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Political abuse of psychiatry: 2nd of October session (day 2 of 5)
We are pleased to present the programme for the second day of our five-day series of online seminars. The symposium presents an intellectually rigorous exploration of the status of mental health in the United States and Europe, featuring a cadre of experts whose work spans various disciplines, methodologies, and geographies. The overarching theme is the critical examination of prevailing mental health paradigms, with an emphasis on interrogating the biomedical model, exploring alternative approaches, and scrutinizing the sociopolitical dimensions of psychiatric care.
As for the rest of the sessions, to access, please follow this link at the event time: https://meet.google.com/wmn-qbcf-spu
15h CEST / 09h EST / 06h PST - Professor Murphy Halliburton, an anthropologist specializing in medical anthropology and South Asian cultures, sets the stage by drawing on his extensive fieldwork in South India. His expertise in ayurvedic and biomedical psychiatry, as well as religious healing practices, offers a nuanced perspective on the cultural relativism inherent in mental health paradigms. The implication is that Western-centric models may not be universally applicable or beneficial, thereby inviting a reevaluation of the ethnocentric biases that often underpin psychiatric practices.
16h CEST / 10h EST / 07h PST - Following Halliburton, PhDr. Petr Winkler, the Director of the Czech National Institute of Mental Health, delves into the state of mental health care in Central and Eastern Europe. Winkler's work is particularly salient given his role in mental health care reform in the Czech Republic, including national action and suicide prevention plans. His focus on providing psychosocial support for vulnerable populations, such as Ukrainians, adds a layer of geopolitical complexity to the discourse, highlighting the intersectionality of mental health, public policy, and international relations.
17h CEST / 11h EST / 08h PST - Dr. Al Galves, a retired psychologist and human rights advocate, shifts the focus towards alternative, humane approaches in mental health care. Serving on the Board of Directors for MindFreedom International and as the director of the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology, Galves challenges conventional psychiatric practices that often marginalize or stigmatize patients. His advocacy work serves as a counter-narrative to the biomedical model, emphasizing the importance of ethical considerations and human rights in mental health care.
18h CEST / 12h EST / 09h PST -The subsequent discussion by Rob Wipond and Kelechi Ubozoh interrogates the 'political' use of psychiatric legal powers, particularly in the United States and Canada. Their work delves into the rise of targeted, politicized involuntary commitment practices, raising ethical and legal questions about the role of psychiatry in civil society. Ubozoh, a psychiatric survivor and mental health advocate, and Wipond, a freelance journalist, both contribute to a critical discourse that challenges the status quo, questioning the legitimacy and ethics of involuntary treatment and psychiatric coercion.
19h CEST / 13h EST / 10h PST - Finally, MindFreedom International, a non-profit organization, encapsulates the symposium's themes by advocating for human rights and alternative approaches in mental health care. The organization challenges the biomedical model, focusing on issues like involuntary treatment and over-reliance on medication. Through public education, legal action, and advocacy, MindFreedom International aims to promote systemic change, thereby serving as a capstone to a symposium deeply invested in reimagining the landscape of mental health care.
The symposium serves as a crucible for the interrogation of prevailing mental health paradigms, offering a multidisciplinary, multi-geographical, and multi-methodological critique. It invites the audience to engage in a nuanced discourse that transcends conventional wisdom, thereby contributing to a more comprehensive, ethical, and humane understanding of mental health. Please note that this is the second of five days of seminars. The access link is non-personal, shareable and valid all accross the five days of event; we encourage you to invite your colleagues and interested peers. Everyone is welcome to attend. For your convenience, there will be an option to enable auto-translated subtitles during the sessions.