Over 2000 people from Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark marched in protest against psychiatric violence last week in Florence.

Representatives of Italian and European human rights associations displayed their disagreement with members of the EPA (European Psychiatry Association) that are holding their annual meeting in town.

Representatives of Italian and European human rights associations displayed their disagreement with members of the EPA (European Psychiatry Association) that are holding their annual meeting in town. 

According to the Citizen Commission for Human Rights, the mental health watchdog group that organized the march, the congress aims at increasing the use of mind-altering drugs while promoting the latest psychiatric wave: the implant of electrodes in a patient’s brain, powered by a small, under-skin battery connected by thin wires running through the nape.
Most EPA Board members and some of the psychiatrists who make up the Congress’ Scientific Committee are known for their ties with the pharmaceutical industry and with manufacturers of electronic brain-stimulation devices - the same ones that are footing the congress bill.

The demonstration marched from piazza Santa Maria Novella to piazza San Marco and then returned to the starting point, where Roberto Cestari, MD and President of the Italian CCHR branch greeted and thanked the attendees. Amongst the speakers, Prof. Vincenza Palmieri, founder of the “Living without Psychiatric Drug” program: “since 30 years I have been seeing families and individuals being trapped in a system that sucks their lives away with mind-altering drugs. We must spread information, knowledge and courage”.

As documented by countless international studies, published by the most important drug-supervision agencies World-wide, psychiatric drugs cause several side effects including suicidal and homicidal thoughts, psychosis, mania, aggression, hallucinations, severe liver damage, birth defects, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death. According to official data from the Italian Health Ministry, consumption of psychotropic drugs is constantly increasing: in 2015 drugs for the central nervous systems ranked fourth amongst the most prescribed, with a cost in excess of 3.3 billion Euros. Amongst these, antidepressants are the OTCs best sellers, while antipsychotics get the lion’s share for in-hospital use.
CCHR and other human rights groups that joined in the march demanded a ban of electroshock, a barbaric and non-scientific form of treatment that causes devastating effects on patients’ memory and general health.
According to a 2013 Italian Parliament’s Health Committee report to the Senate, electroshock (now sugar-coated with a new name: ECT - for Electroconvulsive Therapy) is administered in 91 clinics in Italy, and some of them use it as a first line of treatment, in violation of Ministry’s guidelines.
Patients treated with ECT suffer of severe memory loss and function impairment. Franco Basaglia used to say that electroshock is as likely to cure a mental disease as a hammer to fix a radio.
The multimedia exhibition “Psychiatry: social control and violation of human rights” was officially opened after the march, at 6 pm, at the Auditorim del Duomo” in via de’ Cerretani, 54r. It comprises 75 panels and 13 video documentaries, covering 300 years of painful and harmful mental health treatments - from the early times in France until today, providing the visitors with factual evidence of psychiatric abuse that citizens need to be aware of. It will stay open to visitors until April 10. Free entrance from 10 am to 7 pm.


Die KVPM wurde 1972 in München von Mitgliedern der Scientology Kirche gegründet und gehört zum weltweit größten Netzwerk zur Aufdeckung von Missbräuchen in der Psychiatrie.