Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mindfreedom Article About My Protest

Mindfreedom is the most vocal activism group out there advocating civil and human rights for those labeled with a 'mental illness' diagnosis. Many members (including myself) are former psychiatric victims turned activists. They posted a small article on my protest on their website. Click here to read.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 50 of 100 - Thanks Everyone !!!

Day 50 of 100: Saturday, June 27 @ 11:15 pm to 12:15 am. My first protest past midnight...

Today (Saturday) was day 50 of my 100 day protest. I have not been blogging much in the last few days... but I thought that I should write something today. Not sure what exactly but I want to say how surreal this feels even after 50 days. More people reached out to me and more awareness is taking place than I could have anticipated when I first walked up to the boulevard on a Saturday morning almost two months ago. I feel full of gratitude towards everyone who supported and encouraged me. I realize more than ever the difficult road that lies ahead, but I also recognize more than ever the possibility of changing this horrible system of abuse. I am too exhausted and too empty of ideas to write something inspirational but I feel I must do the best to thank everyone. Sorry for how mundane this reads but if my words were able to convey even a small portion of the happiness and gratitude I feel at this movement, it would have been very beautiful writing indeed. Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Days 38 - 49 of 100

Day 38: Monday, June 15 @ 6:00pm to 7:30 pm
Day 39: Tuesday, June 16 @ 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm
Day 40: Wednesday, June 17 @ 6:55 pm to 7:55 pm
Day 41: Thursday, June 18 @ 7:00 pm. - 8:00 pm
Day 42: Friday, June 19 @ 7:00 pm. - 8:00 pm
Day 43: Saturday, June 20 @ 8:45pm. to 9:45 pm
Day 44: Sunday, June 21 @ 6:50 pm - 7:50 pm
Day 45: Monday, June 22 @ 7:50 pm - 8:50 pm
Day 46: Tuesday, June 23 @ 8:20 pm - 9:20 pm
Day 47: Wednesday, June 24 @ 7:25 pm - 8:25 pm
Day 48: Thursday, June 25 @ 5:15 pm - 8:15 pm
Day 49: Friday, June 26 @ 9:25 pm to 11:25 pm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Phillygrrl Article. Part 2

Part 2 of Phillygrrl article on my protest is up.

This part describes the abuse that I experienced at Friends Hospital. Thanks for reading. Please read the article by clicking the link above and leave a comment of support if you get the chance.

Thanks
- g.m.

Update: Part 3 of the article is now up. It covers what happened after the Friends Hospital incident, including my current activism efforts. Click here to read.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

                      l o v e

love is the eye that sought the light
and restlessly fought the weary nignt
and through the darkness while the world slept
the eye that believed and the eye that wept

love is the flame that burned anew
past the storm and winds that blew
past the anger, despair, and pain
and made my broken heart whole again

love is the distance i cannot gaze
the deep seas i cannot sail
the forgiveness and mercy even when i fail
love is God and his Grace.

Without my faith, I could not have forgave. I forgive ...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Phillygrrl Article on My Protest. Part 1

After 30 some days of my solo protest, often filled with the extremes of hopes and doubts, I am ecstatic and humbled that Phillygrrl has picked up my story. It is a three part series. Part 3 is still pending. I will post the link up as soon as it is up.

Part 1.   Part 2.

Unfortunately, mainstream media stays away from these kinds of stories. It took a grassroots journalist to find interest in my story. If you saw me protesting and wanted to voice your support, please leave a positive comment at the bottom of the phillygrrl article. I will be much appreciative. Thanks.

-gm.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 35: Friday, June 12 @ 8:20 pm to 10:00 pm

Day 36: Saturday, June 13 @ 9:15pm to 10:15 pm

Day 37: Sunday, June 14 @ 8:00pm to 9:00 pm

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Facebook Group: Stop Psychiatric Abuse

If you are on Facebook, please consider joining this group that I started to transform the mental health landscape through social activism.
Click Here To Join.

Here is the group's description as it appears on Facebook:
Help stop psychiatric abuse through grassroots activism. For too long, the mental health profession has spoken on behalf of the so called "mentally ill'' and they did not often have the patient's interests at heart. This needs to change; the voice of psychiatric survivors needs to be heard! The public conscience needs to be roused from the decades of inertia and indifference perpetuated by a self serving mental health system.

This will be an "Awareness to Activism" campaign. We will begin by first raising awareness of psychiatric abuse through the first hand accounts of psychiatric victims (including myself). For the personal stories of psychiatric survivors, please visit mindfreedom.org. The focus will be on getting psychiatric survivors and activists to come forward with their perspective on mental health issues. The awareness needs to happen first. Later we will channel that awareness into meaningful activism through non violent means.

Network with survivors, activists, and their supporters in the quest to bring humane alternatives to the mental health landscape. Show your support for patient autonomy and civil rights by joining against the inhumane practices of institutional psychiatry.

Thanks,

Godly Mathew

Days 29 -34 of 100

Day 29: Saturday, June 6 @ 1:12pm to 2:12pm

Day 30: Sunday, June 7 @ 7:45 pm to 8:45 pm

Day 31: Monday, June 8 @ 7:45 pm to 8:45 pm

Day 32: Tuesday, June 9 @ 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Day 33: Wednesday, June 10 @ 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Nothing like grassroots journalism to complement grassroots activism. Thanks pg (for giving the small guy a voice). The story is still pending but if anyone wants to check out her blog: phillygrrl.com

Day 34: Thursday, June 11 @ 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Monday, June 8, 2009

Me to Friends Hospital. Email no. 2

Note: Anyone wishing to see the thread of emails in their chronological order may do so at fhabuse.org

Friends Hospital sent me an email on Tue, Jun 2, 2009. The following is my reply. It was sent a few minutes ago (Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 6:53 AM). Thanks to everyone who advised me on the best way to proceed.



If you want to meet face to face at a neutral location, that is fine. Please be advised that I will bring a voice recorder and that the entire conversation will be recorded. The recording will be transcribed and all relevant excerpts will be posted on my blog for public viewing. I will also have a witness present with me.

In the mean time, please obtain all my medical records, the names of all staff (doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.) who were present at the CRC during my admission period, and any other information you can gather such as the account of any staff that witnessed the incident(s). Although I believe I have most of my medical records, I would like a complete copy of this as well so that we are both referencing the same information.

I was involuntarily committed to the facility on December 5-6 of 2004. I was at the CRC waiting room (Larkspur Crisis Response Center) the entire time and the abuse occurred on December 6, but both days are relevant. I will forgo a description of the psychological abuse for now, but the physical abuse consisted of:

1. Not being provided with any water for the duration of the second day's stay at the facility (from 7:00 am to past 1:00 pm).

2. Being shaken vigorously while sleeping (a female employee).

3. Being dropped on the floor (a male employee) such that my head first hit the wall on the way down (several staff were present in the room when this happened and no one intervened).

4. Unnecessary medical procedures performed on route to Frankford Hospital: I was transported via ambulance to Frankford Hospital and I had tubes placed in my mouth, nose, and urinary tract. Two of the staff (both female) from Friends Hospital accompanied me in the ambulance and were present as this happened.

5. In addition, I was coerced into signing several sheets of papers. I had no idea what I was signing because the staff (a female employee; same as in 2.) had a piece of paper placed above the signature line each time and kept yelling at me to sign the papers.

I believe this is all the information you need to commence the document gathering. If you need a release form for my medical records, please email me the form as an attachment and I will fax it back to you.

Let me know if there is anything more that you need.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Godly Mathew

Sunday, June 7, 2009

s a t y a g r a h a

Hatred only destroys; with Love one can conquer.

After 4 years of anger and bitterness, I find myself 'blessed' to have gone through that most horrible experience. It's a strange choice for a word, but I know of no other word that can summarize the responsibility and privilege I feel in considering myself an advocate for fellow psychiatric survivors.

What ever I do in this world, however much or little, I hope I do with love. I don't want to 'fight' against anyone, neither individuals nor entities. I want to believe again in the goodness of humanity; that people, institutions, and even systems can be transformed through love, truth and justice. This is not a fight against anyone as much as it is a fight for psychiatric victims.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

To her

To all the patients that were with me at Friends Hospital CRC, especially her...

i can no more forget thee
than i can forget hope
therefore i shall always remember thee

(December 5-6, 2004) always in my heart, always in my prayers
                                                                               - hope you are alright.

Day 28 of 100

Day 28: Friday, June 5 @ 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

A--single--link--     -     --is--all--it--takes--to--break--a--long--chain--of--abuse.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Days 24 - 27 of 100

Day 24: Monday, June 1 @ 7:50pm to 9:00pm

Day 25: Tuesday, June 2 @ 7:45pm to 9:00pm

Day 26: Wednesday, June 3 @ 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Day 27: Thursday, June 4 @ 7:20pm to 8:20pm
There is nothing like shivering in the cold rain to remind me why I am doing this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Friends Email No. 2

Friends Email No.2
Time: Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 2:49 PM.
I did not include here the contact information of the sender.

Mr Mathew,



Please give me a call at the number below and we can chat or schedule face to face.



Thanks for responding!


I had specified that all correspondence shall be conducted via email. I hope this is just a misunderstanding on their part and not an indication that they are choosing not to comply with my demand for an open and transparent investigation. We will see.