- Howie the Harp
- Joe Rogers: Self-Help
- Jim Rye: Human Rights
- Judi Chamberlin: Author
- Peter Ashenden: Self-Help
- David Gonzalez: Recovery
- Dan Fisher: Empowerment
- Shery Mead: Peer Support
- David Oaks: MindFreedom
- Celia Brown: Peer Specialist
- Julius Green: Peer Specialist
- Dwayne Mayes: Employment
- Mary Ellen Copeland: WRAP
- Larry Fricks: P.S. Certification
- Pat Deegan: Personal Medicine
- Harvey Rosenthal: Rehabilitation
- Eric Jackson: Author & Advocate
- Ron Bassman: Author & Educator
- Ron Schraiber: Well-Being Project
Hope and Transformation
Pat Deegan is a psychiatric survivor, having first been diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duquesne University in 1984. Pat coined the term "Personal Medicine" which she defines as "the things that give life meaning and make life worth living."
After completing school Pat worked as a clinical director of community-based programs for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health from 1983-1987. She lived in an intentional spiritual community (l’Arche) with people with developmental disabilities between 1987-1989. In August of 1988, Pat took a position as a program director with the Northeast Independent Living Program. In this capacity she designed and implemented a model for working with people with psychiatric disabilities in Independent Living/cross disability settings. This program was nominated for a "Community Health Leadership Award" by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Pat is an activist in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement and a co-founder of the National Empowerment Center Inc., which was a federally funded, national technical assistance center run by consumer/survivors. Between 1992 and September of 2001 she held the position of Director of Training at the National Empowerment Center, Inc. In this capacity she developed many self-help tools and resources to support people in their recovery, including a booklet on coping with distressing voices and a training on working with people who appear unmotivated. She also developed innovative trainings and curricula including an audio taped simulation of hearing voices. The “voices curriculum” has received international acclaim and is used to train psychiatrists, mental health workers, family members and police officers to work more compassionately with people diagnosed with mental illness.
Pat has given keynote addresses, lectures, and workshops across the United States, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. She has 27 published papers on topics related to recovery, empowerment and systems transformation. She has written many articles that have been featured in newsletters and on web sites. Pat’s papers have been have been translated into Spanish, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and German. Pat has also co-directed an hour length documentary called Inside Outside: Building a Meaningful Life After the Hospital. The film is a work of hope, capturing the lives of 8 people as they transition from long-term institutionalization to successful community living.
Since 1997, Pat has been involved in documenting ex-patient perspectives on the history of mental health services. She has made a film about that project called The Politics of Memory. She partnered with African American and Native American colleagues Vanessa Jackson and Pemina Yellow Bird to explore modern issues of racial disparity in healthcare through the exploration of historically segregated asylums in America. She has helped to collect the oral history of survivors of mental institutions and advocate for the inclusion of these voices in historical accounts of mental healthcare.
Pat has also successfully led a group of ex-patients in restoring forgotten cemeteries at Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts and in securing $4.26 million dollars in new housing through the sale of that hospital. Pat is now a leader of a national effort of people with psychiatric disabilities to properly restore and memorialize those buried at state hospitals. She has helped to establish cemetery restoration groups in 21 states and has co-produced a film about the effort titled From Numbers To Names. She has lectured about the importance of state hospital cemetery restoration before all of the mental health commissioners in the United States and has twice been invited to address the issue at national summit meetings of state hospital superintendents. These lectures have resulted in a national position paper on state hospital cemetery restoration approved by the national organization of state mental health commissioners (NASMHPD). In addition she has testified before state legislatures on issues related to state hospital cemetery restoration, helped to draft legislation in Massachusetts, California and Maine, and her work has been widely covered in the media including U.S. News and World Report, National Public Radio, The Boston Globe, the Atlanta Constitution, the Los Angeles Times and the Harford Courant.
Pat’s current projects include researching a recovery-based approach to using psychiatric medications at the University of Kansas, developing recovery-based competences for mental health practitioners, helping to restore forgotten cemeteries at state hospitals and helping consumers win money for new housing through the sale of state hospitals.