The founder of RAPS talks about her background and story, and how she became active and founded RAPS.
Here’s how we got started at RAPS
by Linda Valentine
In 1997 with the encouragement of David Oaks due to the fact that parents, guardians, allies and friends of people trapped in the system had questions! Questions that needed to be answered and feelings that something was not quite right with the “treatments” their loved one received usually by force or coercion not choice. Calls kept piling in and David knew I was so very ready to call others back and connect because I found out about the “Mental Health
System” the hard way.
I use to be a mother, wife, secretary but all that changed when they drugged my son (only one) almost to death. Now I am an activist/advocate and expose and share any information regarding “Mental Health” that is hidden from the public.
In the beginning (1996) I found out how these psych wards operate. Besides never calling us back or letting us know how many times they restrained our son I also learned of the 14 day hold and the 30 day hold. The person who they are holding is given a notice that they will appear in court and that the Public Guardians Office will own them and renew this hold each year as needed. I went into my son’s room and grabbed the notice and we got an attorney immediately. Little did I know that in 3 days his life with us would be in the hands of the Public Guardians Office and that they could refuse us visitation, phone calls and anything else they have the powers to do. This was like a death sentence to me and hundreds of others I have spoken too over the years and it happens every day.
We were so lucky to have the money to Conserve him but the panic and pain learning of these procedures was almost unbearable to me. I could not believe that this was a way of life for so many trapped in the system and I intended to do something about it and I did. Fortunately I found David Oaks with the help of Ginger Breggin, Dr. Peter Breggin’s wife and started this group 10 years ago.