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of an institution. By using case material this paper will explore the impact of these three reinforcing processes in psychiatric institutions.


Women’s Narratives of Psychiatry, Gender, Race, Subjugation and Survival

Vanessa Jackson.  Healing Circles, Social Worker, Author, Atlanta, Georgia

In Our Own Voice: African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery

This paper will explore the importance of history and oral history narratives as a tool for empowerment and healing for psychiatric consumers/survivors/ex-patients. The history of a people is generally told from the perspective of the dominant group, which is invested in obscuring its violations and brutality. It is an act of extreme courage and resistance for historically marginalized individuals and groups to honor our truths and our history by passing those stories on to others. A historical perspective on “mental illness” or “madness” will provide a context for how the medicalization of emotional distress allows for the invalidation of individuals deemed different by society and  presents challenges to many mental health systems as they attempt to shift to self determination and recovery models of support.

Dorothy Proctor.  Activist and Author, Toronto, Ontario

Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice: My Story

As an inmate at the Prison for Women during the early 1960s, I was subjected to experimentation which combined LSD, sensory deprivation, and electroshock. Along with these abuses, I experienced racism and sexism.  Thirty years later, I sought justice by taking legal action against the Canadian federal government and former federal employees.  In this presentation, I will share what I have learned through my struggle for social justice.

Sue Clark-Wittenberg.  Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock, Ottawa, Ontario

The Sue Clark Story: “Behind The Locked Ward”

Sue Clark-Wittenberg is a psychiatric survivor who had electroshock.  Sue is an antipsychiatry activist and antipoverty activist for over 20 years in Ottawa.  Sue’s main focus of her activism today is to help end electroshock universally.

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