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Speaking Out For Those Who Have Been Silenced by the Psychiatric Profession

“Hug Children Don’t Drug Them.” Protesters demand that the APA end the use of damaging antipsychotics on kids. Lydia Gans photo

“You are exposed, you psychiatrists of the APA. We know that psychiatry has long ago lost whatever conscience it may have possessed. We know that you are snug in bed with the drug companies, that you couldn’t even exist as a professional association without drug company funding.” — Leah Harris

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East Bay Hospital Is Closed for Good

The empty hallways of East Bay Hospital, shut down for good by investigative reporting and protests. Lydia Gans photo

The undeserved suffering of poor and homeless mental-health clients galvanized us to shut down East Bay Hospital so this anguish would never visit another family. This negligent psychiatric hospital had crammed disabled clients into shamefully overloaded wards in pursuit of higher profits. Now those once-crowded wards have been closed forever.

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One Death Too Many at East Bay Hospital

Forced restraints at East Bay Hospital created an outcry in the community.

Marc Kiefer was found dead in a locked isolation unit at East Bay Hospital after enduring nearly 18 torturous hours of physical shackles and shocking medical negligence. Kiefer was left dead in restraints for hours while East Bay Hospital’s negligent staff ignored him in death as they had in life.

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Mental Health, Inc.

Drug companies market their super-profitable, addictive and dangerous psych-meds to children. One of the most heinous crimes of the 21st Century will be the massive over-medication of children. Physicians’ willingness to uncritically follow pharmaceutical companies’ profit-driven recommendations to prescribe dangerous drugs to children will one day be recognized as criminal negligence.

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Wellness and Recovery or the Same Old Sickness?

It is clear that for all my compassionate concern about the social injustice that is homelessness, I need to put more focus on my own wellness and recovery — physically, emotionally and mentally. The shift in mental health services delivery is to look more closely at the holistic link between mental, emotional and physical health, with a growing concern about diet, exercise, and the need to address physical ills facing the poor such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma, often linked to issues of environmental racism.

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Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.