Our mission

We are working for the repeal of mental health laws in the United States and Canada that allow people to be deprived of their liberty, drugged, restrained, electroshocked and otherwise treated against their will in the name of “psychiatric help.” The United Nations has called on countries to abolish such laws to comply with human rights obligations and has said that forced psychiatric treatment/interventions can amount to torture. The purpose of the campaign is to educate the public about all forms of forced psychiatric treatment/interventions and, most importantly, to take action to eradicate laws that allow these human rights violations to occur.

Strategies to Achieve our Goals

  • We are working to collect evidence of human rights violations by talking with people across the United States and Canada who have had direct experience with any form of forced psychiatric treatment/interventions and with people inside the mental health system who are sympathetic and would like to see changes made. We are working to make this evidence and these stories known to the public.
  • We are working to show the public that these human rights violations can happen to anyone and that the range of people who have been affected includes soldiers, children, teachers, lawyers, journalists, doctors, service workers … in short, all of us. There is no “them.”
  • We are exploring a number of ways to challenge mental health laws through legal action and to advocate legislative repeal.
  • We are working to collect and share information on alternatives to psychiatric incarceration and all forms of forced psychiatric treatment/interventions. Abolishing these laws and practices in no way means denying the kinds of help needed to support and guide us through difficult times in our lives.

We’d like your help in asserting our rights, and we’d like to help you do the same. Tell us your stories of forced treatment, and learn how to protect yourself.

2 thoughts on “Our mission

  1. We are advocating the repeal of the Mental Health Act in India, which has been given us through the colonial period, the earliest version being the Indian Lunatic Asylums Act, 1858. It remains largely unchanged through the centuries, and is penal / custodial at its core. Its legal format is closer to other penal colonial Acts such as the Beggary Act (extant), the Leper’s Act (repealed). Unfortunately, the constitution drafters and law reformers in Independent India did not consider the reform of laws relating to the ‘insane’ and the ‘idiots’. Terminology remains in the extant laws; or new ‘modern’ terminology has replaced the old, but its just so much old wine in new bottles. Our strategies are
    - Research and publish on the colonial genesis of the mental health laws and related incapacity laws
    - Look at regional variance and compare with countries where no mental health act exists
    - Advocate for a ‘one stop’ legislation which will protect all our rights
    - Dedicated cross disability alliance building on inclusion in the region
    - Litigation

    Thanks for your support,
    Bhargavi Davar

  2. Royal kudos
    To the mission
    To the planning
    To the execution of the plan
    To all who support it