chapter  12
14 Pages

Psychiatric system survivors: an emerging movement

ByPeter Beresford

The late twentieth century witnessed the emergence of collective action on the part of mental health service users internationally. The modern mental health service users’ or survivors’ movement is a very recent development. Its history is usually traced to the 1980s, with early beginnings in about 1970. It has not only developed a presence in North America, the Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom (UK) and other parts of Europe, but also in South America, Australasia and the ‘developing’ or majority world. The ‘survivor’ movement has developed its own international, European and global organizations, as well as local, regional and national groups (Stone 1999; MindFreedom 2009; Campbell 1996, 2009). The movement tended to emerge later than the disabled people’s movement and has frequently sought to draw a distinction between itself and disability politics and struggles (Campbell and Oliver 1996; Plumb 1994). Indeed this tendency, its implications for the future and how these should be considered are a central issue for this chapter.