Peaceful protesters are coming to speak in front of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting protest, Occupy APA, from all over the USA. Here is just a little bit more about the speakers and their bio’s.

Just some of the people speaking out in the peaceful Occupy APA protest of the American Psychiatric Association in Philadelphia on 5 May 2012, arriving from all over the USA…


Kyle Arnold, PhD: Psychologist Critical of New DSMKyle Arnold, PhD – Psychologist Supporting Petition Against DSM-5

Kyle Arnold, PhD, is a Brooklyn, NY psychologist involved with the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, whose petition – with more than 13,000 signatures by mental health professionals – opposes the proposed changes to the DSM. Dr. Arnold, a member of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, said, “The DSM-5 will recklessly assign psychiatric labels to many people who should not have them, which will lead to further over-prescription of dangerous drugs and more infringement on individual freedoms.”




Caitlin Belforti: Psychiatric survivor, young adult leader, student

Caitlin Belforti – College student psychiatric survivor in Connecticut. 

Caitlin is a survivor of maltreatment of Adelphi University’s student counseling center. A young adult new to the movement, Caitlin hopes to continue to her involvement in the psychiatric survivor movement and bring more attention to an issue that is all too prevalent and all too ignored. Also an actress and a poet, Caitlin hopes to use the medium of performing arts to spread awareness, and to reach fellow survivors. She says, “Many thanks to the support I have received so far from the cool crowd that is MindFreedom!”




Frank Blankenship: Psychiatric Survivor Activist in FloridaFrank Blankenship – Psychiatric survivor from Florida.

Frank is a long-time activist, blogger and protester for human rights in the mental health system, and founder of MindFreedom Florida. Frank chairs the MFI Affiliate Support Committee. Check out his blog Lunatic Fringe, highly critical of the mental health industry abuses. Frank has participated in a number of peaceful protests of the American Psychiatric Association, including of their Annual Meeting in San Francisco, and street theater directly in front of their office headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. 



Ted ChabasinskiTed Chabasinki – psychiatric survivor activist from California

Ted Chabasinski, as a six-year-old foster child in New York City, was experimented on with electric shock treatment, then locked up in a state hospital till the age of seventeen. He has been involved with the psychiatric survivors liberation movement since 1971. Ted was one of the main organizers of the successful vote in Berkeley, California to ban shock treatment there, a campaign that received international attention. Now a patients rights lawyer, Ted is a past president and board member of MindFreedom International.  Ted has been active in the psychiatric survivor movement for more than four decades. For more on Ted’s story click here.




Laura Delano - Psychiatric survivor blogger activistLaura Delano – psychiatric survivor blogger from Boston, Massachusetts

Diagnosed with major depression at age fourteen and re-diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age eighteen, Laura Delano came to believe that, as a person living with “mental illness”, she would spend her life going in and out of psychiatric hospitals, on numerous medications, and with little to no hope for a life of meaning and purpose. See Laura’s excellent blog at the web site Anatomy of an Epidemic, created by journalist Robert Whitaker.

  • George Ebert has  worked as an advocate and human rights activist with the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance in New York State for 35 years.

Dan L. Edmunds, EdD - dissident psychologist from Scranton, PA

Dan L. Edmunds, EdD – dissident psychologist from Scranton, PA

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a psychotherapist specializing in drug free relational approaches for autism and developmental differences and extreme states of mind. He is the founder of the Center for Humane Psychiatry, an emancipatory movement for human rights in the mental health system.


Mary Fala, MA, is a mental health consumer advocate leader in PennsylvaniaMary Fala, MA is a mental health advocate from Haverton, Pennsylvania. 

Mary is a leader among mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors in Pennsylvania seeking change in the mental health system. Mary is on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association (PMHCA), and she is the South East Regional Community Support Program Technical Assistant. (No photo available yet. Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)

  • Diana Gonzalez is a psychiatric survivor and activist who is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Pschology.  f Directors International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Pschology.

Jim Gottstein of PsychRightsJim Gottstein, JD – Attorney, psychiatric survivor, founder of Psychrights from Alaska

James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq. is president and CEO of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights® whose mission is to mount a strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock. A Harvard-trained attorney and psychiatric survivor, Jim has helped provide leadership within a wide number of mental health advocacy organizations, as well as within the court room. He is also a member of the board of directors of International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology (ISEPP)




Daniel Hazen: Survivor of psychiatric and penal systemsDaniel Hazen – Psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

Daniel is a human rights activist and survivor of the psychiatric and penal systems. He is one of the founding board members of the Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Currently,  Daniel is the Executive Director of Voices of the Heart,  Inc., a membership organization located in Hudson Falls, NY that promotes and defends the rights and interests of people who have been labeled “mentally ill.”

Aki Imai: Graduate student ally to psychiatric survivorsAki Imai: Life After Labels


Aki Imai is a 25 years-old Japanese graduate student who studies Clinical Psychology in Ohio. Aki acts as an ally to support the voices and choices of survivors of psychiatric abuse. In conjunction with MindFreedom International, and as part of the Boycott Normal Campaign,  Aki launched a submission-based blog, Life After Labels for people to submit stories about overcoming difficulties in receiving psychiatric diagnoses. 

  • Adina Lambert is a psychotherapist who practices in a suburb of Philadelphia.  She is a member of the Board of Directors International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Pschology.


Harry Bentivegna Lichtenstein of New YorkHarry Bentivegna Lichtenstein, MS – MindFreedom New York City

Harryis a long-time New York City activist for human rights in mental health, as well as for a more humane and wholistic health system for all. Harry is a poet, speaker, runner, health enthusiast, teacher, andemployee of Gary Null & Associates in Manhattan. Harry has helped start and currently coordinates the MindFreedom New York City affiliate.




Clancy McKenzie: Philadelphia Psychiatrist Who Supports Protest of APAClancy McKenzie, M.D. – Philadelphia psychiatrist critical of the psychiatric industry, and the DSM

Dr. Clancy McKenzie is a psychiatrist in Philadelphia who is highly critical of his own psychiatric profession. Dr. McKenzie is an acclaimed authority on helping individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). Dr. McKenzie is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a recipient of Temple University’s Mandela Humanitarian Award for community work.





David W. OaksDavid W. Oaks – psychiatric survivor, MFI director, from Oregon


David is a survivor of forced psychiatric drugging during several institutionalizations. Told he would forever be a medicated schizophrenic by his psychiatrists, David has instead been an activist for change in the mental health system for 36 years, and now directs MindFreedom International from their headquarters in Eugene, Oregon. For more about David’s bio click here.


Joseph-Rogers.jpgJoseph Rogers – long-time mental health consumer leader

Joseph has been widely acknowledged as one of the national leaders in the movement led by people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, to change and the mental health care system. Joseph is executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, a peer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and chief advocacy officer of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. (Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)




Susan-Rogers.jpgSusan Rogers – long-time leader from host city of Philly


Susan, one of the coordinators of the Occupy the APA organizing committee, is director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, a peer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Susan is also director of special projects of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. (Organizations listed for identification purposes only; Photo by Corinna West, Wellness Wordworks.)




Lauren-Tenney.jpgLauren Tenney – psychiatric survivor Opal Project leader, New York, PhD Candidate, MPhil, MA, MPA

Lauren is a psychiatric survivor who was first involuntarily committed at 15 years old. She works to expose and abolish state-sponsored murder, torture, and slavery carried out through organized psychiatry. She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the College of Staten Island, CUNY and completing a dissertation, (de)VOICED, in the PhD Program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Lauren is one of the founders of the New York State based Opal Project. 

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