The CCHR museum and award-winning film on the nefarious history of psychiatry are a ‘must-see’

The mental health industry’s free public watchdog museum in Los Angeles has educated and helped more than 280,000 visitors. Visiting health care students to get facts about treatment abuse and deaths. Online virtual tour also available.

The mental health industry’s free public watchdog museum in Los Angeles has educated and helped more than 280,000 visitors.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, April 25, 2022 / — The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International’s Comprehensive Museum of the History of Psychiatry at its headquarters in Los Angeles continues to serve nursing students health professionals who visit the museum as part of their study programme. The self-guided tour includes 14 mini-documentaries featuring interviews with more than 150 medical professionals, lawyers, professors and human rights defenders. Through these interviews and rare historical and contemporary footage, the captivating documentary and museum artifacts provide a definitive resource on historical and current psychiatric theories and practices for students and others. For those who don’t live in LA, there’s a virtual museum tour online that includes all of the films.

Since the museum opened, hundreds of thousands of people have visited, including health care, nursing, and psychology students from more than a dozen schools and colleges for whom visiting the museum makes part of their program. It is a major resource not only for students but also for everyone from filmmakers and writers to families who want to learn more about the risks of psychiatric treatment.

A Director of Nursing commented, “The students and instructors had an amazing and eye-opening time and they were all thrilled with the experience at the museum. I appreciate your cooperation…”

Entitled “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death,” the museum answers questions about why there is so much controversy surrounding psychiatry and why thousands of treatment-related deaths justify the museum’s title.

A 2018 study of inpatient suicides reported in 2014-2015 determined that almost 74% occurred during psychiatric treatment.[1] In a country where 1 in 5 Americans take psychotropic drugs, the combined number of benzodiazepine and antidepressant overdose deaths was 17,887 in 2020.[2] A Government Accountability Office report also “identified thousands of allegations of abuse, some resulting in death” in psychiatric-behavioral residential programs across the country.[3]

CCHR’s work on abuse in for-profit psychiatric facilities and the “troubled teen” behavioral industry has identified dozens of wrongful deaths among children. Isolation rooms or means of restraint are used in children from the age of 6 years. A US Senate Finance Committee investigation found that at least 86 children died between 2005 and 2014 while in the care of one of the largest for-profit foster care companies providing behavioral care. . treatment.[4]

Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger referred to another chain of for-profit psychiatric hospitals as developing a “culture of fear and abuse”. This followed what Fieger called the “execution” of a 16-year-old African-American teenager for “the crime of throwing a sandwich” on the facility’s canteen floor. Seven staff members immobilized the boy in a restraint, “deprived him of oxygen and his brain suffered irreversible damage”. His “scream of ‘I can’t breathe’ wasn’t enough to get staff members to stop the over-restraint,” Fieger said, and he died two days later.[5]

At another behavioral facility, a 14-year-old boy suffered “multiple head trauma causing concussions, lacerations requiring stitches, hematomas [blood clots] and other injuries. “It is disgusting when our most vulnerable children are placed in these facilities and then treated like animals,” said lawyer Tommy James.[6]

The “troubled teen” industry is big business. It receives “approximately $23 billion in annual public funds to supposedly address the behavioral and psychological needs of vulnerable youth,” according to an article published by the American Bar Association.[7] For all age groups in 2020, $280.5 billion was spent on treatment and services for behavioral/mental disorders.[8] Yet the conditions and results are only getting worse, according to the CCDH.

CCHR quotes a psychiatry professor who recently wrote in Psychiatric Times that critics of psychiatry include “patients and family members, journalists, academy members, sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, directors of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and even the DSM. [Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders] the chairs of the working groups themselves strongly opposed this for both general and specific reasons.[9]

The museum and documentaries illustrate why CCHR has been committed for 53 years to cleaning up the field of mental health. The watchdog has documented abuses that, when exposed, led to nearly 200 legislative protections enacted around the world. A UN special rapporteur has described the need for these laws because without them psychiatric practices would have “further undermined the rights of patients or given psychiatry the power to intern minority groups and individuals against their will”. .[10] The museum provides additional proof of this necessity.

CCHR was co-founded in 1969 by the late professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz who proudly declared, “I never [involuntarily] committed person. I have never given an electric shock. I have never, ever given medicine to a mentally ill person.[11] It’s a legacy that today’s mental health system badly needs to learn from, and the museum documents why, if lives are to be saved.

The museum is free and is located at 6616 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90028. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours can be booked by calling the museum director at (800) 869-2247. or (323) 467-4242.

[1] [2]; [3] “Five Facts About the Troubled Teen Industry,” American Bar Association, October 22, 2021, – industry-struggling-teenager/ [4] “Children Are Not Well: How Private Equity Benefits Behavioral Health Services for Vulnerable and At-Risk Youth,” Private Equity Stakeholder Project, February 17, 2022, -content/uploads/2022/02/PESP_Youth_BH_Rapport_2022.pdf [5] “Death of Black Teenager in U.S. Juvenile Facility Sparks Outrage,” Gidi Point, July 9, 2020, us-juvenile-facility-sparks-outrage/ [6], citing: Chelsea Retherford, “Lawsuit Claims Abuse at Courtland Sequel Youth Facility,” The Moulton Advertiser, January 7, 2021, [7] Op. cit., American Bar Association, Oct. 22, 2021 [8] “Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Care Improves Value for Patients, Providers, and Communities,” Trendwatch, American Hospitals Association, May 2019, p. 4, [9] Philip Hickey, “Responding to Dr. Moorhead’s second attack on antipsychiatry”, Behaviorism and Mental Health, April 14, 2022, -second-attack-on-anti-psychiatry/ [10] Erica Daes, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 1986 [12] citing: 2012/sep/17/local/la-me-thomas-szasz-20120917-1

Amber Rauscher
Citizens Commission on Human Rights
+1 323-467-4242
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