The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (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. CCHR 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 enact more than 180 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed over 50 years ago.
CCHR’s Board of Advisers, called Commissioners, include doctors, scientists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, educators, business professionals, artists and civil and human rights representatives. There are more than 250 CCHR chapters in 34 countries, with the international headquarters based in Los Angeles, California.
CCHR has long fought to restore basic unalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, full informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatments, the right to all available medical alternatives, and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful. CCHR does not advocate for any particular medical, educational or particular treatment, but does advocate for giving people alternatives and resources to assist them in finding non-harmful solutions.
CCHR was co-founded as an independent mental health watchdog in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz at a time when patients were being warehoused in institutions, abused, stripped of their constitutional, civil and human rights, and left without recourse.As CCHR’s co-founder, Thomas Szasz stated “They were then the only organization, and they still are the only organization, who were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals with whom there was nothing wrong, who had committed no crimes, who wanted to get out of the hospital. And that to me was a very worthwhile cause; it’s still a very worthwhile cause. We should honor CCHR because it is really the organization that for the first time in human history has organized a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never happened in human history before.”