One of the hardest things in the world is to be… is a long-time activist who is both successful and principled. I am proud to say that we are bringing one such person to you in this program.
Sally Zinman’s biography in the mental disability movement dates from the late 1970s when she founded and coordinated a client-run organization that developed a community center and residence program.
Apparently it was a success, because Sally Zinman never looked back. She has been working in peer-run organizations ever since.
Currently, Ms Zinman works with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations and is a consultant with Alameda County’s Behavior Health Services, Consumer Empowerment Department.
As a young woman, Ms Zinman was locked up and tortured in a so-called mental health institution. After discovering others with similar histories, Ms Zinman became a passionate and ground-breaking activist in the militant madness movement.
As the Founder and Coordinator of the Coalition for Alternatives in Mental Health, aka Berkeley Drop-In Center, Sally Zinman led efforts for state and national funding for recovery peer-based models of mental health treatment.
Today she is part of the resistance to the regressive mental disability law AB 1421, also known as Laura’s Law. That law will be challenged in court this fall by Disability Rights California (DRC). This, according to DRC staff attorney Pamela Cohen.
AB 1421 is a statewide ordinance which allows the government to force people who’ve been diagnosed with mental illnesses into treatment programs even though they are living in the community and do not require hospitalization. It shifts money from prevention and support to policing and coercion.
We’re proud to bring the thoughts of this elder in the mental disability and the consumer/survivor movement to Pushing Limits listeners.
Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby.