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interview to Mary O'Hagan

12 September 2016,@interviewer: Kasumi ITO@at Mary's office

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Mary
So, have you got two recorders?

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
For safety.

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
Okay. Right. Good idea.

Kasumi
Yes, I'm not good at PC or recording.

About international movementc

Mary
Right, so some follow-up questions?

Kasumi
Yeah.

Mary
Okay.

Kasumi
Why WNUSP held the general assembly at the same time of World Federation of Mental Health? Nevertheless, WNUSP don't want to be associated with World Federation of Mental Health. Is there any support from World Federation for Mental Health to WNUSP?

Mary
The first question is why WNUSP had meetings at the same time as the World Federation for Mental Health conference.

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
Well, the reason was that we had no money. So, we thought the World Federation for Mental Health Congress was a place where quite a few of the people on the committee and other people who were interested could come to, they could get funded to come to the World Federation for Mental Health. Whereas, if we had the meetings separately, they would not so easily get funding to go to the WNUSP meetings. So, we were just trying to piggyback, do you know what I mean, do you know what a piggyback is?

Kasumi
No.

Mary
You know when you have a child, and you put them on your back and you carry them around.

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
So, we were piggybacking on the World Federation for Mental Health conference because we knew that just about any international event on mental health, more people would be able to get funding to come to the World Federation for Mental Health than anywhere else. So that is why we had the meetings there.

Now, there was a problem with this because we were independent of the World Federation for Mental Health, but some people were worried that it looked like we were very aligned with them, we were very much a part of them, and many of us didn't really like some of the things that the World Federation for Mental Health stood for, the things they believed in, and so it was - every time we meet, people ask the question why are we meeting at the World Federation for Mental Health conference? We don't like the World Federation for Mental Health, and we don't want to be associated with them. So, there was a tension there. And eventually, the world network did separate itself and said, "We no longer will meet at the World Federation for Mental Health conferences. We will just organize our own meetings."

Kasumi
Yeah. Is there any person who likes to associate?

Mary
No. I think many people felt - I mean a lot of people could see why we did it, which is the reason I gave you before about you get a collection of many users and survivors in one place from all over the world, but I don't think any of us really felt it was a great solution to have the meetings there, but it was the practical thing to do. Yeah.

Kasumi
Yeah. Is there any relation between you became the first chairman of the WNUSP and some board member of WFMH?

Mary
Yeah. It was interesting. When I became the chair of the world federation, the world network, I also became a board member of the World Federation for Mental Health, the same week.

Kasumi
Same week?

Mary
Yeah, I think it was the same week. There was no formal liaison. I probably gave updates to the board of the World Federation for Mental Health, and I probably updated the board of the world network on the World Federation for Mental Health. So, there was no formal liaison. It was two separate appointments, and the World Federation for Mental Health never behaved as though the world network was ? that they owned it or that they controlled it. They saw it as quite a separate thing.

Kasumi
About name of change of WNUSP, you said when name was changed, WNUSP member brought more names, was there any other choice of name?

Mary
When it was first named or when they changed the name in 1997?

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
When it was first named?

Kasumi
No. When name was changed.

Mary
I don't remember if there were other names put forward. There may have been, but I think the reason the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry was favorite was because they believed it was much more of a network than a federation because a network is loose, it's not structured, whereas a federation sounds very organized and very structured, and then they wanted to acknowledge the place of users and survivors, whereas the old title just had users, and so I think that's why it ? if there were other names considered, and there may well have been, I don't remember, this name was something that was more accurate about the type of organization it was, but also bringing in people who were more moderate with people who were more radical.

Kasumi
About forced treatment, Tina Minkowitz had radical opinion about it and difficult character but she made many successes in convention. Why Tina was elected as a representation of WNUSP when convention was negotiated?

Mary
I think she was there partly because she lived in New York, and also partly because she had a deep interest in human rights and had a very clear agenda to ensure that the convention did not allow forced treatment. And so she was a very obvious choice of person to carry the torch, the candle for WNUSP.

Kasumi
She was not a board member or chair when she participated in the negotiation.

Mary
No, I don't think she was. She wasn't on the board of that state, and I think that would not necessarily be a problem because if you had no money or very little money and you don't have a board member in New York, you would want someone else who's involved in the network to do it. She did become a board member, and I think she became a chair as well later on.

Kasumi
Yes. International disability movement ? when Disabled People's International, DPI was established, there were few people with mental health disabilities, but then WNUSP was established and has become a monitoring member of UN standard rules.

Mary
A monitoring member ofc

Kasumi
Yes. Monitoring member of equal opportunity ofc

Mary
The state rules?

Kasumi
Yes.

Mary
Yes, keep going.

Kasumi
Yes, and do you think establishment of WNUSP had a big impact to promote the participation of international movement to persons with psychosocial disabilities?

Mary
So do I think that the establishmentc

Kasumi
Yeah, did WNUSP have a big impact to promote the person with psychosocial disabilities to participate in the international movement of disability?

Mary
Okay, yeah. I think that the international disability movement said ? well, in the definitions of disability, we have psychosocial disability. So, we need to include people with psychosocial disabilities, but until the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry came along, there was no way at the international level for them to find people. So, I think it was a convenience to them to have a network of people that they could go to and say, you know, can we work together?

Kasumi
But DPI is a full disability organization. So, before WNUSP was established, I think DPI was also organization for persons with psychosocial psychical disability?

Mary
No, this is DPI, not the International Disability Alliance, but DPI. But I think DPI, if I remember rightly, DPI would say, "We don't do a good job with psychosocial disability. So, we are very happy to work with a network of psychosocial disability people because I don't think that they ever thought that they were doing very well in that area. But this is a guess because I can't quite remember, but I think they were very much ? you see you had the world, you had the blind union, you had the deaf union, you had the deaf-blind, you had Inclusion International which was developmental disability or learning disability, and then you had DPI which was very general. There was Rehabilitation International. Now, they are a quite general term I think, and a lot of them ? I think they are quite physical disability focused, and so they needed the central disability people, so they recognized that they didn't speak for all disabled people, so they needed to work with the more specialist disability groups.

Mary
Okay, all right.

Kasumi
Yes.


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