CC Chair Ron Bassman’s New Book Widely Acclaimed

The Community Consortium’s Board Chair, Ron Bassman, described by one reviewer as a man with “a unique trifecta of vantage points-a former mental patient, a clinical psychologist and an advocate extraordinaire” – recently published his book, A Fight To Be: A Psychologists’ Experience from Both Sides of the Locked Door. The book is part memoir and part adroit analysis of contemporary psychiatry and the public mental health systems it dominates. Ron offers his memories and reflections on his painful experiences within the psychiatric system and his unique personal transformative journey. He also provides the reader with a clear and convincing analysis of the many ways in which the simplistic (and dangerous) notions of biological psychiatry and mechanistic treatment continue to harm people. Rich, thoughtful, and beautifully written, “this landmark work should be essential reading for anyone who has ever challenged, or even questioned, the ideology and practices of the ‘mental health’ system,” according to author and rights activist Leonard Roy Frank.

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Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry Presented in New Book

Peter Stastny, CC Board member, and Peter Lehmann, publisher and German psychiatric survivor activist, have edited a remarkable anthology that explores a host of approaches to dealing with extreme mental and emotional states – paths developed by survivors and their allies or discovered by individuals for themselves. In this volume, 61 authors—(ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry, medical practitioners, therapists, lawyers, social scientists, psychiatrists and relatives from around the world – Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North and South America – describe non-psychiatric approaches that promote growth and healing. As the editors note, “Alternatives beyond psychiatry originate from an undogmatic and humanistic movement. Accordingly, the texts in this book are filled with a contrarian spirit and the fundamental conviction that (1) psychiatry…cannot do justice to the expectation of solving mental problems that are largely of a social nature, (2) its propensity and practice to use force constitutes a threat, and (3) its diagnostic methods obstruct the view of the real problems of individuals.”

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CC Board Member George Badillo Receives Award
Community Consortium Board Member George Badillo was honored with the Esperanza Award at the Alternatives 2006 conference in Portland, OR. This award is presented by the National People of Color Consumer/Survivor Network to a consumer/survivor of color who has expanded the idea of cultural competency and done exceptional work within the mental health and peer support community. George, a dedicated advocate for consumers/survivors of all backgrounds, was recognized particularly for his long history of working to empower his Spanish-speaking peers, as a peer educator, activist, oral history interviewer, and advocate. His personal story of survival and courage is featured in the film, “Inside Outside: Building a Meaningful Life after the Hospital,” produced by Pat Deegan.

President Darby Penney Awarded Petra Fellowship
Community Consortium President Darby Penney was honored at a November 12, 2005 ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by being named a 2005 Fellow by the Petra Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to “honor unsung individuals making distinctive contributions to the rights, autonomy and dignity of others.”
Be sure to read her acceptance speech (pdf)

CC Chair, Ronald Bassman, Ph.D., Receives a Presidential Citation from the APA
On August 20, 2005, Community Consortium Chair Ronald Bassman, Ph.D., received a Presidential Citation from American Psychological Association President Ronald Levant, Ph.D., in recognition of “his continuous efforts to empower consumers” and his work to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against people with psychiatric disabilities.
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The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic goes on the road
schedule & more info