Thursday, 14 February 2008

Open letter to Mikkel Warming, Mayor for Social Affairs at Copenhagen

I sent the below letter to Mikkel Warming today. Copies are mailed to the Ministry of Social Affairs and relevant local authorities at Copenhagen.

Dear Mayor Mikkel Warming,

it is with great disappointment and sadness that I see, that You obviously stop at nothing, in order to force the closure of "Gaderummet" through.

"Gaderummet" is the last refuge for many young people, who, without this facility, inevitably will end up in a mental health system, that has proven not to be of any help to them, or on the street, and extremely vulnerable to drug-abuse and crime.

May I remind You that "Gaderummet" is an award-winning facility, just because it has succeeded to provide need-adapted help to people, who otherwise would have been without any support. I speak from my own experience when I say, that far from everyone is helped by a mental health system, that only provides one single kind of help: the medical kind. As long as there is no scientific proof of any psychological or sociological problems to be of medical nature, it is simply undemocratic to try to force anyone to accept medical solutions to these problems. Apart from this and as a matter of fact, the mental health system, in stark contrast to alternatives like "Gaderummet", until today has failed to solve any of these problems. This said, to establish another facility, under close supervision by and in just as close co-operation with the mental health system, is no alternative. Such a facility can impossibly replace "Gaderummet".

To my conviction, the young people at "Gaderummet" are absolutely capable of making their own decisions. Just as anyone else, they have a right to determine on their own which kind of life, including which kind of help for their problems, they want. The closing-down of "Gaderummet" will leave them without any democratic choice. It will expose an additional number of young people to a life on the street, to drug-abuse and criminality. I can't believe that this is, what You want.

I will do whatever it takes to bring the matter to the attention of a broader international public.

Marian B. Goldstein
Member of MindFreedom International

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