ADVOCATES STAND TO SAY YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ME,
STOP PSYCHIATRIC PROFILING!
People from across New York State who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis Stand in Protest of funding for legislation that violates human rights at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2013-2014 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic "Mental Hygiene".
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: AMY COLESANTE, (518) 813-3156
WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE and ACTION
WHERE: Legislative Office Building 181 State Street, outside of Hearing Room B Albany, NY 12247
DATE: February 27, 2013
PRESS CONFERENCE TIME: 12:30 PM (at close of Hearing)
PHOTO OP TIME: From 9:30 AM thru the close of the Public Hearings, (12:30 PM)
WEBSITE FOR PUBLIC: mhepinc.org
On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, people who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis will be taking a stand against New York State Legislation that tracks and criminalizes them. These advocates will be wearing T-Shirts that say on the front, “You are talking about me” and on the back, “Stop psychiatric profiling” in protest of legislation such as the New York Safe Act; public health law Section 384b of the Social Services Law that removes children from their parents simply because they have been given a psychiatric diagnosis; and the expansion and extension of the highly controversial Kendra’s Law.
Amy Colesante, Executive Director of Mental Health Empowerment Project, a statewide advocacy organization that is run for and by people with first hand, lived experience in the psychiatric system, states “Today, we Stand to let the New York Legislature know it is not acceptable to spend tax-payer dollars to promote and fund multiple acts of legislation which violate the civil, human, and constitutional rights of people who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis.”
The latest discriminatory action taken by the NYS government involves the creation of a central data base designed to track people with a psychiatric diagnosis. Maura Kelley, Director of Mental Health Peer Connection, a consumer run program in Buffalo, New York states “Research findings can no longer be ignored. It is commonly cited that people with a psychiatric history are 14 times more likely to be a victims of crime than arrested for one (Brekke, 2001). In the United States and abroad, people are calling for action to stop psychiatric profiling (Walsh, et, al 2003). These efforts to scapegoat us are simply a veil of safety.”
Stopping psychiatric profiling is a movement to eliminate the scapegoating of people who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis by politicians, media, gun control advocates and the pro-gun lobbyists. Ellen Healion, Executive Director of Hands Across Long Island, a consumer-run agency in Long Island, states “people with a psychiatric label pose as much risk to the general public as everyone sitting on the floor of the Assembly or Senate. The bottom line is the fact that even considering a data base attacks civil liberties and rights. That this issue is even being discussed, whether publicly or behind closed doors is an atrocity.”