CAPA’s Media Release-Shock Protest on Mother’s Day, May 10/09

Media Release – May 2009


Date: Mother’s Day, May 10, 2009
Time: 1:15pm (March) & 2pm (demo)
Place: Queen’s Park, Toronto

The Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) announces another public
protest against psychiatry’s use of electroshock (“electroconvulsive
therapy” or “ECT”).   CAPA is a political action organization that
addresses psychiatric violence (see website below).  This special Mother’s
Day event is co-sponsored by Maggie’s and the Association of Part-Time
Undergraduate Students of the University of Toronto and is endorsed by
over 20 women’s, human rights, and social justice organizations.  This is
an international protest which occurs every year and which takes place in
locations throughout the world including Montreal and Cork Ireland.  This
year’s Toronto protest starts with a march at 1:15 pm at the NE corner of
Spadina and College (in front of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry,
CAMH); the rally, which includes shock survivor-testimony, speeches, and
entertainment, starts at 2:00 pm in Queen’s Park.  The keynote speaker is
MPP Cheri DiNovo.  Entertainment includes the legendary singer and
activist Faith Nolan.

The event is being held on Mother’s Day because a disproportionate number
of women generally and elderly women in particular are subjected to ‘ECT’
and ‘ECT’ is now considered the treatment of choice for postpartum
depression.  According to ‘ECT’ statistics (see Burstow 2006), 2-3 times
more women than men undergo ‘ECT’; approximately 70% of patients shocked
are women; 50% of these are women 65 and over.

The largest study in electroshock history was conducted in 2007 by Harold
Sackeim et al. At the level of statistical significance, it proves that
that electroshock always causes brain damage, including permanent memory
loss, and that women and the elderly suffer the most damage from it.
Other important pieces of research show that women are greatly traumatized
by the damage (see Burstow, 2006) and that despite claims to the contrary,
electroshock is no more effective than placebo (Ross, 2006).

This damage is authorized and paid for by the state and we demand that the
state put an end to it.  On May 10th, we call on psychiatry and the state
to stop shocking our mothers and grandmothers.  Join us in delivering this
challenge.   Eat with us, listen to testimony and other speeches, enjoy
the entertainment.  This is a child-friendly event (bring your children).
This is a BYOMAG event  (bring your own mother and grandmother).   Let’s
make Mother’s Day count.

Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault:,
Contact persons: Dr. Bonnie Burstow, 416-538-7103; Don Weitz, 416-545-0796

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