RAISE Study Ethics

As a person who has championed since 2002 getting the right treatment right away: I find the RAISE Study to be unethical because certain participants were denied enhanced treatment. Unsurprisingly they fared worse.

This calls into question the ethics of “business as usual” in the mental health system. It proves that merely popping pills and doing nothing else doesn’t help a person recover. In 2015 how could a research team justify allowing certain people to get the right treatment and others to be doomed not to succeed.

I’m a mental health activist and have been since 2002–going on over 13 years now. I’ve been a fierce fan of getting the right treatment right away. I will going to my grave championing early intervention with support, appropriate medication, and practical career counseling.

Imagine: years ago people with schizophrenia were shunted into “sheltered workshops” assembling pens. I kid you not.

Yet it’s better the RAISE study results arrived now rather than later or not at all. We have ammunition in our fight to be taken seriously in our goals of going to school or getting a job and living independently and having friends and possibly lovers.

Our motto should be: to not ever settle for less than full inclusion in society.

Like the Audi commercial that tells drivers to “Never Follow” we must not ever follow along in practices that can harm our chances of having a better recovery.

We must lead. We must question any mental health staff that tell us there’s not much we can do with our lives.

We must speak our minds not just medicate them.

Yes: I question the ethics of allowing certain individuals to be doomed not to succeed.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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