Jensen was born in 1951 in Denmark. Experienced forced psychiatry
in the early 1970s and in this century unfortunately nothing
else than the physical environment really changed. Get help from
personal network and from natural remedies when madness appears.
Since 1980 taken part in the national user-/survivor-movement
in Denmark. Co-founder of the
European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry
(ENUSP) in 1991. Chair of the Network 1994-1996. Co-founder of
LAP (Landsforeningen af Nuværende og Tidligere Psykiatribrugere),
the Danish Association of Users and Ex-users of Psychiatry. 2001-2009:
one of two European members of the board of the World
Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP). Worked
for many years as a teacher in public school. For seven years
employed as the manager of a drop-in and activity centre in Kolding,
Denmark. After some years as a consultant in a social development
center doing evaluations, research and courses employed as development
officer in LAP. Edited a couple books critical towards psychiatry
and wrote a number of articles about human rights and recovery
issues in Danish magazines.
Regina Bellion, born 1941, cleaning-woman, factory-worker,
haute-couture sales-woman, teacher, waitress etc. Today living
in retirement in Bad Orb.
Carola Bock (FRG), pseudonym, born 1949, industrial accountant,
from 1991 in early retirement. Carola sadly died in November
Wilma Boevink was born in 1963. Social scientist. Working
in Utrecht at Trimbos-instituut
(the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) as
a senior researcher. Founder of TREE, a user-led training
and consulting company in the area of recovery, empowerment and
experiential expertise of persons with psychiatric disabilities.
From 2006-09, Chair of Stichting
Weerklank, the Dutch organisation of people who hear voices
and have psychotic experiences; from 2008-13, Professor of Recovery
at Hanze University Groningen. Former active member of the Dutch
user-movement in psychiatry and board member of the European
Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Publications
of Recovery: Working Together towards Experiential Knowledge in
Mental Health Care (ed., 2006). Contributor to Recovery
of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and Related Perspectives
(2012); Empowerment, Lifelong Learning and Recovery in
Mental Health: Towards a New Paradigm (2012).
Michael Chmela, born 1958, in Vorarlberg, Austria. 1976
to 1983, studied medicine in Graz. 1997-99, Chair of the information
and contact-center for self-help-groups "Club Antenne" in Vorarlberg.
1999, co-founder of the so-called trialogue in Vorarlberg. Active
preparation and participation of the First Austrian Conference
of people who have experiences with psychiatry, held in Linz 1999,
then co-founder and Chair of the Austrian Network of (ex-) users
and survivors of psychiatry. 2000, co-founder of the registered
organization "omnibus" and lecturer at the Klagenfurt University
for social professions, main foci: self-help, movement of (ex-)
users and survivors of psychiatry, empowerment, salutogenesis.
2001-07, leader of the peer-conseling-center "Gleiche beraten
Gleiche" ("Peers advice Peers") in Bregenz. Publications in different
specialist journals about patients' rights and dangers of the
Bert Gölden, born 1955, in FRG. Educated as type-setter
in 1969, further education as film-setter. From 1985-87 independent
work as film-setter. An obsession compulsive disorder led to an
early retirement from working life. In 1996, founding of a self-help
group for people with compulsion disorders; group-director until
2004. From 2000 until 2008, regional representative of Nordrhein-Westfalen
der DGZ e.V. (North Rhine-Westfalen Society for Obsessive Compulsive
Disorders). Further on, telephone information service in compulsion
Ilse Gold (FRG), born 1949. She was committed to a closed
ward by a specialist for internal diseases for two weeks in 1991;
secretly and by her own decision she quit taking Haldol and never
took any psychiatric drugs again. Ilse Gold tragically lost
her fight against breast cancer, which developed after the psychiatric
treatment, on September 7, 1998.
Gábor Gombos, born 1961, is a physicist. He is engaged
with the survivor-of-psychiatry-movement, since 1993. Since 1996,
he is the chair of a Hungarian self-help association, Voice of
Soul. For many years, he was the East European board member of
Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and member
of the International Panel of the World
Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP). Board
member of the Hungarian Branch of the World Association of Psychosocial
Rehabilitation. Awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit
of the Republic of Hungary in recognition of his work in the field
of human rights of persons with disabilities in 2009. More
Katalin Gombos, Hungary, born 1954, computer expert, has
more than ten years of experience with psychiatry and neuroleptics.
She is one of the founders and board-member of Voice of Soul Association
of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Katalin passed away
on May 24, 2014.
Maths Jesperson. Born
1954. From 1980-81, inmate of an old mental hospital. From 1982-88,
producer at the theatre company, Mercuriusteatern, as well as
local politician of the Green Party in Lund, Sweden. Converted
1984 to Catholicism. Since 1988, regional secretary of Riksførbundet
för Social och Mental Hælsa (RSMH) (Swedish national
organization of [ex-]users and survivors of psychiatry). Founding
member of the European
Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry 1991. From
1994-99, editor of the European Newsletter of (ex-) Users and
Survivors of Psychiatry. Since 1999, writer of cultural articles
in a daily newspaper. Parallel research at the University of Lund
(faculty of theatre). Since 2000, actor in the Stumpen-Ensemble,
a theatre group with psychiatric survivors, drug addicts and homeless
people as actors.
Klaus John, born in 1958, in West-Germany, married, father
of two children, healing practitioner since 1985 with main focus
on: acupuncture, electro-acupuncture according to Voll, homeopathy,
guided affective imagery, hypnosis, transpersonal psychology and
colortherapy. Three year training in transpersonal psychology
with Stanislav Grof, USA. Workshops in this field and holotropic
breathwork since 1988. Teacher for autogenic training at adults
education centers since 1990. Development of programmes and equipment
for color therapy since 1993. Publication: A Trip to Inside:
Holotropic Breathwork with Klaus John (DVD, 2009). More see
Manuela Kälin (Switzerland), pseudonym. 1969, education
as nurse. Practical work in different wards, abroad, too. 1983/84
education as medical masseuse. Three years physiotherapy in a
hospital. Further education in complementary medicine. Since 1990
working in her own office in Switzerland.
Kempker, born 1958 in Wuppertal (FRG), two daughters, lives
in Berlin. From 1996-2001 she worked as leading social worker
at the Runaway-house
Berlin: house for people who seek shelter from psychiatric
violence. Book publications among others: Mitgift
Notizen vom Verschwinden (Misgivings: Notes
of Vanishing, 2000); Flucht
in die Wirklichkeit Das Berliner Weglaufhaus (Escape
into Reality: The Berlin Runaway House, ed., 1998), Teure
Verständnislosigkeit Die Sprache der Verrücktheit und die
Entgegnung der Psychiatrie (Dear/Expensive Lack of
Understanding: The Language of Madness and the Response of Psychiatry,
1991). Since 2002, fiction author. Publications include, Die
Betrogenen (The Betrayed Ones, novel, 2007), Das
wird ein Fest (That Will be a Feast, novel, 2012), Die
Erfüllung der Wünsche (The Fulfilment of
the Desires, novel, 2014), Nur
die Knochen bitte: Eine Übergabe (Only the Bones, Please:
A handover, short stories, 2015). More
Leo P. Koehne (pseudonym) was born in 1970 in FRG. Studied
politics and works as a freelance journalist. Since 1994, member
of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE; Federal
Association of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry).
Jan Kuypers, born in 1942, in Flanders/Belgium. Chemist.
Former teacher of mathematics and researcher for process engineering.
1983, non-intended founder of the psychiatry-critical Ombudscenter
Kisjot, named after Don Quixote. 1993 project leader for the setting
of a Flemish representative union for (ex-) users and survivors
of psychiatry. 1991 and 2001 co-founder of the European resp.
the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Further
academic education in philosophy, criminology, game-theory, ethics,
semiotics, churches' history, anthropology, brain-biology, health
economics and forensic psychiatry. Hobbies since the middle of
the 80ies: Co-founder of the authors' circle Littera and of a
school for gifted talents als well as board-member for the science-philosophic
working-group De Ronde Tafel (The Round Table) .
Elke Laskowski, born in 1958, in FRG, mother of a daughter, wife. Studied social
work and decided to become a nature cure therapist after working with so-called
mentally ill people and find another way. She has become a healing practitioner.
Since 1991, she works in her own office in Langenhagen near Hannover with hypnosis,
Bach flowers, stones, colors and biodynamic body- and aura-work.
Peter Lehmann. Born in
Calw (Black Forest, Germany). Education in social
pedagogy. Living in Berlin. Author and editor since 1986,
then foundation of Peter
Lehmann Publishing and Mail-Order Bookstore. 1989 co-founder
of the Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence
(running the Runaway-House Berlin). In 1991, co-founder of the
Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP);
from 1997-99, Chair of ENUSP; until 2010, board member. From 1997
to 2000, board member of joint WFMH-MHE (Mental
Health Europe, independent European section of [and combined
Federation for Mental Health). Since 2004, member of INTAR
(International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery). In 2010,
awarded with an Honorary
Doctorate in acknowledgement of "exceptional scientific and
humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric
experience" by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2011,
awarded the Order
of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the President
of Germany. English publications include, Alternatives
beyond psychiatry, edited in 2007 together with Peter
Ulrich Lindner, born in Lübeck, FRG in 1936. Retired theologian,
philologist and historian. After he left the psychiatric system,
he was for a long time active in the self-help field.
Iris Marmotte (pseudonym, FRG), studied German, arts and pedagogic in the German
Democratic Republic (GDR), but was removed from the university and put into prison
because of political reasons shortly before finishing her studies ("not a socialist
personality"). Nurse job in a children's and adolescents' psychiatric ward of
a regional hospital. 1983 imprisonment with political reasons, 1984 release from
prison and GDR-nationality because of "special efforts of the Federal Republic
of Germany (FRG)" and move to FRG. 1986 registration at the University of Bremen
and continuation of her studies. 1990 phase of examination and interruption of
the studies, because of illness, "revolving-door-patient," from 1992 to 1995 in
sheltered living. 1994, "Die blaue Karawane" ("The Blue Caravan"), in
Bremen co-founder of the "Nachtschwärmer"-("Nocturnal-Reveler"-)projects
and work as board-member, founding-member of the music-band "Die Therapie-Resistenten"
("The Therapy-Resistant"). 1995 job as neighbourly helper and reestablishment
of the studies. 1997 job as night watch in a hospital and pedagogical worker in
a home for mentally ill persons. 2000, finished her studies, since then, grammar
Constanze Meyer, born in 1959, in FRG, psychologist and
psychotherapist. Since the beginning, her studies dealt intensively
with women-specific health-issues. From 1992 to 1999, work at
“Schwindel-Frei” (“Head-for-Heights”), an information and
counselling center for drug-dependent women in Berlin. Established
as independent psychotherapist in Berlin-Spandau. Working in the
field of supervision and education.
Harald Müller (FRG), pseudonym. Died in February
8, 2012 at the age of 85.
Eiko Nagano (pseudonym), born 1953, in Japan. From 1968
until 1999, she was a psychiatric user. In 1979, she graduated
from Waseda University, Tokyo, in sociology. Since 1981, she has
been a member of the Zenkoku “Seishinbyou” sha Shudan, the Japan
National Group of Mental Disabled People. Publications include,
Seishin Iryou (Psychiatric Treatments, 1990); Seishin
Iryou User no Mezasumono: Oubei no self-help katsudo (About the
Interests of Users of Psychiatry: Self-Help Activities in Europe
and the USA, 1999—the translation of Stopovers on My Way
Home from Mars by Mary O’Hagan).
Mary Nettle (England)
became a user of mental health services in 1978 and turned this
negative into a positive in 1992 when she became a mental health
user consultant. She is involved in presenting the user perspective
in all aspects of mental health with a particular interest in
user led research. Honorary Fellow of Brunel University. Working
for the Care Quality Commission, an organisation established by
the English government, to ensure the rights of patients detained
under the Mental Health Act are upheld. Working with INVOLVE
(a group of service users, carers, workers from voluntary organisations,
health and social service managers and researchers) which advises
the British Government on how to ensure the service user voice
is heard by those undertaking health, social care and public health
research. From 2004-10, Chair of the European
Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Co-editor
of This is Survivor Research (2009).
Una M. Parker, Yorkshire, England, born 1935. Retired
school teacher. Quaker. Lives in a flat in Leeds since 2001, leaving
behind the large village where she had lived for 33 years. Widow.
Two adult daughters and a grandson. From 1996 served six years
as governor (voluntary) of the psychiatric hospital in which she
was a patient in 1972. Co-counselor (Re-evaluation Counseling)
since 1974. Now speaks informally on mental health in various
situations. Belongs to local, national and international groups
of psychiatry survivors, particularly Mind, and answers the phone
as ECT Anonymous contact. Attended the Forum that met in Bejing
alongside the UN Fourth World conference on Women in 1995. Enjoys
singing, circle dancing, T'ai-Chi, Pilates, co-counseling, visiting
family and friends, reading, writing, using computer, knitting,
Nada Rath née Dmitrasinovic was born in 1940 in Yugoslavia.
Now living in Germany. Industrial chemist; early retirement in
1995. In 1992, co-founder of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener
Association of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry), board-member
from 1996-98. In 1997, initiator of the foundation of the Hessian
regional organization of users and survivors of psychiatry.
Erwin Redig (Belgium). Spent several years in psychiatry.
Living as a free man now in Antwerp, Belgium, and have connections
with the national and international survivor movements. The work
is essentially humanistic; it is about human rights and human
dignity. Erwin Redig sadly died on June 14, 1999.
Hannelore Reetz (FRG), pseudonym, born 1943, accountant,
married, clean since 1990.
Roland A. Richter, born in 1963, in FRG, worked as a social
worker in state institutions until 1995, since then he is working
as a case worker for people in custodial care and sheltered living,
for people who are regarded to be chronic mentally ill. Since
1995, has lived in Bad Münstereifel/Nordrhein-Westfalen, works
self-employed as judicially appointed guide and advices stationary
institutions as advisor for organizations in the management of
quality. Since 2009, also nutritionist and organisor of cooking
classes for people with severe chronic illnesses. Since 2010,
seminars and workshops for coping with stress (holistic systemic
Marc Rufer (Switzerland), M.D. Long-standing critic of
psychiatric diagnostic systems, psychopharmacology and the use
of force in psychiatry. Good contacts and exchange with independent
(ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry. Book publications: Irrsinn
Psychiatrie (Insane Psychiatry), 1988; 4th edition
2009; Wer ist irr? (Who's Crazy?), 1991; Glückspillen.
Ecstasy, Prozac und das Comeback der Psychopharmaka (Happy Pills:
Ecstasy, Prozac and the Comeback of Psychotropic Drugs), 1995.
Lynne Setter, country
of origin New Zealand, born 1963, no children, divorced. OccupationInternational
Marketing Consultant. First suicide attempt aged 9, hospitalized
a number of times from early teenage years. Lived in Asia, Europe,
the Middle East and the United States. After ten years abroad,
now living in New Zealand.
Martin Urban (FRG),
born 1939, psychologist and psychotherapist, worked for seven
years in a psychiatric and for six years in a hospital for psychosomatic
medicine, 1989-2009, working in his own office near Stuttgart.
He founded a halfway-house and, after 12 years of leading, he
changed it into a user-controlled institution. As a member of
the association of German psychologists, he was for longtime the
head of the section Clinical psychologists in psychiatry. As well,
in the German Society for Social Psychiatry, he was the speaker
of the committee Psychotherapy. In 2008 he founded the alternative
Maison d'Espérance (The House of Hope in the Hérault Valley)
in the South of France which he led until 2014. Since 2016, setting
up the Haus der Hoffnung (House of Hope) in Thuringia,
Germany. Publications include, Psychotherapie der Psychosen-Konzentrische
Annäherungen an den Weg der Heilung (Psychotherapy of Psychoses:
Concentric Approaches to the Way of Healing, editing, 2000),
and Bindungstheorie in der Psychiatrie (The Importance of the
Attachment Theory in Psychiatry, co-editing, 2005).
Wolfgang Voelzke (FRG). Academically qualified economist,
employed since 1975 by the town administration in Bielefeld. Beginning
2000, he works as co-ordinator for psychiatry and addiction. He
co-founded the Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE; Federal
Association of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry) in Germany
and the local organization of users and survivors of psychiatry
born in 1955, has completed a PhD on suicide as a crisis of the
self at Victoria University in 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. This
research, motivated by David's personal history of suicide attempts,
shows that first-person knowledge of suicidality is necessary
to understand suicide, but that the first-person voice is systematically
excluded from current suicide research. During his research, he
has embraced Mad Culture as a liberating community of people fighting
for greater depth, sensitivity, compassion and justice for those
struggling for mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.
Prior to his years of madness, David worked in the computer software
industry as a programmer, designer and analyst, and as a university
lecturer. He has lived in New York, Delhi and London and now he
lives in Castlemaine, an old goldrush town near Melbourne. Book
Thinking about suicide: Contemplating and comprehending the
urge to die (2010). More
Gerda Wozart (pseudonym), post-war child, grown up in
the North, South, East and West of Germany. For some time she
has been living in England and France. Left family words, new
paths in the world of literature - author, translator, recitator.
Europe-wide together with a musician (literature meets music).
Since 2009, living in France.
Josef Zehentbauer, born in 1945 in FRG. Four children.
Doctor, psychotherapist and author. Several years' work in neurology
(University of Würzburg), different psychiatric clinics and the
emergency ward of a mental hospital. Worked as a doctor in Nigeria
and India. Initiated projects with Franco Basaglia and other exponents
of Italian "Critical Psychiatry." Publications include, Chemie
für die Seele. Psyche, Psychopharmaka und alternative Heilmethoden
(Chemistry for the Soul: Psyche, Psychotropic Drugs and Alternative
Methods of Cure, 1986; 11th edition 2010); Körpereigene
Drogen. Garantiert ohne Nebenwirkungen (The Body's
Own Drugs: Guaranteed no Side-effects, 6th edition 2010);
Liebe-Prinzip. Reich werden durch Verschwenden (The
Love-Principle: Becoming Rich by Extravagance, together with
Alfred Rott, 2005, new edition 2010); Abenteuer
Seele. Psychische Krisen als Chance nutzen (Adventure
Soul: To Use Psychic Crises as a Chance, 2000, new edition
traurige Leichtigkeit des Seins (Melancholy: The Sad
Lightness of Being, 2000, 3rd edition 2011).
Katherine Zurcher. Born in Michigan, USA, has been living
in Switzerland for over 40 years. After working for many years
as a secretary in international organizations, she was diagnosed
with fibromyalgia in 1999. Stopping benzodiazepines with no help
remains one of the achievements she is most proud of.
to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs