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Long-time MindFreedom member and activist Peter Lehmann has been given an honorary doctor for his decades of work to win human rights and alternatives in the mental health field. [Update 29 Oct. 2010]


Peter Lehmann awarded Honorary Doctoral Degree by the School of Psychology of the Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki, Greece, Faculty of Philosophy. He is in the ceremonial hall “Alexandros Papanastasiou”) [Photo by Takis Leontidis, FOTO GRECO]


Anyone who pays attention to the movement for human rights and alternatives in psychiatry, will invariably encounter the name Peter Lehmann.

In acknowledgment of his “exceptional scientific and humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric experience,” the School of Psychology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, awarded Peter the Honorary Doctoral Degree on the 28th of September 2010 (see photo).

This author, born in 1950 in Calw in the Black Forest of Germany, is a long-time active member of MindFreedom International.

Peter personally experienced involuntary psychiatric detention and treatment in the 1970s, and has worked for the rights of psychiatric patients and their world-wide networking for the past 30 years.

He was a founding member of the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP), of PSYCHEX (Switzerland) and of the Runaway-house Berlin, among many other organizations.

Based on experiential knowledge, his books — such as “Coming off Psychiatric Drugs” and “Alternatives beyond Psychiatry” — describe current self-help possibilities for individuals experiencing what is considered madness, as well as the risks and harms of psychiatric drugs and electroshock, alternatives beyond psychiatry, and strategies toward implementing humane treatment.

Peter Lehmann is the first survivor of psychiatry anywhere in the world to be honored with an Honorary Doctoral Degree for pioneering achievements within the realm of humanistic antipsychiatry.

The award was initiated by Prof. Kostas Bairaktaris of Aristotle University in Greece. Since the end of the 1970s, Bairaktaris has played a key role in dismantling the psychiatric prison on the Island of Leros that has had a number of public scandals. Bairaktaris was also involved in beginning the process of de-institutionalisation from the state-run psychiatric facility of Thessaloniki in the mid-1980s.

Prof. Bairaktaris is certain that the tribute to Peter Lehmann, which he initiated, will stand as a symbol for the growing significance of the international self-help movement of users and survivors of psychiatry and other socially marginalized individuals.

For more information about Peter Lehmann see or e-mail him at

To see more pictures and additional material like his lecture “International Noncompliance and Humanistic Antipsychiatry” on the occasion of the awarding of an Honorary Doctoral Degree or the universities’ experts opinion about Peter’s works go to

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