David W. Oaks is the founder and executive director of MindFreedom International, based in Eugene, Oregon. The organization includes psychiatric survivors and dissident psychiatrists who reject what they say is the "domination" by the biomedical model that defines contemporary psychiatry. Oaks says that the psychiatric drugs that patients take have harmful side effects, and people can often recover without them.
David Oaks himself was institutionalized and forcibly medicated in the 1970s, while studying at Harvard University, for what was diagnosed as schizophrenia. He recovered, he says, by rejecting drugs and getting support from family and friends. Oaks says he "maintains his mental health with exercise, diet, peer counseling and wilderness trips — strategies that are well outside the mainstream thinking of psychiatrists and many patients".
Oaks is on the board of directors for the United States International Council on Disability.
Awards[change | change source]
- Lane Independent Living Alliance award in 2011.
- Utne Reader magazine named Oaks as one of "50 Visionaries" for 2009.
- Barrier Awareness Day 2003 Leadership Award.
- 2002 Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.
- Project Censored award 2000.
- 1994 David J. Vail National Advocacy Award by National Mental Health Association of Minnesota.
Selected Articles[change | change source]
- Oaks, David W. (2007). ‘MindFreedom International: Activism for Human Rights as the Basis for a Nonviolent Revolution in the Mental Health System’. In Peter Stastny & Peter Lehmann (Eds.), Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry (pp. 328–336). Berlin / Eugene / Shrewsbury: Peter Lehmann Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9545428-1-8 (UK), ISBN 978-0-9788399-1-8 (USA).
- Oaks, David W. (2007). ‘MindFreedom International – Engagement für Menschenrechte als Grundlage einer gewaltfreien Revolution im psychosozialen System’. In Peter Lehmann & Peter Stastny (Eds.), Statt Psychiatrie 2 (pp. 344–352). Berlin / Eugene / Shrewsbury: Antipsychiatrieverlag. ISBN 978-3-925931-38-3.
- Oaks, David W. (1993). 'Antipsychiatrie und Politik – 20 Jahre Widerstand in den USA' (pp. 443–448). In Kerstin Kempker & Peter Lehmann (Eds.), Statt Psychiatrie. Berlin: Antipsychiatrieverlag. ISBN 3-925931-07-4.
References[change | change source]
- Oaks, David. "Let's Stop Saying "Mental Illness"". MI Watch. http://www.miwatch.org/2008/03/lets_stop_saying_mental_illnes.html. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- Randy Barrett and Neil Munro (Apr 28, 2007). "Paved With Good Intentions?". National Journal. http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mf/national-journal-200704.
- Gabrielle Glaser (May 11, 2008). "‘Mad Pride’ Fights a Stigma". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/fashion/11madpride.html?pagewanted=all.
- United States International Council on Disability (April 21, 2010). "David Oaks and MindFreedom International". http://www.usicd.org/detail/news.cfm?news_id=136.