The proposed brochure:
Let’s tell people who are suffering emotionally the truth about psychiatric diagnosis, the evidence for that truth, and what to ask when considering seeking help in the mental health system. Paula Caplan, PhD is raising money to create a brochure about this to be used in a public service, educational campaign, through her nonprofit Picture Social Justice Inc, and any donation will help.
Above is a 100 minute vid. A lecture with Dr. Caplan with a performance, from the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Paula has created a “Go Fund Me” site where you can make a donation: https://www.gofundme.com/f/free-brochure-truth-about-psychiatric-diagnosis
Paula Caplan writes:
“Three pervasive myths about psychiatric diagnosis have created a huge gap in public and professional education, and a brochure to state the truth clearly, in accessible and jargon-free language, about each myth, providing references for each, is sorely needed.
The three myths that will be addressed are:
(1)The myth that psychiatric diagnosis is solidly grounded in high-quality scientific research.
(2)The myth that getting a psychiatric diagnosis is likely to help reduce the suffering of the individual receiving the diagnostic label.
(3)The myth that getting a psychiatric diagnosis carries no risks of harm.
Brief examples will be given of the vast range of kinds of harm that have come to people as a result of being diagnosed as “mentally ill.” Members of oppressed and marginalized groups due to their race, sex, sexuality, religion/spirituality, age, and oppression, discrimination, and bigotry are at especially great risk for being subject to psychiatric diagnosis and harmed by it.
If a person is not labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis, no professional is supposed to implement anything classified as mental health treatment, BUT once a person is labeled with any psychiatric diagnosis, a vast array of things can be recommended or done to them in the name of treatment — including but not limited to — drugs that harm them, forced confinement, court orders or other routes to treatments over their objection, and other deprivations of their human rights. They often fail to receive needed medical attention (The person is considered to be imagining physical health problems due to being “mentally ill”.) and unbiased legal representation, and they lose employment or custody of a child or security clearance or personal relationships. If the person diagnosed is harmed as a result of the labeling, they currently have little or no recourse.
People who belong to any oppressed group are especially vulnerable to being psychiatrically diagnosed and thus to experiencing these kinds of harm.
What the brochure includes
The brochure will include the fact that people do suffer and in various ways for various reasons, and information about the array of things proven to be helpful that are outside the traditional mental health system.
Questions for any person to ask of a professional who plans to give them a psychiatric diagnosis will be listed. These will include questions related to the three myths and more.
Professionals will be urged to be prepared to respond to the above questions.
Suggestions will be given to diagnosing professionals for (A) ways to help reduce people’s suffering without assigning a diagnosis and (B) ways to try to reduce risks of harm when they do assign a psychiatric diagnosis.
How the brochure can be used
The brochure can be used in the waiting rooms of any professionals who would allow it, and once it is created, it will be made available at no charge to be downloaded by anyone seeking help in the mental health system or considering seeking that help for any family member or friend.
Psychiatric survivors, ex-patients, consumers, or recipients of mental health services all over the world will be able to read the brochure and hand it to any professional who has harmed them or from whom they are considering seeking help. I suspect that getting right to those people is more likely to be effective than trying to get it into professionals’ offices, though of course some professionals would be thrilled to have such a thing available!
Once the brochure is available, and we create a website for it, we will post the link on the vast social media to which we have access, and we will reach out to various survivors’ organizations and parents’ organizations. Of course we will immediately let donors to this project know when it is ready and will be deeply grateful for donations of any amount!
What your donation pays for
Writing of the text of the brochure will be donated at no cost. Funds are needed for graphic design of the brochure, creation of the website, and distribution/getting the word out.”
The “Go Fund Me” site where you can make a donation is: https://www.gofundme.com/f/free-brochure-truth-about-psychiatric-diagnosis
Author: Paula Joan Caplan, PhD, is a clinical and research psychologist, activist, social justice and human rights advocate, nonfiction writer, award-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor, and director. Currently, she is an Associate at the Du Bois Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University. She has been a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; a Lecturer in Harvard’s Program on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and in the Psychology Department. She is former Full Professor of Applied Psychology and Head of the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and former Lecturer in Women’s Studies and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. https://www.paulajcaplan.net/
This announcement has been brought to you through IMHU.org. We offer 34+ courses about integrative mental health. Most of these courses are available online and offer Continuing Ed. Credits for healthcare providers. See our courses and faculty HERE.