Citizens Committee on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

About Us

Mission Statement: The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR – known as the Citizens Committee on Human Rights in Australia) 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.  We work 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 over 48 years ago. Watch Our Mission Statement Video:

How CCHR Was Established

CCHR was co-founded as an independent mental health watchdog in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and the late Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr Thomas Szasz at a time when patients were being warehoused in institutions, abused, stripped of their constitutional, civil and human rights, and left without recourse.

As CCHR’s co-founder, Thomas Szasz stated “They were then the only organisation, and they still are the only organisation, who were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals with whom there was nothing wrong, who had committed no crimes, who wanted to get out of the hospital. And that to me was a very worthwhile cause; it’s still a very worthwhile cause. We should honour CCHR because it is really the organisation that for the first time in human history has organised a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never happened in human history before.”

CCHR has long fought to restore basic unalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, full informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatments, the right to all available medical alternatives, and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful. CCHR does not advocate for any particular medical, educational or particular treatment, but does advocate for giving people alternatives and resources to assist them in finding non-harmful solutions, featured on CCHR’s website here.

More About CCHR

Medicine pills.Our Stance on Psychiatric Drugs: People frequently ask if CCHR is of the opinion that no one should ever take psychiatric drugs, but this website is not dedicated to opinion. It is dedicated to providing information that a multi-billion dollar psycho/pharmaceutical industry does not want people to have. For this reason CCHR created the psychiatric drug side effects search engine. which consists solely of international drug regulatory warnings, published studies and adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Regarding psychiatric diagnosis, it is not a matter of opinion about whether mental disorders are “real” but whether there are valid medical tests to prove mental disorders are medical conditions requiring the administration of mind-altering and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs— and the answer is no. The pertinent question is this: Do people have a right to all the information about A) the documented risks of psychiatric drugs; B) the medical validity of the psychiatric diagnosis for which drugs are being prescribed; C) to be given non-harmful medical alternatives to psychiatric drugs/treatment and D) and the right to refuse any treatment the patient considers harmful. CCHR’s answer to all of these questions is yes.

Drugs scattered over Australian notes.Our Stance on Psychiatric Disorders: The psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars a year in order to convince the public, legislators and the press that psychiatric disorders such as Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc., are medical diseases on par with verifiable medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.  Though CCHR has been pointing out the lack of science to back these claims for decades, it is only recently that key high profile individuals within the mental health industry have backed what CCHR has said all long:

‘Mental illness’ is terribly misleading because the ‘mental disorders’ we diagnose are no more than descriptions of what clinicians observe people do or say, not at all well established diseases

Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman, April 2015

While DSM has been described as a ‘Bible’ for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary…. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.

Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, 2013

This fact is this: psychiatric labels are not diseases they are marketing campaigns. It is simply a way to maintain their hold on a billions of dollars-a-year psychiatric drug industry (over $8 billion annually in Australia) that is based on marketing and not science. Unlike real medical disease, there are no scientific tests to verify the medical existence of any psychiatric disorder. Despite decades of trying to prove mental disorders are biological brain conditions, due to chemical imbalances or genetic factors, psychiatry has failed to prove even one of their hundreds of so-called mental disorders is due to a faulty or “chemically imbalanced” brain. To counter this obvious flaw in their push to medicalise behaviours, the psychiatric industry will claim that there are certain medical conditions that do not have a verifiable test so this justifies the fact that there aren’t medical tests for mental illness. This is frankly a lame argument; Whereas there may be rare medical conditions that do not have a verifiable medical test, there are virtually no psychiatric disorders that can be verified medically as a physical abnormality/disease.

This is not to say people don’t get depressed, sad, troubled, anxious, nervous or even sometimes act psychotic. The question then is simple—is this due to some mental “disease” that can be verified as one would verify cancer or a real medical condition? And the answer is no.
To find out more about psychiatric diagnoses, click here.

CCHR has worked for more than 40 years for full informed consent in the field of mental health, and the right to all the information regarding psychiatric diagnoses and treatment, not just the information coming from those with a vested interest in keeping them in the dark.

It is in this spirit that we present you with videos, news, medical experts and information designed to arm you with facts.

As a non-profit organisation, it is through public donations that we are able to continue our educational campaigns. For more information on donating to CCHR click here.