PsychRights
                   Law Project for
              Psychiatric Rights

CONTACT:
Jim Gottstein
907 274-7686
jim@psychrights.org

 PsychRights Supports Freedom Fasters
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 20, 2003 

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) announced today it has joined the growing list of supporters in solidarity with the hunger strikers in their Fast for Freedom in Mental Health. On August 16th, five psychiatric survivors and a dissident social worker from throughout the United States began a hunger strike to press for human rights and choice in psychiatry. Their demand: That the mental health industry produce even one study proving the common industry claim that "mental illness is biologically-based." See, http://www.mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/hungerstrike8.shtml.

Don Roberts, president of PsychRights, said "We hope this brave action by these courageous individuals will finally wake people up to the lack of validity to the horrific 'treatments' people diagnosed with mental illness are subjected to." Mr. Roberts went on to say that "the untruths about mental illness and its 'treatments' are uncritically accepted by the courts to force people to take these dangerous, generally unhelpful and life shortening drugs."

Vice President-Operations and Chief Operating Officer Jim Gottstein said the Psych Rights' board has passed a formal corporate resolution supporting the hunger strikers and their goals (attached or http://psychrights.org/CorpSec/HungerStrikeResolutions.pdf). Mr. Gottstein went on to say it was natural for PsychRights to support the hunger strikers because it fits in perfectly with PsychRights' mission to fight unwarranted court ordered medication and other forced treatments. Mr. Gottstein continued that a review of the research demonstrates the mental health industry's claims that mental illness is the result of a defective brain is completely unproven and the result of pharmaceutical companies' publishing false or misleading studies to support their huge financial self-interest in creating a market for their dangerous drugs.

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a tax-exempt charity whose mission is to bring fairness and reasonableness into the administration of legal aspects of the mental health system. It has become clear that the public mental health system is creating a huge class of chronic mental patients through forcing them to take ineffective, yet extremely harmful and addictive drugs. The courts are being misled by dishonest research and testimony and forcing tens of thousands of people a year to take drugs that are not only physically harmful, but permanently damage the brain and make people more susceptible, not less susceptible to psychiatric symptoms. In support of its mission, PsychRights publishes the relevant research on its website (http://psychrights.org/) as well as other relevant materials.

"It is entirely reasonable for the hunger strikers to demand scientific proof to support the forced treatments to which the mental health system has subjected people. Doesn't it speak volumes that no credible evidence in support of these theories has been produced?" queried Mr. Roberts in conclusion.

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