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CCHR: Celebrating 35 Years of Fighting for Mental Health Human Rights

Winner of 9 awards for their work to protect mental health human rights, CCHR began the Florida movement to restore rights and dignity to the field of mental health in 1977 and today counts thousands of members across the state.

The Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) recently celebrated 35 years as a mental health watchdog at an event held in the historic Fort Harrison in downtown Clearwater.

Celebrating past and current triumphs, hundreds of supporters joined the executives and staff of CCHR Florida in a lavish banquet at the historic Fort Harrison. Those in attendance who had gone above and beyond in their support of the humanitarian efforts of CCHR were recognized during an awards ceremony by the President for CCHR in Florida, Diane Stein.

Prior to the presentation of awards, Diane Stein, gave a brief history of where CCHR started and how far this group has come.

CCHR began the Florida movement to restore rights and dignity to the field of mental health in 1977 by taking the issue of consent to Tallahassee to promote a bill that would eventually result in a victory for patient rights in Florida: helping to pass legislation that required informed consent before ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) could be administered to patients. Prior to CCHR's work, those labeled as mentally ill could be given ECT without their consent. ECT administers up to 460 volts of electricity to a patient's brain by use of electrodes— like what cattle receive in slaughterhouses—and has been documented to cause brain damage, long term memory loss and death. ECT survivors have complained of the traumatic effects on their lives, and in Texas—the only state that actually reports deaths 14 days post-ECT treatment—a death rate was revealed that represents an estimated 300 deaths nationally each year from ECT.

Another early notable accomplishment was CCHR's investigation and exposure of patient abuse at Anclote Manor Psychiatric Hospital, an inpatient mental health facility mainly for teenage boys that was located in Tarpon Springs. Anclote Manor had earned a national reputation due to judges from all over the U.S. giving troubled teenage boys two choices: face prosecution for their crime resulting in a permanent record for having committed a felony or be committed to Anclote Manor Psychiatric Hospital to receive treatment.

CCHR's investigation exposed the abusive use of insulin shock, the wrapping of patients in freezing sheets and other atrocities. Using public demonstrations depicting the abuses that were leaked out of Anclote Manor Psychiatric Hospital by patients and staff alike, CCHR was able to amass public attention to the hospital's barbaric practices ultimately leading to the closure of Anclote Manor.

Winner of 9 awards for their work to protect mental health human rights, today, CCHR Florida counts thousands of members across the state and has helped to secure the safe release of over 1,700 people from illegal Baker Acts since 2015.

"CCHR Florida's steadfast commitment to safeguarding mental health human rights is both commendable and crucial in today's society," Representative, Florida House.

Ms. Stein, along with the master of ceremonies for the evening, Executive Director Samuel Guillard, pledged that CCHR would continue to fight for mental health human rights until all Floridians are safe from abuse. For more information on CCHR or to report abuse please visit the offices located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Ave. Clearwater, Florida 33755 or call 1-800-782-2878.

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR's mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health. The Florida chapter of CCHR is an award-winning nonprofit in the area of mental health human rights and government relations. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: "Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the 'free world' tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of 'mental health,'" he wrote in March 1969.

Contact Info:
Name: Diane Stein
Email: Send Email
Organization: Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
Address: 109 North Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida 33755, United States
Phone: +1-727-442-8820

Source: PressCable

Release ID: 89132932

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