Recently appointed the Executive Director of Mindfreedom International (MFI), Ron Bassman is a psychiatric survivor and licensed psychologist who lives in Boulder, Colorado. He has been a long-time activist fighting for the rights of persons diagnosed with mental illnesses and for alternatives to the mainstream standard of care in mental health. Ron is a Past President of NARPA and co-founder of the International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR). He has worked as the Director of Self-Help and Empowerment Projects for the New York State Office of Mental Health, as the Director of the Collaborative Empowerment Project of the New York State Psychological Association and as Executive Director of the Human Service Agency in Watertown, South Dakota.
In 1969, at the age of 25, Ron was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time in three years. The first diagnosis, schizophrenia, paranoid type was followed by a second hospitalization and the diagnosis schizophrenia, chronic type. Treatments included electro-shock, insulin comas, and massive doses of Thorazine. After recovering from his "treatments" and working to address the identity issues that had triggered his excursion into "madness," Ron entered graduate school, earned a doctorate, and has worked as a licensed psychologist in a state hospital, in private practice, been a consultant to schools and state agencies, and has been the executive director of a seven-county comprehensive mental health center.
Ron worked for nine years at the New York State Office of Mental Health Bureau of Recipient Affairs doing self-help project development, education, and technical assistance, and was chair of The Community Consortium, an organization created to promote the civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities, and to provide the tools to facilitate genuine community integration for people who use mental health services. He is the author of A Fight to Be: A Psychologist's Experience from Both Sides of the Locked Door.