I spent one year in "my" state hospital, also in Massachusetts, and lasted almost four years as one who carried the keys before taking my current job. This is also advocating for Human Rights, but is with a large community mental health provider. Every day I bear witness to the lack of human rights suffered by people who by and large are hapless, rather than dangerous. The violations are not egregious abuse and neglect, although I occasionally see that too. Rather they happen in the daily assumptions that "we know best" and the daily practice of removing choices from people. It is this daily denial of simple choices I believe that creates what we in the field shamefully calls "learned helplessness" and fails to see its role in creating such a state.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013