2016 saw the expansion of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Nashville Chapter, carrying out the work of the international organization in the Southeast United States.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Nashville Chapter began the year with a special event held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day where chapter members posed the question, “If Hitler was behind the Holocaust, who was behind Hitler?” Church of Scientology pastor, Rev. Brian Fesler, was glad to host this event, which he opened by saying, “We remember [the Holocaust] so we can mourn the loss, we remember so we can honor the lives, but more than that we remember so we can prevent.” A video was played to attendees which revealed how the pseudoscience Eugenics contributed to the Holocaust, and exactly who propagated these ideas.
Next, Nashville Chapter members traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to join other civil rights and social justice groups in protesting the American Psychiatric Convention. Representatives of the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, 10,000 Fearless Men, Black Lives Matter and Concerned Black Clergy joined CCHR in protesting the use of the controversial ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy, also known as electroshock treatment) on children. ECT is an “archaic technique invented in the 1930s, [which] sends jolts of electricity into the brain, inducing a seizure. It’s associated with numerous side-effects, including short and long-term memory loss, cognitive problems, unwanted personality changes, manic symptoms, prolonged seizures, heart problems and death,” according to Natural News.
CCHR Nashville then took its message of human rights for those being abused in the field of mental illness to a community event in the Edgehill neighborhood and to events for parents and educators. Volunteers distributed fliers and spoke to people who have been victims of abuse in psychiatric hands.
Then, volunteers were out at a national music and arts festival and soon after participated in a cultural festival, shining a light on psychiatric abuse and spreading the word.
In October, to observe World Mental Health Day, CCHR held a special “Lunch and Learn” with a health and wellness doctor. During the seminar, she was able to bring awareness to parents on children’s mental and physical health needs, especially what to do if a child is experiencing health issues, and what parents can do to help their children be at a more optimum health level. She discussed societal norms where people are given a pill, and how that merely masks the problem without fixing it.
Rev. Fesler, who also serves on the board of CCHR Nashville, said, “CCHR volunteers are excited about all of the activity in 2016, but there is much more work to be done. People are getting hurt every day at the hands of psychiatrists. They must be brought to account for their actions.”
CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health industry watchdog whose mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health. It works to ensure patient and consumer protections are enacted and upheld as there is rampant abuse in the field of mental health. In this role, CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed five decades ago. For more information on CCHR, visit cchrnashville.org.