Chamberlin, Judi.
On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System

In 1966, in severe emotional distress after a miscarriage, 21-year-old Judi Chamberlin was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. Judi quickly discovered that as a patient it was nearly impossible to regain her freedom. She was told by hospital providers and administrators that she would never be able to live outside an institution.

Judi defied her prognosis and went on to help found what is known as the “psychiatric user, survivor and ex-patient movement.” She drew courage and inspiration from other social justice movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including civil rights, women’s liberation, and gay liberation.

Published originally in 1977, “On Our Own: Patient Controlled Alternatives to the MH System” presents a scathing critique of traditional mental health “treatment” that is still very relevant to today’s mental health care system. It makes a compelling case for “patient-controlled services” — viable and more humane alternatives to the institutions that destroy the confident independence of so many people. This is a work of great hope and optimism. Purchase through Amazon