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If you can conduct the interviews, we can connect you with the interviewees.

 

Introduction

 

They have been referred to as “America’s most vulnerable citizens”;  they have also had other people speaking for them on account of their presumed “voicelessness”. Some of these people speaking for them even claim to be advocates on account of this presumed “voicelessness”; the people I’m talking about are people who have at one time or another experienced the mental health system as patients. They are not voiceless, and we want to provide them with the opportunity to tell their side of the story.

 

Mental health treatment, often mistreatment by another name, around the world has had a long and varied history. This history includes such now archaic methods of treatment as dunking, bloodletting, vomitting, and more recently, such harmful practices as sterilization and brain surgery. Certainly some forms of treatment being used today will find themselves supplanted in the future. MindFreedom Florida, Inc., is currently interested in launching an oral history project that will involve the collecting of accounts of people on the receiving end of the psychiatric system.

 

Internships Available for Oral History Project

 

MindFreedom Florida, Inc., is looking for a student or students currently attending the University of Florida, to intern on an oral history project on institutionalization in mental hospitals in association with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Project.  This project will involve interviewing psychiatric survivors, mental health consumers, and former patients who have experienced the mental health system first hand, and who reside in the state of Florida. We are especially interested in collecting accounts of coercive treatment, institutionalization, discrimination, and recovery. The project can possibly be integrated into one's class work and undertaken for credit. Personal experience in or with the mental health system is a plus, but not a must. If you are interested in working on this project, or if you would like more information, please, call 352-328-2511 or email nfla@mindfreedom.org.

                                    

                                    Examples of similar oral history projects

 

The Mental Health Testimony Archives of the British Library

 

The Alaska Mental Health Trust History Project Jukebox

 

The Psychiatric Survivor Archive of Toronto

 

The MindFreedom Personal Story Project

 

  Related Projects

 

Psychology professor Gail Hornstein has published a downloadable bibliography of first hand accounts of madness accessible online at the link below.

 

Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness In English (4th Edition)

 

A museum exhibit that has been touring the coutry, and that has even metamorphosized into a book:

 

The Willard Suitcase Exhibit