Citizens Committee on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

Alternatives

Mum and girls throw leaves up in the air playing with kids in autumn park happy and smiling.In general medicine the standard for informed consent includes communicating the nature of the diagnoses, the purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure, the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment, and informing the patient of alternative treatments so they can make an informed, educated choice.

Psychiatrists routinely do not inform patients of non-drug treatments, nor do they conduct thorough medical examinations to ensure that a person’s problem does not stem from an untreated medical condition that is manifesting as a “psychiatric symptom.” They do not accurately inform patients of the nature of the diagnoses, which would require informing the patient that psychiatric diagnoses are completely subjective (based on behaviours only) and have no scientific/medical validity (no X-rays, brain scans, chemical imbalance tests to prove anyone has a mental disorder).

Know your rights sign.All patients should have what is called a “differential diagnosis.” The doctor obtains a thorough history and conducts a complete physical exam, rules out all the possible problems that might cause a set of symptoms and explains any possible side effects of the recommended treatments.

There are numerous alternatives to psychiatric diagnoses and treatment, including standard medical care that does not require a stigmatising and subjective psychiatric label or a mind-altering drug. Governments should endorse and fund non-drug treatments as alternatives to potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs that have been proven no more effective than placebo.

This page was created as a resource for those looking for assistance with medical withdrawal from psychiatric drugs (no one should ever attempt to withdraw from psychiatric drugs without doctor supervision) or those looking for alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

Although CCHR does not condone or promote any specific practitioner, medical organisation, practice or group, we have found the below resources to be helpful for individuals looking for more information on alternatives, legal resources and more. The resources are for both Australian and international organisations.

Glucose meter with medical stethoscope, fruits and dumbbells for using in fitness, concept of diabetes, healthy lifestyles and nutrition.

Happy family outdoors.

Information About Non Drug Approaches to Mental Health and/or Safely Getting off Psychiatric Drugs

Female medicine doctor explains to male patient diagnosis pointing with pen to x-ray picture. patient listening carefully doctor recommendations. medical care concept. radiologist or traumatologist.

  • Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine: has a “Find a Practitioner” search to help locate a medical doctor. The profession of each practitioner is listed above their name. https://acnem.org
  • Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA): is an independent not for profit organisation of individual medical practitioners seeking to provide whole person medical care by integrating evidence-based complementary medicine into mainstream practice. They have a “Find a Practitioner” on their website which searches by post code. http://aima.net.au
  • Safe Harbor: A non-profit corporation whose website has information on non-drug approaches for mental health. http://www.alternativementalhealth.com
  • Alternative to Meds Center: Residential psychiatric medication withdrawal with medical and naturopathic oversight in Sedona, Arizona. Combining Orthomolecular Medicine and Customized Heavy Metal Chelation Therapies to address Mental Health. http://www.alternativetomeds.com
  • Green Mental Health: Holistically-centred mental health care system which reflects traditional environmental, humanitarian, and health conscious values. http://greenmentalhealthcare.com
  • Soteria House: Alternative & Non-Drug Solutions for people diagnosed schizophrenic. http://www.moshersoteria.com

Alternatives to Psychotropic Drugs for Children

Little boy sitting on the chair.

  • The Block Center: Find and treat underlying health problems in children and information on how children can safely get off of psychiatric drugs. http://www.blockcenter.com
  • DrugFreeChildren.org: Informational website on issues surrounding the use of “chemical restraints” on children. http://www.drugfreechildren.org
  • The Doris J. Rapp Education Corporation: Vital information on environmental factors affecting health in children and adults. http://www.drrapp.com
  • AbleChild: Parents for a label and drug free education. http://www.ablechild.org

Mental Health Patients Rights Groups

Grass and clouds on a sunny day.

  • MindFreedom International: is a nonprofit organization that works to win human rights and provide alternatives for people labeled with psychiatric disabilities. http://www.mindfreedom.org/about-us
  • International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ICBE): Founded in 2007 by ECT survivor Sue Clark-Wittenberg, ICBE deems ECT to be barbaric, unethical, inhumane, and torture. http://intcamp.wordpress.com

Complementary/alternative Health

Medical stethoscope with apple and books.

  • Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA): is an independent not for profit organisation of individual medical practitioners seeking to provide whole person medical care by integrating evidence-based complementary medicine into mainstream practice. http://aima.net.au
  • Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine: has a “Find a Practitioner” search to help locate a medical doctor. The profession of each practitioner is listed above their name. https://acnem.org

Reporting Side Effects of Drugs

Hand writing side effects.

In Australia, side effects of psychiatric drugs can be reported by anyone to the drug regulatory agency, The Therapeutic Goods Administration either …

Health Options & Information

Fresh organic super food salad sitting on blue plate with fork on side.

Legal Resources

Wooden brown judges gavel on blue table.

This link provides a list of legal organisations to make obtaining legal advice easier. It includes information on how to find a probono lawyer (services are free though sometimes they may charge for other expenses. It also covers how to locate a lawyer for all states of Australia).

Living Wills

A living will document closeup with pen.

A Living Will is a document which provides for people of sound mind to reject the imposition of psychiatric treatment should their rights be compromised at any time in their future. For further information on a Living Will, see this link.