World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry


World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) is an international organisation representing, and led by, users (consumers) and survivors of psychiatry. As of 2003, over 70 national organizations were members of WNUSP, based in 30 countries. [http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/contrib-wnusp.htm] The network seeks to protect and develop the human rights, disability rights, dignity and self-determination of those labeled as 'mentally ill'.

Activities

WNUSP is a consultant organization for the United Nations. It contributed to the development of the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. [http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/wgcontrib-wnusp.htm] [http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/contrib-wnusp.htm] WNUSP has produced a manual to help people use it called "Implementing the Disability Rights Treaty, for Users, Survivors of Psychiatry" [http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/resource-implementing-the-disability-rights-treaty-for-users-survivors-of-psychiatry/]

In 2007 at a Conference held in Dresden on "Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Review", the president and other leaders of the World Psychiatric Association met, following a formal request from the World Health Organization, with four representatives from leading consumer/survivor groups, including WNUSP. [Mezzichi, J.E. (2007) [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2174591 The dialogal basis of our profession: Psychiatry with the Person World Psychiatry.] 2007 October; 6(3): 129–130.]

A co-chair of WNUSP is Tina Minkowitz, an international advocate and lawyer. [http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=163]

Core values

The core values of WNUSP, in representating a diversity of perspectives within the consumer/survivor movement or psychiatric survivors movement, guide its activities and assists in determining the focus of the network. These values stress empowerment, equality, self-determination, respect, dignity, independence, mutual support, self-help, advocacy, education, and the right to pursue individual spiritual beliefs.

WNUSP values exposure to information and knowledge as means to enabling empowerment and individual self-direction, understanding that knowledge results in better-informed choices and opportunities to enhance quality of life. The network ascribes to person-centred values where the individual is more important than any diagnostic label or experience in dealing with the mental health system. WNUSP believes the experiences of living with problems can be valuable in exploring human experience, both to individuals and society, and that those suffering distress may offer invaluable insights to necessary changes in mental health diagnosis, treatment and laws.

History

Since the 1970s, the psychiatric survivors movement has grown from a few scattered self-help groups to a world-wide network engaged in protecting civil rights and facilitation of efforts to provide housing, employment, public education, research, socialisation and advocacy programmes. The term 'psychiatric survivor' is used by individuals who identify themselves as having experienced human rights violations in the mental health system. WNUSP was established to further promote this movement and to respond on an international level to the oppression survivors continue to experience.

After initially meeting, in 1991, as the World Federation of Psychiatric Users at the biennial World Federation for Mental Health conference in Mexico, the network's name was changed to WNUSP in 1997. In 2000, the WNUSP Secretariat was established in Odense, Denmark. In 2001, the network held its First General Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia, with 34 groups from twelve countries represented, and adopted its governing statutes.

In 2004, the network held its Second General Assembly in Vejle, Denmark with 150 participants from 50 countries attending.

In 2007 WNUSP received ECOSOC special consultative status at the United Nations.

ENUSP

The European Network of (Ex)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry is the most important European NGO of (ex-)users and survivors. Forty-two representatives from 16 European countries met at a conference to found it in the Netherlands in October 1991. Every 2 years, delegates from the ENUSP members in more than 40 European countries meet at a conference where the policies for the coming period are set out. All delegates are (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry. ENUSP is officially involved in consultations on mental health plans and policies of the European Union, World Health Organization and other important bodies. Initial funding came from the Dutch government and from the European Commission but has since proved more difficult to secure. ENUSP is involved in commenting and debating declarations, position papers, policy guidelines of the EU, UN, WHO and other important bodies. [Hollis, I. (2002) [http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119016304/abstract About the impossibility of a single (ex-)user and survivor of psychiatry position] Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Volume 104 Issue s410, Pages 102 - 106]

ee also

*Anti-psychiatry
*Icarus Project
*Involuntary commitment
*MindFreedom International

External links

* [http://www.wnusp.net WNUSP] - World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP main web site)
* [http://www.enusp.org/index.htm ENUSP] - European Network of (ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP)
** [http://www.enusp.org/congresses/vejle/press-release.htm ENUSP.org] - 'ENUSP Press Release' (July 20, 2004)
* [http://www.inclusion-international.org/en/ii_initiatives/13.html Inclusion-International.org] - International Disability Alliance
* [http://moosa-salie.oism.info/ Moosa-Salie.oism.info] - 'Launching Conference of the Pan African Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (PANUSP)', Moosa Salie (WNUSP board co-chair)
* [http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/wgcontrib-wnusp.htm UN.org] - 'Contribution by World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry', United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (January, 2004)

References


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