SANE Australia

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SANE Australia is the operating name for Schizophrenia Australia Foundation, which describes itself as "an independent national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness".

Funding & conflicts of interest

  • According to a 2003 report in The Age, the organisation "relies on drug companies for about 25 per cent of its annual $1 million budget" and has received funding from both Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. [1]
  • According to a 2010 report in The Daily Telegraph, Pfizer donated $60,750 to SANE Australia in 2008 and $129,300 in 2009. [2]
  • SANE Australia's "Helpline Online" is funded in part by AstraZeneca. [3]
  • According to their treatment 'fact sheet':
"Taking medication is the most decisive thing a person with a mental illness can do."

The following may also serve to perpetuate the falsehood that mental illness is nothing more than a 'chemical imbalance':

"Certain medications, assist the brain to restore its usual chemical balance". [4]

Psychiatric coercion

According to Dr. Richard Gosdon, a noted author and researcher on this subject:

"SANE Australia is a business name of Schizophrenia Australia Foundation which generally purports to represent the interests of relatives of schizophrenic people."

He observed that a pamphlet distributed by SANE Australia in the 1990s entitled ‘Something is Not Quite Right’, was accompanied by a note on letter-head announcing Pfizer as one of it's sponsors. (Pfizer is also the manufacturer of the atypical neuroleptic, ziprasidone). [5]

The pamphlet offered the following advice to friends and relatives of those with an:

"outright resistance to the idea of visiting the doctor, consult with the doctor yourself to work out a plan over time. It may be possible and appropriate for the doctor to assess the person at home."

When a person is reluctant to submit to a medical assessment, it is likely that the doctor will see the friends or relatives as his/her client rather than the person to be assessed. This introduces a great deal of scope for bias in the assessment; particularly since the symptoms are largely a matter of opinion. Summary detention in a mental hospital or coercion to participate in a pre-pscychosis treatment programme, are both likely outcomes. The SANE programme of using non-medical people as front-line diagnosticians by encouraging them to identify and report people who are irritating/offensive/disturbing, must give some credence to the myth-of-mental-illness model. The potential for psychiatric coercion as a form of social control is particularly evident as well. For example, the following is listed as 'symptom' number four in the pamphlet:

"(being) extremely preoccupied with a particular theme, for example, death, politics, or religion." [6]

Personnel

  • Barbara Hocking - Executive director
  • Paul Morgan - Deputy Director, strategy & communications
  • Andrea Kincade - Media relations

Contact

SANE Australia
PO Box 226
South Melbourne Victoria 3205
Australia

Telephone: +61 3 9682 5933
Facsimile: +61 3 9682 5944
Email: info AT sane.org

Web address: http://www.sane.org/ & http://www.itsallright.org/

Articles & sources

Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. Gary Hughes, Liz Minchin Taking your medicine, 'The Age', December 2003
  2. Sue Dunlevy Dosed up on donations and addicted to drug company money, Daily Telegraph, February 2010
  3. 'Help Online, SANE.org, accessed March 2010
  4. Medication 'fact sheet', SANE.org, accessed March 2010
  5. (Gosden, 2000, p.293)
  6. (Gosden, 2000, p.295)

External articles

External resources