Issue #5 - October 26, 1999

Film ‘Working Like Crazy’ delivers 
powerful message

    How many of us have been told that we can never expect to be able to work again outside of a ‘sheltered workshop’ or ‘industrial therapy’ setting, where the expectation is that we do meaningless tasks ad nauseum, for a fraction of the legal minimum wage?

   The new documentary ‘Working Like Crazy’  illustrates how psychiatric survivors in Ontario have succeeded in overcoming this demeaning professional expectation of our abilities by creating meaningful employment for themselves, and how in doing so they have also succeeded in building a thriving supportive peer community.

    This highly personal work, which follows several people around as they go about their working day, is a powerful testimonial as to the creative and adaptive abilities of a community of people that broader society ordinarily considers to be of no value. 
The film also stands as a true example of a viable alternative to traditional psychiatry’s approach of coercion, imprisonment and forced administration of debilitating drugs.

    I had the opportunity to view this film on October 14 in a special screening at Metro Hall, and a few days later I was in attendance at A-Way Express’s AGM. (A-Way is one of the survivor businesses highlighted in the film). The atmosphere of caring and the sheer vibrancy of this gathering made me realize that although it was advertised as a business’s AGM, in truth it was a stirring and loving community assembly of friends.

    A home, a job and a friend - how simple a concept. Yet it is one that is fundamental to our emotional well-being, and something that no drug can substitute for. ‘Working Like Crazy‘ makes this point with a simple eloquence that absolutely cannot be ignored.
(Working Like Crazy was produced for the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses by Skyeworks Foundation, with support from TVOntario and the National Film Board of Canada.  It is currently being screened in different locations in Ontario and is scheduled for broadcast on TVO in January 2000, with possible repeat broadcasts in the future).

 Taking it to NAMI, TAC, 
the Stanley Foundation &  E. Fuller Torrey
By Morgan W. Brown
reprinted with permission
    I just got off the bus about an hour and a half ago after returning from Washington, DC.

  Wow!!! It was such a powerful protest, march and protest. I am so full of emotion over that my eyes and cheeks feel like they are going through a car wash right now as I reflect on the events of yesterday. It was so extremely worth going there, that I can’t really express it right now - maybe later as my thoughts, emotions and spirit has had more time to ponder it all and rest up a little bit.

   I never took a count of how many were there, but it was well over two dozen (24) people I believe. If I remember correctly, someone, I think David Oaks mentioned while he was speaking that there was about 36 or was it 32 people - I can’t recall really. That may be thought of as small by some, but numbers don’t often count as much sometimes as quality and energy anyway. This was what qualifies - in my book anyway - as a high quality  and energy protest, march and vigil.

    There was concern that it was going to be much smaller and not very effective, these were proved to be untrue.

    There we were gathering at the Metro Rail subway station at the stop with those huge hypo’s - including big Bertha - and signs from last years counter demo against the “Walk the Walk.” There were some short speeches and then we began our long march, of about a mile and a half more or less, chanting from the subway station to the NAMI/TAC/Stanley Foundation offices of E. Fuller Torrey. When we got to the drive way of the offices, we stayed there for a short time chanting and holding vigil. Then it was suggested that we actually go down the driveway to continue our vigil in the parking lot outside the office building that E. Fuller Torrey has there for NAMI, TAC and the Stanley Foundation.

    Other people kept showing up once we arrived on site.

    There was more chanting, songs and speeches and a long moment of silence observed for those killed by forced drugging and other psychiatric treatment.

    It was beautiful!!!!! I am so glad that I could go to be a part of it. We have a wonderful movement!

    Morgan - Proud anti-force/coercion/ hate resister (10/24/99)
(Morgan W. Brown lives in Montpelier, Vermont).

Nov. 3 - Say ‘NO’ 
to CTO’s!

   CTO's are Community Treatment Orders - a legal mechanism used to ensure that discharged psychiatric inmates maintain compliance with prescribed treatments, attend medical appointments, etc., with the threat of forced re-admission to a psychiatric facility being wielded as an enforcement measure.

    These laws are being further enforced in some places by so-called 'assertive community treatment' teams which visit people in their homes up to several times daily; to actually deliver drugs to their 'patients' and ensure that they have been swallowed. Such teams are already in place in the Province of Ontario.

   Forcing powerful and potentially dangerous drugs upon anyone has to be considered assault under any circumstances (and shrinks are notorious for failing to explain the possible hazards associated with their interventions to their 'patients', in direct violation of standard medical protocol). CTO's extend this legal right of psychiatrists to involuntarily 'treat' people to those actually living outside of institutions, effectively turning peoples' homes into locked wards.

     On Wednesday, November 3 at 12 noon Psychiatric Survivors and supporters will be gathering outside the Ontario Legislature. Everyone is encouraged to join with us on that day as we fight for our most basic rights as citizens, and for the kind of genuinely caring and supportive communities that would illustrate above all else just how unnecessary this kind of legisla- ted violence is.

Psychiatric Survivor
Resources in Toronto

People Against Coercive Treatment 
P: 760-2795 F: 368-5984 
Internet: <>
* * *
Queen Street Patient’s Council
Room 2059, 1001 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H4 
P: 535-8501x2018 F: 325-9749

No Force! Coalition
(c/o Queen Street Patient’s Council)
* * *
Sound Times Support Services
96 Granby St.
Toronto, Ontario
Phone/fax: (416) 979-1700
E-mail: <>
* * *
C/S Information Resource Centre
71 King St. E. 2nd flr.
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1G3
E-mail: <>

319 Dundas St. E. #408
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2A2
F: (416) 368-5984
E-mail: <>

Contributions welcome!
(May be edited for space)