As an advocate, I have to keep informed about the issues and have up to date information with which to be armed. I've found that one of the best ways is through the internet. I subscribe to several email groups that help to keep me knowledgeable. Below are some of the best. Most are pretty low volume with only one or two emails a day and I'm pretty adept at sorting through them. These will keep you informed on the latest. They are somewhat in order of relevance and importance.
1. Veracare and AHRP (Alliance for Human Research Protection)
Tops in research and latest news about problems with psychiatric and other medications
a. Write to "Vera Hassner Sharav" and ask her nicely to subscribe you to her email announcement lists. There's also a web page at: http://www.ahrp.org
2. Parents against teen-screen
One of the best researched and more outspoken groups protecting kids (and others) today from bad drugs and bad psychiatry.
a. Go to http://groups.google.com
b. Search for "TeenScreen"
c. Follow the instructions for joining the group
3. Justice for All
One of the best national newsletters about all sorts of disability rights issues.
a. Go to http://www.aapd.com and subscribe or,
b. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an email to majordomo@JFAnow.org with subscribe justice OR unsubscribe justice in the body of your email message.
4. CMHS National Consumer Affairs E-News
Grant announcements and other news of interest from the feds.
a. List-Subscribe: mail to: CONSUMERAFFAIRSENEWS-subscribe-request@LISTSERV.IQSOLUTIONS.COM
5. SPSCOT - State Public Systems Coalition On Trauma (a network to share ideas and support the development of trauma-informed systems of care)
One of the best groups connecting the most knowledgeable people in the world on trauma issues.
a. Contact "Ann Jennings" email@example.com with a polite request to join.
6. NYAPRS - New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
One of the best for national issue updates. Sort through the local stuff that only applies to New York however, there's often useful information there too.
a. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject: subscribe
b. Any problems write to Executive Director: "Harvey Rosenthal" email@example.com
7. MindFreedom USA
Great e-news about what's happening around the country in the consumer/survivor movement.
a. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject: subscribe
b. Any problems write to Executive Director: "David Oaks" email@example.com
c. Check out their website at: http://www.mindfreedom.org
One of the evolutions of the original email list for mental health consumers/survivors. Sometimes good information.
a. Go to http://mail.actmad.net/mailman/listinfo/actmad_actmad.net and follow the instructions to subscribe
I'm sure there are other good ones but these are free and chock full of good information.
On the web:
This site is operated by my friend Jim Gottstein. He's an attorney with a heart who is leading the charge to protect people from psychiatric oppression. He updates this site with the latest and best information available. I highly recommend both the site and donating (if you can) to the cause here.
My friend Kathi's site. The best on the web on "borderline", "infantilism", and many other topics. She's written a great book that I highly recommend. I wrote the following review for Amazon.com where you can purchase this book:
"A true story about a woman caught in a life or death struggle with a psychiatrist whose ego feels he must defeat her at all costs. The psychiatrist forgets all about healing and enters into combat with the patient -- it's his will versus hers. The battle scenes are vividly captured through Kathi's eyes as well as through the chart notes that reveal the terrifying specter of the thoughts of the staff as they try to force their will upon Kathi."
"Kathi sought healing and instead found a system corrupt with ego, force, coercion and just plain insanity. Cuckoo's Nest had Nurse Ratched and 5150 has it's Dr. Mason. Both are frightening but Ratched is fiction. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the oppression of the psychiatric system and the egos that drive that oppression. Thank god Kathi survived to tell the story."
A comprehensive site for freedom fighters all over the world. David Oaks is the Director of MindFreedom and a personal friend for many years. I highly recommend this site for it's great activist information.
The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors is an organization of all the heads of mental health in the states. They've done some excellent things including research and they are generally pretty supportive of consumer/survivor activism. They have a well designed web site that's loaded with information.
A great site that is chock full of terrific information about the problems with Western Psychiatry and psychiatric diagnosis. It hasn't been updated in a few years but is still a great reference site.