Friday, 7 March 2008

Gaderummet - some more detailed information

As I see, that Mikkel Warming, influenced by the system, and thus in blind confidence in any opinion the self-appointed "experts" express, as he is, is busy spreading misinformation about Gaderummet and it's manager, psychologist Kalle Birch Madsen, I feel a need to put some things right.

Frank Blankenship sent the following mail to Mayor Warming:

"Dear Mayor Mikkel Warming,
Young people need choice, and to take this
choice away from them is to diminish their
lives. Conventional mental health care, as
some people can tell you from first hand
experience, often produces very negative
results. Alternatives to conventional mental
health care are desperately needed wherever
they arise. Have some consideration for the
young people in your city, and keep
Gaderummet operating!
Thank you for your time and patience
Frank Blankenship"

Mikkel Warming replied:

"Dear Frank Blankenship,
Thank you for you email expressing your concern about the future of”Gaderummet”.
Let me assure you that The Social Services Committee wants Gaderummet to continue as an open and alternative place for young people with social problems.
In order to ensure this, The Social Services Committee has requested that Gaderummet works together with the other public services, such as doctors and nurses in the medical and psychiatric branch. Unfortunately the former leader of Gaderummet was not willing to do this, which finally led to The Board of the Gaderummet sacking him in May 2007.
The former leader has not been willing to accept his firing, and is not willing to leave Gaderummet. This is most regrettable, since it’s stopping The Social Services Committee from continuing Gaderummet and the work that is being done there.
As a consequence of this unfortunate situation The Social Services Committee has raised the issue to the court in order to impose the former leader to leave the premises.
As soon as he leaves, we will be able to continue Gaderummet as an open and alternative place for young people offering them relevant services and treatment according to their own needs and wishes.
If you really care about the young people who need the services of Gaderummet, you should write to the former leader and ask him to leave the premises in order for the important work done by Gaderummet to be continued.
Mikkel Warming"

As Frank states in a mail to me, "open and alternative" can mean a lot of different things, depending on, where in the system you are. To Mikkel Warming (and the "experts", his opinion is influenced by) it means open for the mental health system to visitate young, homeless people for "treatment", voluntary or involuntary, and alternative for the young people to being put away in institutions like "Stevnsfortet", a secured institution for "maladjusted" young people.

Kalle Birch Madsen, the manager of Gaderummet, was sacked, yes, in favour of someone willing to turn Gaderummet into a part of the conventional mental health and educational system. He refused to leave, because the young people at Gaderummet didn't want him to leave. They know the alternative, from experience. 18-year-old Patrick, for instance, had been in and out of 21, twenty one!, different institutions, before he, two and a half years ago, found his way to Gaderummet, where he's been living since. "Everyone has a life, if only they bother to seize it", he says, Kalle taught him - instead of teaching (dictating) him how to live his life. Everyone has a life, yes, at least until the authorities come along and take it away from you.

In a video at Gaderummet's site that shows a meeting with representatives from the local authorities last fall, who came in order to take over the place, but left again without any success, since Gaderummet's residents showed no willingness for co-operation, one of these young people puts it to the point: there's a huge difference between "user-influenced" (this is which the authorities offer) and "user-run" (which is, what Gaderummet always has been, and still is today).

As for the accusation, that Kalle didn't co-operate with mental health professionals at all, this is simply not true. Residents who chose help from the mental health system, were never denied it. Though, in contrast to the mental health system, Gaderummet/Kalle does provide true information about "mental illness", psych drugs etc., and does accept if someone wants to get off their medication.  

Gaderummet had an arrangement with psychiatrist Henrik Rindom, a specialist in the field of drug abuse. Henrik Rindom is a very busy man when it comes to media appearance. Too busy to handle his arrangement with Gaderummet: he didn't show up as appointed, and more often than not, he broke promises (about things like prescriptions, and arrangements for people who wanted to come off street drugs), he'd made. He also broke the last promise he made, which was to find another psychiatrist who could replace him at Gaderummet, since he agreed, that he was just too busy to handle the task himself. Instead he turned to the local authorities, blaming Gaderummet/Kalle of not wanting to co-operate.

Gaderummet has never been especially popular to the authorities (just because it practices free choice), and Henrik Rindom's statement was exactly what they'd been waiting for, in order to have an excuse to step in and wind up this project.

By the way, I find it rather meaning, that I haven't got any reply from Mayor Warming yet. I suppose, he is pretty much aware of, that I would hardly settle for a reply like the one quoted above, since I have direct access to unbiased information.

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