State use of the medical profession to force such drugs on its patients is improper and vulnerable to abuse. A precedent allowing forced drugging with mind-altering drugs could lead, one day, to atrocities analogous to those prohibited by the Nuremberg Code." Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10, Nuremberg, October 1946-April 1949 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O, 1949-1953) ("The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.") (emphasis added).

NAMI "f-AMI-ly" Style Oppression and Misinformation

Family members and others are entitled to support for the hardships they endure. However, when they step into the political arena and claim to be the "Nation's Voice on Mental Illness" then they are stepping on my voice and the voices of my peers. We are entitled to our own voice! Adults don't need "mommy and daddy" to speak on their behalf. Adults need to speak for themselves! That is a fundamental right!

I always wonder why "consumers/survivors would want to join NAMI. The answer is invariably that NAMI has power and clout and is the only support around. My response is that we need to develop our own supports and our own power and clout. To be forever sheltered under the wing of parents, family, friends, the system is an oppression from which we must free ourselves. That is a vital part of our "recovery" process. We have to grow up to be free and recover.

Also included are: Lies, Lies and More Lies
Lies by TAC (Treatment Advocacy Center)
Lies by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
Lies by D. J. Jaffe


Psychiatric Drug and Mental Health Facts and Information

Parity? No, thanks! Not if it pays for force!

Viewing "Borderline" in a more positive light as a Trauma Paradigm or way of coping

Training and Consultation in Mental Health Available!

Presentation/Training/Technical Assistance Fee Schedule

Other Fun and Interesting Stuff




To E-mail Pat send to patrickrisser *at* gmail *dot* com

Note there isn't a link to my email address. With no link, the spam bots that search the web are less likely to fill my e-mail with their garbage.

Current Medical History and other Background Information about my heart