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Human Rights Group Marches in Protest to Demand RANZCP End Dangerous Coercive Psychiatric Practices, as Advised by the World Health Organization and the UN



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Australian advocates demand an end to all coercive psychiatric practices

Scores of protesters marched on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Annual Congress in Canberra to demand it end its support of electroshock treatment, psychiatric restraints, forced drugging, and involuntary detainment.

The protest was organized by Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health industry watchdog. CCHR demands a complete ban on coercive and dangerous psychiatric practices, citing their harmful effects on the vulnerable.

Holding banners demanding RANZCP cease psychiatric torture, ban electroshock and end all coercive practices.

Canberrans were invited to attend CCHR’s Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Exhibit, open daily in Canberra from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through 24 May. 

The free exhibit exposes the history of psychiatry from its dark beginnings in the Bedlam Psychiatric Hospital in England through to the present, highlighting the grievous harm it causes patients.

At the exhibit’s opening, Lloyd Wyles,
an
indigenous Australian and retired senior radio producer and broadcaster from Northern Queensland. He spoke of psychiatry’s role in the white Australia policy and South Africa’s apartheid. The exhibit documents how psychiatry fostered racism by inventing and promoting of the pseudoscience of “eugenics,” resulting in the forced sterilization of indigenous people and people of color.

Those who do not act to rid society of psychiatry, he said, are just as guilty as the practicing psychiatrist. If we do not take action, we could lose our entire civilization.

Stuart Richardson, a Christian minister from Restitution, Mind, Body and Soul Ministries, also spoke at the Exhibit’s opening. He became aware of the dangers of psychiatry when he was detained involuntarily when he was younger. He spoke of letting people know there are alternatives to harmful psychiatric drugs and the importance of finding the real cause of the problem including medical check-ups, diet, sleep, exercise.

RANZCP’s support of coercive practices, including the use of ECT, is out of step with the guidelines published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in October 2023. RANZCP continues to label electroshock as “therapeutic.” 

Both the WHO and the UN direct practitioners and their professional organizations to inform patients that electroshock is an “irreversible intervention” causing “memory loss and brain damage.” They also call for the prohibition of involuntary electroshock and its use on children, stating “International human rights standards clarify that ECT without consent violates the right to physical and mental integrity and may constitute torture and ill-treatment.” 



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