NARPA’S mission is to support people with psychiatric diagnoses to exercise their legal and human rights, with the goals of abolishing forced treatment and ensuring autonomy, dignity and choice.
NARPA exists to promote social justice for people who experience the world in ways society often calls “mental illness.”
We do this through:
◊ Rights advancement
◊ Promoting alternatives to coercive and harmful practices
So the right to choice can be meaningful
Amicus brief, submitted on behalf of NARPA, WMRLC and persons who have experienced civil commitment, in a case challenging the hospital's refusal to hold civil commitment hearings in a courthouse rather than at the psychiatric hospital.
NARPA's newsletters (originally published between 1984 and 2002) are now available to read on the web, courtesy of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Special Collections & University Archives Librarians.
Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry -- A One-Time Newsletter
NARPA Statement on the response to Hurricane Irma Civilly Committing Homeless People is NOT the Solution to Hurricane Irma Safety
The Needs of People with Psychiatric Disabilities During and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Position Paper and Recommendations A Report of the National Council on Disability, prepared and drafted by Susan Stefan and Ann Marshall of NARPA.
Leonard Roy Frank (1932 - 2015) A civil rights activist, author, psychiatric survivor
Kim Darrow (1946 - 2011) Remembering a remarkable lawyer, naturalist, and civil rights hero
Crazy Like Us: The Americanization of Mental Illness - In recent years, American ideas about psychiatric disorders have spread around the globe. Is that really good for the world's mental health? Read this article by Ethan Watters from the New York Times.
Read an essay sharply critical of the psychiatric industry, published in the medical journal, The Lancet. The article reviews two books: The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment by Joanna Moncrieff and Side Effects: a Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial by Alison Bass. Read the article here.
The Rights Tenet Update - From the NARPA archive: The online version of NARPA's Rights Tenet newsletter. With coverage of the battles against forced drugging laws, the "parity" controversy, the Supreme Court vs. the ADA, etc.
"Tremors in the System: the help you want or the help you get" a new 23minute film by Nora Jacobson features long time NARPA member and supporter Marj Berthold and her experiences in the Vermont mental health system.
Big Pharma Gone Wild: How Risperdal, a drug meant for treating rare psychiatric disorders, became the seventh best-selling medicine in the world.
FDA proposal to reclassify electroshock machines - and deem them safe in the absence of scientific evidence. ** Public comments were due by January 8, 2010. Learn about the FDA docket, find out how to view public comments online, and get additional information here. For background, see "The FDA's Regulation of ECT (Shock Treatment): A Beginner (or Refresher) Course."
Maine's medication law challenged A new federal lawsuit, filed by the Disability Rights Center of Maine, challenges the constitutionality of a new law that allows patients in psychiatric facilities to be medicated against their will. The lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of an 83 year old woman, alleges that the law violates due process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; The law fails to provide patients with adequate notice of a hearing or an opportunity to be heard before being deprived of their liberty. The lawsuit also claims that patients may be forced to take drugs that can cause death or have devastating and irreversible side effects, especially in elderly patients. Read more here.
Prozac.org: how the pharmaceutical industry works behind the scenes to shape public policy and push drugs. An article by Ken Silverstein from *Mother Jones Magazine.*
The New York State Office of Mental Health is promoting the psychiatric drugging of children: Haldol, Adderall, and Dexedrine for 3 year olds, lithium and Depakote for 2 year olds? See this booklet - a Q & A on using medications with children with mental disorders - published by the State of New York for parents of young children.
Alaska Supreme Court Strikes Down Forced Psychiatric Drugging Procedures In a resounding affirmation of personal liberty and freedom, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute. The court found Alaska's forced psychiatric drugging regime to be unconstitutional when the state forces someone to take psychiatric drugs without proving it to be in their best interests or when there are less restrictive alternatives. The Decision also points out that Alaska Statutes require the hospital to honor a patient's previously expressed desires regarding psychiatric medications. Read more...
An open letter responding to the media campaign to undermine the rights of people with mental illnesses
New York High Court Condones Shocking Injustice: New York State's judicial system has abdicated its role and has virtually given the State's Office of Mental Health carte blanche to force unwanted electroshock on New Yorkers. Read PsychRights' press release, NARPA's amicus brief in the Simone D. case, and more...
In Memory and Celebration of Rae Unzicker See "When Women Pursue Justice," a 3,300 square foot mural in New York City celebrating women who led movements for social change in the U.S.A. over the past 150 years, features Rae Unzicker.
Curing the Therapeutic State -- Thomas Szasz on the medicalization of American life. An interview from Reason magazine
Maintaining Integrity and Cultivating Compassion - Keynote address presented by Steven Schwartz, November 2003
"Mindless and Deadly:" Media hype on mental illness and violence - from EXTRA! (the magazine of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Prozac Revisited: As drug gets remade, concerns about suicides surface. . . " Just as the 14-year patent on Prozac is about to expire... and the drug's maker is preparing to launch a new version, a body of evidence has come to light revealing the antidepressant's dark side." - from the Boston Globe
"To Memorizing Politics of Ancient History": International Human Rights and Comparative Mental Disability Law: The Role of Institutional Psychiatry in the Suppression of Political Dissent - Professor Michael Perlin's keynote talk from NARPA's Annual Rights Conference, November 2006
Should all school children should be screened and labeled? The final report of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, issued in 2004, calls for universal mental health screening of universal mental health screening of American children, and the Center for Mental Health Services and Congress are poised to take action...
Supreme Court Upholds ADA & Right to Integration (Olmstead v. L.C.)
Mental Health Advocacy: From Then to Now
The Highlander Statement of Concern and Call to Action
Participants at White House mental health conference appeal for justice - The breakout session on civil rights was a ray of hope in a conference otherwise dominated by proponents of biochemical psychiatry, force, and coercion
Treatment at Westborough State Hospital
September 6-9, 2017
August 2016, Phoenix, Arizona
Last updated on April 7, 2019.