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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Advocates for the Sisterhood Part II



Following on from my previous post regarding those female advocates who kick ass, I'd like to put some more names forward. These are women advocates who, I believe, are making changes with their blogs/websites. They have each stood up to be counted.


Susan Schechter - Blog - If You're Going Through Hell...Keep Going

Susan amazes me with her drive. She is suffering as a result of various medications given to her over the years by 'professionals' yet is always willing to promote the work of others via the medium of her blog.

The various meds she has taken took their toll on Susan last year and she was admitted to hospital after she was found slumped on the floor in her home.

Susan's love for her cat, Holly, features in many of her posts. She writes brilliantly, often describing the pain she is going through with the concoction of psychiatric drugs she has been prescribed. Always stands united when others seek her help. A truly wonderful patient advocate.

Gianna Kali - Blog - Beyond Meds

Gianna's blog is seeped in eloquently written articles. Her struggles through life are apparent but she shares her own experiences to help others. On occasions Gianna takes a hiatus away from her blog but always returns to inform others and to highlight various articles and books. Her sidebar links are impressive and blog layout one of the best I've seen. She has also won many awards for her blog, all of which can be seen by visiting Beyond Meds.

Altostrata - Website - Surviving Antidepressants Forum

It takes a lot of time and effort to run and maintain a web forum, spam filtering, deleting posts from knuckleheads hired by pharmaceutical companies etc. Altostrata has created a quite superb forum for people who are struggling at the hands of antidepressant medication. Subscribers share stories, tips and articles with each other and warn of the dangers of antidepressant type drugs. Surviving Antidepressants was recently launched, I suspect that it will grow huge as more and more people flock to it for answers, answers that the drug companies, medicine regulators and doctors cannot give.

Alison Bass - Blog - Alison Bass

Alison is an award winning writer, her book, "Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial", focuses on the way GlaxoSmithKline promoted Paxil and the way they concealed negative side effects from physicians. If you haven't read it yet then do yourself a favour and purchase it - I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN.

Alison keeps her finger on the pulse with her blog, often taking articles and adding her own commentary to them. Another advocate who has come under fire from the anonymous knuckleheads. Like Evelyn Pringle, featured in Part I, Alison is one of my all time favourite journalists. Her in-depth research leaves no stone unturned, her voice an Achilles heel to the pharmaceutical industry.

Janice Simmons - Website - Seroxat User Group

Janice and I have become firm friends over the years. The amount of 'behind the scenes' work Jan puts in is vast. She has met with the MHRA on numerous occasions, GSK's mouthpiece, Alastair Benbow and even former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Over the years Janice has received a staggering 60,000 emails, most of which are from patients struggling to taper from Seroxat. Janice has been the voice of thousands over the years, taking their concerns to the front door of GlaxoSmithKline, politicians and the MHRA.

If ever there were a person who needed recognition for her hard work then it is Janice.

I had the pleasure of meeting Janice in person a couple of years ago, we both grilled a now ex MHRA employee.

Despite all her efforts and proposals to politicians and the MHRA being largely ignored, she has continued to battle on. She's a star, a diamond, a fine example of what a patient advocate should be.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights - Website - CCHR

Okay, I know this is a post about the sisterhood advocacy world but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to big up the jewels in the crown at CCHR.

When one walks through life, seemingly alone, it's a thrill to have company, to have someone walking by your side, someone who is on the same wavelength as you, someone who puts people first, be they toddlers, children, teens, adults or the elderly.

There is a strong woman presence within CCHR, from the top down. I won't name individuals, each are equal to me, each work 7 days a week kicking ass in various parts of the world. They have given voices to many victims, stuck to their guns over the years by going after the core of the problem - they never give up. A glimmer of light at the end of the dark psycopharmaceutical monopoly tunnel just drives them forward. A glimmer is not good enough, they seek more and they do so by producing DVD's, printed material and ground-breaking videos, uploaded to YouTube.

I can't big them up enough.

I'm proud to be walking by their side.



Previous Post - Advocates for the Sisterhood Part I

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