URGENT APPEAL – SPEAK OUT AGAINST SHOCK IN NY

Especially if you are in New York State:
If you were not aware that tomorrow’s Recipient Advisory Council meeting in Albany will be opening with the opportunity for the public to speak on the topic of ECT with Commissioner Mike Hogan & John Allen, Director O.M.H. Recipient Affairs (as I was not until reading MindFreedom’s recent bulletin), I’m passing this information on as it is an opportunity for any NYS citizen to do so Monday, July 23, 2007 beginning at 3pm, and continuing on Tuesday. As you know, forced electroshock has been an issue of major concern to all of us for many years now & this is an excellent opportunity to be heard.

Please share this info with others, and especially those in the Albany/Syracuse area. There will also be opportuntiies to speak out on ECT in NYC on July 30th and Long Island on July 31st with Commissioner Hogan & John Allen if you cannot attend this meeting.

-Camille S.
Advocate

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**** RECIPIENT MEETING

An OMH Recipient Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, 23 July 23 2007, at 3 pm, and will continue on Tuesday. We hear these are fairly large events. Just show up early, fill out your own name tag, and join in! Location: Comfort Inn, 99 Miller Road, East Greenbush, New York. Phone for Comfort In: (518) 479-3217.

More info and directions to this Recipient Affairs meeting on 23 July are here:

**** “COMPREHENSIVE PLAN” MEETINGS

Three (3) briefings and public hearings will also be held with OMH Commissioner Hogan about their “Comprehensive Plan” in these next two weeks!

These three (3) public meetings are on the 20th (Syracuse), 30th (New York City), and 31st (at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Long Island). Each of these “Comprehensive Plan” meetings has a 10 am briefing followed by a 2 pm public hearing.

You can find the exact date, time and locations for the three “Comprehensive Plan” hearings here, or go directly to the OMH web page.

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WHY SPEAK OUT ABOUT FORCED ELECTROSHOCK IN NEW YORK STATE?

OMH Commissioner Hogan intends to be at these hearings asking about their “Comprehensive Plan.” In OMH’s own words he will ask, “Are services consumer and family centered and consumer and family driven?”

Even one single forced electroshock means the answer is: “No, No, No!”

You are encourage to attend all or any of these four events and speak out!

While of course you may want to sign up early for the public hearing, given the urgency of the situation some individuals may want to consider nonviolent creative ways to make their concerns known at other times during the event including the “briefing”: banner, sign, symbol, hand-outs, etc.

Perhaps you can find out some answers.

For instance, at the recipient meetings especially, you can ask why did John Allen, director of OMH Recipient Affairs, claimed to MindFreedom recently that “less than a dozen” New York State citizens received court-ordered electroshock without their consent last year at OMH facilities, and that the number of forced shocks is going down?

What is his data based on? What are the exact numbers?

Why has just one region of NY State, the few counties served by Darrow & Feld, had more than 15 OMH applications for forced shock in just the past six months for 2007, alone? And that’s just one region?

Why does OMH claim that Commissioner Hogan’s hands are tied by the courts, when John Allen at the same time also claims OMH has been able to take pro-active steps to lower the amount of forced shock in the past few years?

Whether or not OMH actually did lower the number of forced shock in the last few years, by his statement then of course OMH admits to having discretion.

At the very least Commissioner Hogan can make a public announcement of a goal to end forced shock! Commissioner Hogan spoke out during the President’s New Freedom Commission that he supported empowerment and self-determination.

Now is his chance to show it!

And isn’t it true that each and every court-ordered involuntary electroshock must begin with a REQUEST initiated by OMH to the courts?

Stand up… speak out… spread the word!

Stop Forced Electroshock in New York State!!

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