|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:
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. This is a Clip of Pat Risser at the SAMHSA Voice Awards 2011.
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!
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."
"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
and NEW STUFF
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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
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.
LAST UPDATED March 2013