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World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

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The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), originally founded in 1991 as the World Federation of Psychiatric Users (WFPU), is an international organisation of recipients of mental health services. WNUSP is dedicated to protecting the human rights, self-determination and dignity of all users and survivors of psychiatric treatment throughout the world.

The network, which grew out of users’ and survivors’ demands for recognition and representation, promotes the psychiatric survivor movement around the world and advocates for necessary changes in how people labeled as 'mentally ill' are viewed and treated.

Core values

The core values of WNUSP, in representating a diversity of perspectives within the psychiatric survivors movement, guide its activities and assists in determining the focus of the network. These values stress empowerment, equality, self-determination, respect, dignity, independence, mutual support, self-help, advocacy, education, and the right to pursue individual spiritual beliefs.

WNUSP values exposure to information and knowledge as means to enabling empowerment and individual self-direction, understanding that knowledge results in better-informed choices and opportunities to enhance quality of life. The network ascribes to person-centred values where the individual is more important than any diagnostic label or experience in dealing with the mental health system. WNUSP believes the experiences of living with problems can be valuable in exploring human experience, both to individuals and society, and that those suffering distress may offer invaluable insights to necessary changes in mental health diagnosis, treatment and laws.

History

Since the 1970s, the psychiatric survivors movement has grown from a few scattered self-help groups to a world-wide network engaged in protecting civil rights and facilitation of efforts to provide housing, employment, public education, research, socialisation and advocacy programmes. The term 'psychiatric survivor' is used by individuals who identify themselves as having experienced human rights violations in the mental health system. WNUSP was established to further promote this movement and to respond on an international level to the oppression survivors continue to experience.

After initially meeting, in 1991, as the World Federation of Psychiatric Users at the biennial World Federation for Mental Health conference in Mexico, the network's name was changed to WNUSP in 1997. In 2000, the WNUSP Secretariat was established in Odense, Denmark. In 2001, the network held its First General Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia, with 34 groups from twelve countries represented, and adopted its governing statutes.

See also

External links

  • WNUSP.org - World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry homepage
  • WNUSP.org - 'Human Rights Position Paper of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry', WNUSP (2001)
  • ENUSP.org - 'ENUSP Press Release' (July 20, 2004)
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