- 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
Once a twenty-two year old man, stripped naked, shackled in restraints and subjected to mind-numbing drugs and forty life-threatening insulin comas all in the name of treatment, Dr. Ronald Bassman painfully and slowly reconstructed his shattered life. Today a teacher, therapist, activist, and internationally sought after speaker, Dr. Bassman takes us inside his extraordinary journey of recovery, challenges the medical community's reliance on pharmaceutical solutions as the only path to healing, and explodes the myths of diagnostic certainties and limitations. Drawing on his and others' first-hand stories, he explores new compassionate paradigms of transformation and recovery. Riveting, horrifying, and ultimately uplifting, A Fight To Be is a story of courage, determination, resilience of the human spirit, and above all, hope and possibility. Dr Bassman's unique insight from both sides of the locked door challenges readers to open their minds and their hearts, reexamine assumptions, discard limitations and embrace possibilities. A ground-breaking book, A Fight To Be speaks directly to individuals, families, students, professors and clinicians with a compelling message: we can and must do better.
In 1969, at the age of 25, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time in three years. The first diagnosis, schizophrenia, paranoid type was followed by a second hospitalization and the diagnosis schizophrenia, chronic type. My treatments included electro-shock, insulin comas and massive doses of medication. After I recovered from my "treatments" and began addressing the identity issues that had triggered my excursion into "madness," I entered graduate school, earned my doctorate and have worked as a licensed psychologist in a state hospital, in private practice, been a consultant to schools and state agencies and have been the executive director of a 7-county comprehensive mental health center. During that time I worked as a clinician and an advocate and did not reveal my psychiatric history for twenty years.
More than a decade ago I chose to identify myself as a psychiatric survivor in order to draw from all of my experience and to be fully genuine in my relationships and work. Currently I work as a psychotherapist with Behavioral Health Specialists (BHS), a private psychotherapy group. I also teach Community Mental Health in the graduate school at Sage Colleges. Prior to joining BHS, I worked for 9 years at the New York State Office of Mental Health Bureau of Recipient Affairs doing self-help project development, education and technical assistance. I am a former two-term president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) and I continue to serve on the Board of Directors. I have been an elected member of the American Psychological Association's Expert Taskforce on Serious Mental Illness. With other ex-patients and allies, I was a co-founder of the International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR), which held its first meeting of alternative practitioners and psychiatric survivors in 2004. Currently I am chair of The Community Consortium, an organization created to promote the civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities, and to provide the tools to facilitate genuine community integration for people who use mental health services.