May 8, 1996


Just recently a Northern California branch of "Support Coalition" has been formed right here in Ukiah.

Support Coalition is an independent alliance of 30 grassroots groups of psychiatric survivors in the USA, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Several of Support Coalition's key leaders have been front-line grassroots activists who have kept the candle of struggle lit for over two decades. Support Coalition's voice, Dendron News reaches thousands of people internationally.

Since the very origins of psychiatry , psychiatric survivors have individually resisted human rights violations and sought humane alternatives. In the past 25 years, however, a small wave of diverse organized groups, networks, publications,and conferences have sprung up and have connected internationally, sometimes called the "psychiatric survivors liberation movement." With the opening of the Northern Branch of Support Coalition, there is a local gateway to important, cutting-edge information, and incredible examples of human survival.

The sisters and brothers in our movement have survived lock-ups and forced shock and lobotomy. Forced drugging and dehumanizing labels. Homelessness and solitary confinement. And yet we continue to resist and remember those still held captive.

Support Coalition has used protests, publications, letter-writing, e-mail, workshops and guerilla theater as a tool to bring the long-hidden destructive results of psychiatric treatment to the attention of the public. In fact, many dissident mental health workers, psychologists and some psychiatrists have risked their careers to join with us and speak out. Just recently some of our members visited several congressmen to discuss the important issue of electric shock treatments.

Donald Leeper, the local Support Coalition spokesman, said, "There are more and more of us who have been seriously damaged by psychiatric treatment who feel a responsibility to speak out, not only for ourselves, but for the legions that have been so damaged by this treatment that they are unable to speak at all."

These important issues will be discussed on KBUD 88.3 fm in Redwood Valley, and KBAD 91.1 fm in Ukiah, every Tuesday at 4:00pm.

Support Coalition's local phone number is 707/463-2771


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Created: December 11, 1996
Last modified: May 2, 1997

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