Clare Crestani of the Bath Mad Hatters writes: World Mad Pride Day was on Monday, July 14th. The Mad Hatters of Bath carried out a normality testing street theatre event in Bath City Centre.  Click here to see the film.  
For more information about 'normality testing' and ideas go to www.mindfreedom.org website, the Mad Pride events.

This news story was in most of the national newspapers on 26th February 2008:  Maybe the glory days for the pharmaceutical industry are numbered... But beware they are a resourceful bunch.  The story is: Research indicating that new-generation anti-depressants work no better than dummy pills was seized upon as evidence that doctors are over-prescribing. Mental health campaigners said millions of people with depression were not getting sufficient access to talking therapies self help groups and other holistic approaches due to GPs being over reliant on prescribing drugs such as Prozac.

This 2 page story ran in th Independent on Sunday 15th of June, its already had a strong response from readers concerned about the over-use of drugs in child and adult psychiatry(click here to see it).

Powerful anti-psychotic drugs designed for adults are being used to treat children, including those with learning difficulties. Brian Brady and Nina Lakhani report

The number of powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to England's children has risen by more than half in four years, government figures have revealed.GPs in England are handing out prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs for children as young as seven at the rate of 250 a day, according to figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday.

Latest data compiled for the NHS show that tranquillisers designed to treat serious conditions including schizophrenia in adults were prescribed to young people 57,000 times in 2003. But the total had risen to more than 90,000 by 2006 – a 59 per cent rise in three years. The figures do not include drugs dispensed in hospitals. Experts believe the increase is partly down to early detection and treatment of serious mental health problems in children, but there is also concern they are being used inappropriately to treat psychological and learning difficulties. Shortage of staff and resources are further factors.

The Coming Off Medication support group that meets weekly in Hebden Bridge has now been running for over seven months.  Happy new year!

Listen to the Wounded Healers by Prof Phil Thomas

26/4/08

I can't be a doctor and hear voices' says Ruth, the central figure in Leo Regan's powerful drama documentary about the work of the 'maverick' clinical psychologist Rufus May. Setting aside any views you might have about the merits or otherwise of Rufus May's work, the film raises some important questions.

This year Bedpushes are planned in many countries uncluding Germany America and Canada to highlight the human rights infringements that go on daily in the psychiatric system. A group of us who are concerned about the lack of choice of treatments and the levels of coercion in psychiatry pioneered symbolically escaping hospitals with a bed  and 'going on the run' in 2005.

Working as a consultant for a number of groups, the psychologist Terence McLaughlin, who has died of cancer aged 59, was an unsung hero of mental health activism

Ian Parker and Dave Harper   Friday January 25, 2008, The Guardian

 

The ground-breaking film "The Doctor Who Hears Voices" was shown on Channel 4 in April. The film has provoked a strong mixed reaction (see 'Psychologists film provokes storm of reactions' at the psychminded website) and initated debate nationally about the meaning of madness; the rights to drug free approaches and to employment for voice hearers. It follows the true story of myself working with a junior doctor who hears voices and cannot afford to tell her employers about this experience.  The Radio Times called it 'documentary of the week'.  They say: