The many tragic and unusual events of 2020 and 2021 have awakened the social consciousness of the world to a clear reality—
Just because something is ‘normalized’ doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.
I’m writing to you today because I trust that you truly care.
Every day our community works to right the wrongs, to heal the pain, to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. WE CAN DO BETTER.
Generous donors have helped us promote a future of rights-based mental health with the United Nations Handover Dialogues for the Special Rapporteur on Health and the upcoming Surviving Race Dialogues & Retreat in Savannah, Georgia, and provide urgent aid to rights-based peer-run organizations like MindFreedom International, Runaway House and Intentional Peer Support.
Changing the mindsets, practices, policies, and laws that are rooted in injustice does not happen overnight. Every few days a new issue, a new incident drives home the fact that the consequences of normalizing injustice are already devastating. But what is the alternative to the status quo?
That’s why I’m writing to you today.
In June 2021, the World Health Organization released a ground-breaking report titled “Guidance on Community Mental Health Services: Promoting Person-Centred and Rights-Based Approaches.” This document highlighted two practices, Hearing Voices Network and Open Dialogue, which Open Excellence has been instrumental in helping to research and develop.
I’m asking you to help us continue this work by donating during our $25,000 Matching Challenge. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 and will ensure that our work continues consistently and effectively—even in the moments when violence and coercion against those with mental health challenges isn’t the top story in the news.
And today you can make your valuable support go even further. When you give during our Matching Challenge, your support will enable us to:
- Fund independent research and support young researchers to accelerate the transition to rights-based, effective mental health care like this.
- Support the development and expansion of innovative practices like the Hearing Voices approach and dialogic practice.
- Provide regular and urgent aid to grassroots and peer-run support organizations
You are part of our community because you believe that the time has come for rights-based, effective mental health care. I remain committed to this cause—until every person is treated with the equity and equality they deserve.
For too long, people in mental and emotional distress have been subjected to violence and coercion by the very systems that should be promoting their rights and well-being. This must change. I will work to continue to create a new world of mental health services that prioritizes well-being, connection and human rights for all who suffer with mental health challenges.
Will you join me?
Sandra Steingard, MD
P.S. Every gift helps make rights-based care possible – whether a monthly pledge or a single gift. National leaders and international organizations are now speaking out against outdated practices and promoting the rights-based approaches that Open Excellence donors have been supporting. Please help continue to create a world where rights-based mental health care and supports are the new standard by making a gift today.