Tens of thousands of people attend the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival each year during the first weekend in October. “This festival is absolutely incredible, and we knew we had to be part of it,” says Meg Epstein, the Nashville Director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, “Our mission is to end abuses in the field of mental health, and the first step toward this is spreading awareness to people.”
Mental health abuse doesn’t discriminate. Many different types of people have suffered it at the hands of psychiatrists they thought they could trust. So the Nashville Chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has been on an all-out effort to reach everyone with the facts.
Most recently, volunteers had a booth at the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival, which this year was celebrating its 20th anniversary. The festival began as the Celebration of Cultures in 1996 at the Scarritt Bennett Center. During that time, the foreign-born population was still small. Now, the foreign-born make up 15 percent of Davidson County, with many Latinos, and also refugees, like Kurds and Somalis. Mirroring that growth, the festival draws some 60,000 attendees. Organizers say that places the event among Nashville’s most popular — and it has become a model for other cities.
CCHR was at the festival distributing information about the common and well-documented side effects of psychiatric drugs, which include mania, psychosis, hallucinations, depersonalization, suicidal ideation, heart attack, stroke and sudden death.
CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health industry watchdog whose mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health. It works to ensure patient and consumer protections are enacted and upheld as there is rampant abuse in the field of mental health. In this role, CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed five decades ago. For more information on CCHR, visit cchrnashville.org.