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Mental Health Freedom and Recovery Act

Posted Apr 12 2010 8:42pm

The mental health system in the United States is in need of major reform.  The piece that follows is a is a vision for congressional legislation.  Once passed and signed into law, it will serve as a beacon of hope for nations around the world.

Protection of Constitutional Rights
  • The Mental Health Freedom and Recovery Act will ensure that  Constitutional rights  are protected for individuals who have been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions.
  • The act will uphold the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ensure that  are made available. 
  • The act will create a to be respected in all fifty states that allows a person to refuse any/all conventional psychiatric treatment in lieu of safer, more effective , or the right to opt for a small amount of a psychiatric drug, and/or for a limited period of time until a psychosis has passed.

System Transformation    

  • The act will transform the mental health system from an illness-management model to one that offers hope and that promotes  and recovery .

 Recovery Model    

  • The act will place those who have been given psychiatric labels in the driver’s seat with the most successful model yet to be found – one that is  self-directed .
  • The act will promote consumer-run and programs at every level of the mental health system.
  • These groups will be involved in every aspect of this legislation, from beginning to end, to ensure it is drafted in a way that addresses the concerns of those who have survived the trauma of treatment from a , with their involvement in all committee hearings until a final bill is passed in both houses of Congress and signed into law.

Informed Consent   

  • The act will establish a universal code for for all conventional psychiatric treatment – one that addresses the risks involved in , the of all kinds, and psychosurgery .
  • The act will protect children and youth in , and systems by providing treatment options other than drugs – especially drugs that have not been approved for these age groups.

Non-Profit, 501(c)(3) Organizations   

  • The act will make certain that non-profit groups that claim to operate in the best interest of consumers are to the highest standards of advocacy.
  • In order to obtain and/or retain a non-profit status, agencies will be required to provide consumers with information on informed consent (above) along with resources for , , nutrition/integrative medicine and psychiatric drug withdrawal centers .
  • Any agency that does not address these requirements will not be eligible for a by the federal government.

Treatment Options    

  • The act will provide treatment options, especially for , and older Americans . 
  • The act will ensure are provided options that are safe and effective for combat-related stress disorders.
  • The act will allow any person who has been diagnosed with a severe mental health condition the opportunity to have the psychiatric label removed once the root cause is addressed, with or underlying physical condition, to include , nutritional deficiencies , , and . 

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Centers    

  • The act will promote private, non-profit involvement with psychiatric drug withdrawal .
  • These centers will be funded by fines imposed on drugmakers involved in the of psychotropics.
  • Drugmakers will also pay the costs of all psychiatric drugs used in outpatient care for anyone who is physiologically addicted and/or chooses to taper off due to the long-term risks of these drugs, regardless of the time it takes to withdraw .

Mental Health Recovery Centers   

  • The act will make certain that there are unlocked, non-drug (or less-drug) treatment centers that are residential, not institutional, such as and Soteria-Alaska  in each of the states.
  • The act will promote competition and allow these private recovery centers to serve the needs of citizens who opt for integrative approaches rather than the existing state hospital or conventional psychiatric system by establishing a voucher program whereby freedom of choice will be put into action by Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

Federal Government   

  • Due to the involved in conventional psychiatric treatment, no person will be required to show “” in order to be eligible to apply for and/or to continue to receive SSI/Medicaid or SSDI/Medicare by opting for safer and more effective treatment .
  • The act will require the Medicare program to pay for the costs of integrative approaches for adults who are disabled, rather than forcing institutionalization and/or psychiatric drugs.
  •  will be required to provide information on informed consent, recovery support, integrative approaches for mental wellness and psychiatric drug withdrawal centers .
  • Any that receives federal funding will be required to provide information in these four areas to its students in counseling, social work, psychology or related areas of study.
  • Any that receives federal funding will be  required to provide the same.
  • Federal will be given to those schools that expand curriculum in these areas.
Federal Research
  • A higher portion of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget will be used through the to study integrative approaches for severe mental health conditions.
  • These areas will include safe and effective means to address an acute psychosis, along with treatment for trauma, to include study in the areas of , , , and , along with Chinese meridian-based therapies, to include , and neuro emotional technique (NET) .
  • The act will expand on the work of ,who treated five thousand individuals who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia over the span of six decades, and who achieved a ninety percent success rate in recovery, to include seventeen medical school graduates.
  • The act will incorporate  Orthomolecular Medicine  and other forms of integrative medicine into mainstream treatment for severe mental health conditions.
  • The act will provide for the study nutrients and herbs - not only in single-form, but in to determine their benefits.
  • The act will allow us to begin to scratch the surface into the scientific phenomenon of the human brain and the spiritual mystery of the human mind with research into and – two areas that offer enormous potential for hope.
  • The state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies will be required to provide information on informed consent, recovery support, integrative approaches for mental wellness and psychiatric drug withdrawal centers .
  • Each state will be required to form a Governor’s Committee or other agency to disseminate information to city, county and state agencies about the risks of psychiatric drugs – to include their use in and , and systems.
  • Each state will be required to restore the and/or allow private groups access to these sites for this purpose
  • Each state will be required to allow for the study of integrative medicine and nutrition, along with non-drug approaches for recovery from trauma in a juvenile correctional facility.
  • Each state will be required to allow consumer choice for its citizens who have been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions, to include safe places to overcome a psychosis, withdrawal from psychiatric drugs and centers to learn more about recovery and integrative approaches to achieve mental wellness .
  • Each state will allow professionals who are well-versed in their respective arts and sciences to practice without fear of reprisal from state medical boards .
  • These topics are due top priority at the annual meeting of Governors.

Parental Authority   

  • The act will preserve the rights of parents to seek and find the safest and most effective treatments available for their children, including those who suffer from  without threat from the government.
  • The act will require Medicaid programs to pay for the costs of integrative approaches for children who are disabled, rather than forcing institutionalization and/or psychiatric drugs.

Spiritual Component   

  • The act will respect as it pertains to the spiritual component of recovery.
  • The act will respect the right of people who have been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions to – to pursue withdrawal and abstinence from mind-altering drugs of all kinds, including prescription forms.
  • The act will respect the predicament of those who are physiologically addicted to psychiatric drugs – who have been on large amounts, for long periods of time, and/or in cocktail forms, who may choose to simply  or not take part in any aspect of psychotropic withdrawal.
  • The Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family has made a strong statement in regard to mental health conditions having as their root cause .
  • Other faith groups have made resolutions on the need for for those who suffer from mental and emotional difficulties that are worthy of this nation’s recognition.

Take Action

  • Please feel free to copy, distribute or post – especially to psychiatric consumer/survivor groups, mental health professionals and integrative practitioners who have a desire to reform the current system.  Encourage their involvement in making sure this vision comes to fruition.


Yours in liberty and wellness,
Duane Sherry, M.S. ,  


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