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Behrendt, Tom

Tom Behrendt Papers

1978-2003
3 boxes 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 870
Depiction of Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.
Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.

The attorney Tom Behrendt has worked for years in the cause of civil rights for people with mental disabilities. A past president and long-time member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, Behrendt served previously as Legal Director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project and he was a founding member of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service in New York. Behrendt’s involvements have included work with organizations such as Project Release, the Free Association, Advocacy Unlimited, and PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness).

The collection consists of a wide array of publications and documents relating the psychiatric survivors movement and Behrendt’s advocacy work. In addition to materials relating to NARPA conferences and a long run of NARPA’s newsletter, The Rights Tenet, the collection includes newsletters and other materials relating to the movement and issues such as electroconvulsive therapy.

Background on Tom Behrendt

A lawyer and advocate for people with mental illness (sometimes referred to as consumers, clients, survivors, ex-patients or ex-inmates), Tom Behrendt was active in the psychiatric survivors movement starting in the 1970s, and continues to work on behalf of disability rights today. He served as President and later long-time board member of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), which published The Rights Tenet and holds annual conferences. He also worked with the New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Services, the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Project Release, and other advocacy groups. He had regular correspondences with Cynthia “Kalisa” Miller, a prominent figure in the psychiatric survivors’ movement, and is associated with other activists such as Marilyn Rice, Linda Andre, and Alice M. Earl.

Contents of Collection

Comprised mainly of publications, correspondence, ephemera, and to some extent legal and government documents, the Tom Behrendt Papers focus on issues relating to the psychiatric survivors movement, particularly deinstitutionalization, housing, involuntary commitment and treatment, Psychopharmaceuticals, and the controversial Electro-convulsive treatment (ECT), commonly called electro-shock or shock therapy. It also addresses the split between the more radical, anti-psychiatry faction and mainstream activists, specifically disagreements over the nature of mental illness (reaction to societal pressure versus chemical imbalance), proper treatment (the peer support and self-help movements versus the medical model and traditional psychiatry), as well as protection and advocacy laws.

Publications, including titles such as Dendron News, Madness Network News (published by Project Release), the Radical Therapist (also known as RT, the Rough Times, and State and Mind), Peer Advocate, and Phoenix Rising, make up a large portion of the collection, spanning from the 1970s to the early 2000s. The collection also contains newsletters, articles, correspondence, and ephemera from several advocacy groups. These include the Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients (ALMP); Psychiatric Survivors of Western Massachusetts, which published Peer Advocate; the National Association of Psychiatric Survivors, formerly the National Alliance of Mental Patients; Project Release, which published Madness Network News and organized demonstrations against the International Conference on Electroconvulsive Therapy; National Association of Psychiatric Survivors (NAPS), formerly the National Alliance of Mental Patients (NAMP); Committee for Truth in Psychiatry (CTIP);Support Coalition International, later MindFreedom, which published Dendron; the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); and the Mental Health Law Project. Also included are conference materials spanning several years from NARPA as well as the International Conference on Human Rights and Against Psychiatric Oppression.

The Tom Behrendt Papers also contain materials related to the Advisory Board to the New York
City Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services. This includes documents, correspondence, and reports from the Inter-Agency Task Force on deinstitutionalization. There are also legal resources from the New York Civil Liberties Union, government initiatives pertaining to Mental Health issues, and correspondence with the White House. In addition, Behrendt kept records of court cases, briefings, and other legal documents from his work with Project Release and the Mental Hygiene Legal Services, as well as a collection of peer-reviewed articles from the American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, and other journals.

A notable component of the collection are transcripts from the Association for the Preservation of Anti-Psychiatric Artifacts (APAPA), which document broadcastings of the Madness Network on WBAI radio, as well as interviews with prominent figures in the Psychiatric Survivors movement, such as Judi Chamberlin, Marilyn Rice, Leonard Roy Frank, Rae Unzicker, and Howard “Howie the Harp” Geld. The collection also holds a unique compilation of poetry, short stories, and other literature about mental illness.

Collection inventory

Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients
1977
Box 1: 1
Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients
1978, 1983
Box 3: 1
Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients: “The Politics of Phenothiazines”
ca.1980
Box 1: 2
Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients
ca.1985-1987
Box 1: 3
Amazon Autumn Annual Lesbian Fall Festival
1985, 1986
Box 1: 4
Association for the Preservation of Anti-Psychiatric Artifacts Transcripts
1977-1981
Box 1: 5
Association for the Preservation of Anti-Psychiatric Artifacts Transcripts
1984
Box 1: 6
Association for the Preservation of Anti-Psychiatric Artifacts Transcripts
1985
Box 1: 7
Association for the Preservation of Anti-Psychiatric Artifacts Transcripts
1986
Box 1: 8
Clippings
1974-1977
Box 1: 9
Clippings: Psychiatric News
1975, 1992
Box 1: 10
Clippings: The Village Voice
1976 Jul 26, 1977 Nov 28
Box 1: 11
Clippings
1985
Box 1: 12
Clippings: Womens’ Issues
1985-1986
Box 1: 13
Clippings
ca.1988-1990
Box 1: 14
Clippings
1993 Jul
Box 1: 15
Clippings: The New York Press
1993 Aug 25
Box 3: 2
Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Opression
1978
Box 3: 3
Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Opression
1982, 1983
Box 1: 16
Connecticit Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities
1990
Box 1: 17
Correspondence
ca.1973-1989
Box 1: 18
Correspondence: Miller, Cynthia “Kalisa”
1986 Apr
Box 1: 19
Committee for Truth in Psychiatry: Rice, Marilyn
1986-1988
Box 1: 20
Committee for Truth in Psychiatry: Rice, Marilyn
1986 Jul-1990 Feb
Box 3: 4
Committee for Truth in Psychiatry
1989-1993
Box 1: 21
Committee for Truth in Psychiatry: Rice, Marilyn and Andre, Linda
1990 Mar-1992 Jul
Box 3: 5
Dendron, Fact Sheets
ca.1987-1989
Box 1: 22
Dump Duberstein Campaign
1997
Box 1: 23
Dr Caligari’s Psychiatric Drugs
1992
Box 1: 24
Engelhardt, David Prevention of Psychiatric Hospitalization
1960-1964
Box 1: 25
Federal Violence Initiative
1992
Box 1: 26
Federal Violence Initiative Press
1992
Box 1: 27
Free Association
ca.1992
Box 1: 28
International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology Newsletter
1998, 2001
Box 1: 29
Legal: Rogers v. Okine
1977
Box 1: 30
Legal: Mental Health Law
1978-1983
Box 1: 31
Legal: Children and Mental Illness
1980, 1998-1999
Box 1: 32
Legal: Insanity Defence
1982-1983
Box 1: 33
Legal: Bonnie, Richard J.
1982-1983
Box 1: 34
Literature: “Poetics” from Madness Network
ca.1950-1992
Box 1: 35
Literature: Lessing, Doris
1969
Box 1: 36
Literature
ca.1970-1990
Box 1: 37
Literature: “Literary Transformations”
1975, 1979
Box 1: 38
Literature: The New York Times Book Review
1979 May 2, Jun 27
Box 1: 39
Literature: The New York Review of Books
1978 Feb 23
Box 1: 40
Literature: Psychiatry as Social Control an Annotated Bibliography
ca.1985-1999
Box 3: 6
Main Protection and Advocacy Proposal
1986
Box 1: 41
Mental Hygiene Legal Services
1987, 1992
Box 1: 42
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Brochures and Leaflets
ca.1988-1990
Box 1: 43
National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Propoganda”
ca.1988-1991
Box 1: 44
National Alliance on Mental Illness: U.S News and World Report
1989 Apr 24, 1990 Mar 5
Box 1: 45
National Alliance on Mental Illness: The Decade of the Braine
1990
Box 1: 46
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Employee Discrimination
1991 Jan
Box 1: 47
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Protection and Advocacy Laws
1991 Jan-Sep
Box 1: 48
National Assocition of Psychiatric Survivors/National Alliance of Mental Patients
ca.1980-1990
Box 1: 49
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Mission Statement, Bylaws
ca.1984-1987
Box 1: 50
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1984-1985
Box 1: 51
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Correspondence, Newsletters
1986, 2003
Box 1: 52
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1987-1988
Box 1: 53
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1989, 1991
Box 1: 54
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1992-1993
Box 1: 55
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1994
Box 1: 56
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1995
Box 1: 57
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1996
Box 1: 58
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
1997
Box 1: 59
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2000
Box 1: 60
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2001
Box 1: 61
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: White House Meeting
2002 Jan
Box 1: 62
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: White House Correspondence
2002 Jan-Feb
Box 1: 63
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2002
Box 1: 64
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2003
Box 1: 65
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2005
Box 1: 66
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy: Annual Conference
2006
Box 1: 67
New York City Department of Mental Health: Interagency Task Force
1978 Jan-Apr
Box 1: 68
New York City Department of Mental Health: Interagency Report
1978 Mar-Apr
Box 1: 69
New York City Department of Mental Health: “Veterans’ Benefits and Military Discharge Upgrading”
1983 Jun
Box 1: 70
New York Civil Liberties Union: Legal
ca.1976
Box 1: 71
New York Civil Liberties Union: Legal
1981
Box 1: 72
New York State Report: “Future of the State-Local Mental Health System”
1984 Nov
Box 1: 73
Notebook
ca.1980-2000
Box 1: 74

This notebook most likely belonged to Tom Behrendt, related to his work with NARPA, the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, or other advocacy groups.

Operation Open City
1977
Box 1: 75
Operation Open City
1977-1978
Box 3: 7
Peer Advocate
1990-1991
Box 1: 76
Peer Advocate: Earl, Alice M. Materials Packet
ca.1990
Box 1: 77
The President’s Commisson on Mental Health
1977
Box 1: 78
Project Release: Mission Statement, General Information
ca.1975
Box 1: 79
Project Release:New York State Department of Mental Hygiene Five Year Plan
1978 Jan
Box 1: 80
Project Release: Geld, Howard “Howie the Harp”
1978-1979, 1995
Box 1: 81
Project Release: Project Release v. Provost
1983
Box 1: 82
Project Release
1985 Jan
Box 3: 8
Project Release: Correspondences
1985-1987
Box 1: 83
Project Release: Ziegler, Laura Essays
1986
Box 1: 84
Publications: Connections
1994 Feb, Jun
Box 1: 85
Publications: Connexions
1984
Box 3: 9
Publications: Counterpoint
1996
Box 1: 86
Publications: Cost of Freedom
1978
Box 1: 87
Publications: Dendron
1988-1990
Box 1: 88
Publications: Dendron
1990-1992
Box 1: 89
Publications: Dendron
1992-1993, 1995
Box 1: 90
Publications: Dendron
1996-1999
Box 1: 91
Publications: Dendron
2000
Box 1: 92
Publications: Freedom
1970 Apr, May
Box 1: 93
Publications: In a Nutshell
1977-1978
Box 1: 94
Publications: Madness Network News
1973-1975
Box 2: 1
Publications: Madness Network News
1975-1976
Box 2: 2
Publications: Madness Network News
1976-1977
Box 2: 3
Publications: Madness Network News
1977-1978
Box 2: 4
Publications: Madness Network News
1978-1979
Box 2: 5
Publications: Madness Network News
1979-1980
Box 2: 6
Publications: Madness Network News
1982-1983
Box 2: 7
Publications: Madness Network News
1983
Box 2: 8
Publications: Madness Network News
1983-1984
Box 2: 9
Publications: Madness Network News
1985-1986
Box 2: 10
Publications: Majority Report
1975, 1976
Box 2: 11
Publications: Mental Health Law Project
1976-1978
Box 2: 12
Publications: Mind Freedom
2002 Nov, 2004 Oct
Box 2: 13
Publications: Mouth
1991, 1997
Box 2: 14
Publications: NAPS News
1989-1993
Box 2: 15
Publications: Off Center
1992 Jan-Aug
Box 2: 16
Publications: Off Our Backs
1984 Jul
Box 2: 17
Publications: Peer Advocate
1987
Box 3: 10
Publications: Peer Advocate
1988 Jan-Aug
Box 3: 11
Publications: Peer Advocate
1988, 1989 Apr-Jun
Box 3: 12
Publications: Peer Advocate
1989 Aug-1990 Nov
Box 3: 13
Publications: Phoenix Rising
1980-1985
Box 2: 18
Publications: Phoenix Rising
1985-1990
Box 2: 19
Publications: Prison Legal News
1997 Nov-1998 Apr
Box 2: 20
Publications: Prison Legal News
1998 Jul-Nov
Box 2: 21
Publications: The Radical Therapist
1971-1972
Box 2: 22
Publications: The Radical Therapist
1972-1973
Box 2: 23
Publications: The Radical Therapist
1973-1975
Box 2: 24
Publications: The Radical Therapist/ State and Mind
1976-1977
Box 2: 25
Publications: The Radical Therapist/ State and Mind
1977-1978
Box 2: 26
Publications: The Radical Therapist/ State and Mind
1979-1980
Box 2: 27
Publications: The Rights Tenet
1984-1992
Box 2: 28
1984 Dec
1985 Mar-May
1985 Sep-Nov
1987 Jan
1987 May
1987 Jun-Aug
1988 Mar-May
1988 Jun-Aug
1989 Jan
1989 Mar-May
1989 Jun-Aug
1990 Mar
1990 Jun-Aug
1990 Sep-Nov
1990 Dec-1991 Feb
1991 Mar-May
1991 Jun-Aug
1991 Sep-Nov
1991 Dec-1992 May
1992 Jun-Aug
1992 Sep-Nov
Publications: The Rights Tenet
1993-1999
Box 2: 29
1992 Dec-1993 May
1993 Jun-Aug
1993 Dec-1994 Feb
1995 Sep-Nov
1995 Dec-1996 Feb
1996 Jun-Aug
1996 Dec-1997 Feb
1997 Mar-May
1997 Jun-Aug
1997 Sep-Nov
1998 Mar-May
1998 Sep-Nov
1999 Sep-Nov
Publications: The Rights Tenet
2000-2002
Box 2: 30
2000 Mar-Aug
2000 Sep-2001 Feb
2001 Mar-May
2001 Dec-2002 May
2002 Jun-Aug
Publications: Wisdoms Child
1978 Jan, May
Box 2: 31
Publications: Various
1976-1978
Box 2: 32
Publications: Various
1979
Box 2: 33
Publications: Various
1995-1998
Box 2: 34
Support Coalition International
ca.2000
Box 2: 35
Various Articles, Paper Materials
1977-1992
Box 2: 36
World Association of Electroschock Survivors
1996
Box 2: 37

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of Tom Behrendt, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne Frances Moore, June 2018.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Tom Behrendt Papers (MS 870). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects
Electroconvulsive therapy
Mental health laws
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Psychiatric survivors movement
Contributors
Project Release

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