Why Choice Matters

Proper treatment and support have dramatically improved the health and quality of life for persons with serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. We must ensure that the best and most appropriate medications are always available to those who need them.

The Emergence of the Recovery Movement: 
Are medications taking a back seat in the road to recovery?

Antipsychiatry influences are threatening to hijack Canada's new mental health strategy by making it more difficult for people to access psychiatric treatment.

The antipsychiatry views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada's Law and Advisory Committee (LAC) betray the Commission's commitment to promote mental health and awareness for all Canadians. Lac's views are also incompatible with the mental health legislation of the majority of provinces that have broadened the committal criteria in recent years to prevent substantial mental or physical deterioration and protect a mentally ill individual's right to be well.

LAC believes that involuntary hospitalization and treatment are violations of human rights. The recommendations of its recent report, Equality, Dignity, and Inclusion: Legislation that enhances human rights for people living with mental illness will make it more difficult to hospitalize and treat the people who need it most.

Mental health advocate Lembi Buchanan explores the antipsychiatry influences of civil libertarians, human rights activists and consumer survivors in her report, The Emergence of the Recovery Movement. (See below for link to PDF format.)

Not everyone considers the appropriate use of psychiatric medications as a crucial aspect of treatment for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Rather than embracing advances in neuroscience research along with new and innovative treatments with fewer adverse side effects to correct chemical imbalances, antipsychiatry proponents question the medical model of mental illness as well as the therapeutic benefit of antipsychotic agents. Instead, they believe that freedom of choice is a basic right, regardless of the patient's state of mind. As far as they are concerned, the patient, not the physician, is considered the expert when it comes to personal treatment options, despite the severity of these life threatening illnesses.

A controversial assessment of the report can be read at For Some with Mental Illness There is No Recovery in the
Huffington Post.

Americans are joining the dialogue. Award winning journalist and author, Pete Earley in his website asks the question, Is the Recovery Movement Hurting the Sickest Among Us?


The Emergence of the Recovery Movement in PDF format
(Link opens a new window.)