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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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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.