Monday, April 14

Alison Hymes: the activist before incarceration in Western State Hospital, Virginia

I have been searching for Alison Hymes and found some of her comments in blogs and news organizations. She was a real activist and was really working for accountability in Virginia. Two examples:

Alison Hymes
28 May 2007 at 9:15 am
Thanks for linking to my blog. I’m Alison Hymes, thus the “Hymes” :), I’m Secretary of Virginia’s Mental Health Planning Council, member of the Advisory Committee for Region Ten’s Wellness Recovery Center (Crisis Stabilization for adults), member of the Taskforce on CIT for Charlottesville/Albemarle and member of the Taskforce on Committment of the Virginia Chief Justice’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform. I don’t focus on children in the main although I am of course concerned about protecting children from abuse in the MH system as well as adults. If readers have concerns about MH in Virginia relevant to the Planning Council which oversees the federal block grant or in regards to the Commitment Taskforce, I am always interested in hearing from folks. I can be reached at

LETTER- Thanks for no stigma
Published online 8:00am Thursday Apr 26th, 2007
and in print issue #0617 dated Thursday Apr 26th, 2007

Thank you for not scapegoating people with mental illness in your coverage of the massacre at Virginia Tech ["After the massacre," April 19]. Your coverage was almost unique in not taking the tack of increasing the general public's fear and ignorance about people living with mental illness. Clearly you already know, as apparently the New York Times does not, that people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrators.

Your coverage and its lack of stimatizing people with psychiatric disabilities was a highlight of a very hard week for all of us who work to decrease the prejudice against people with psychiatric labels.

Alison Hymes
Secretary, Virginia Mental Health Planning Council
Albemarle County

She was good an very determined. In other words a trouble.
She was incarcerated and is being a difficult person for psychiatrists, and, even for activists. Bad girl Alison.
There is something strange surrounding this case. Organizations and people who started campaigning for Alison refuse to say why they gave up. Why? How is Alison? No reply. "We do not know. W do not have contact with people who are in mental institutions..." OMY!
If an organization that claims to advocate for those who are in serious problem has started a campaign and after three years says "We don't know. We do not have a staff to do so."
Compliance? Are these the people who fight for a revolution in the medical paradigm?
Behaving like those they are fighting is surely not the right way.
Alison Hymes was silenced,

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