[Hpn] OT: Remember: David W. Hilton, psychiatric survivor activist

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Thu, 18 Sep 2003 19:39:57 -0400


Below is a forward of an off-topic message from MindFreedom - Support 
Coalition International (SCI), which may be of interest to you and others 
whom you may know.

My apologies if you have already received this message either directly or 
from elsewhere.

The Freedom In Mental Health Blog was recently updated yesterday (Wednesday) 
afternoon with a blog post concerning David Hilton and his death and, the 
blog has also been dedicated in memory of David W. Hilton: 

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown, Administrator
E-mail: mffastblog@justice.com
Freedom in Mental Health Blog:
A blog committed to the creation, realization,
exercizing and fulfillment of social justice, human
rights, self-determination and freedom in mental health

------- Start of forwarded message -------

"Your Mind & Human Rights" -- 17 September 2003
http://www.MIndFreedom.org - feel free to forward


David W. Hilton, a psychiatric survivor activist
leader, died this past Thursday, apparently of suicide.

David W. Hilton had been the director of the Office of
Consumer Affairs for the State of New Hampshire
starting in 1991, the first office of its kind.

David was also, since 1991, a loyal and enthusiastic
member of MindFreedom Support Coalition International.

David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom, said, "All
of our communication with David Hilton showed a
deep understanding of the detailed workings
of the mental health system, along with a
passionate support of underlying principles of a major
revolution in the system. I would often benefit by
David Hilton's writing twice -- first to get the general
idea, and second to pick up the nuances and sometimes
the darkly humorous political attitude.

"David Hilton influenced people globally. He helped
pull together, and nurture a statewide network of
to the traditional mental health system, entirely
planned and carried out by mental health consumers
and psychiatric survivors. His spirit, courage, humor,
and brilliance were felt by me and many people in our
movement internationally. I especially mourn that many
of us
have not had a chance to get closer to David personally.
MindFreedom, our board and members extend our deepest
sympathy and support to David's closest friends,
families and colleagues. Let's continue his fine work,
his attitude, for him."

While investigations by authorities are apparently
not complete, the initial report is that David Hilton
died by suicide in front of a train during a visit to
the State of Washington, in Spokane.


BELOW you'll find

** An obituary from a NH newspaper.

** Information from his colleague Bill Quinn
to whom you may e-mail tributes, memories, etc., at
WQuinn@dhhs.state.nh.us. While the family
funeral is tomorrow, another memorial/celebration of
life will be planned for a later date so that colleagues
and friends can attend to remember David Hilton. Ask
Bill to keep you informed of the time and place.

** A note from Dan Fisher remembering David W. Hilton.

** A link to a couple of academic articles co-authored
by David Hilton.

**An informal note of solidarity David Hilton wrote to
activists in UK, about the problems of forced
psychiatric procedures here in the USA.


   _Concord Monitor_ Monday, September 15, 2003

David W. Hilton

Monday, September 15, 2003

David W. Hilton, 50, of Hazel Drive, died Thursday in
Spokane, Wash.

He was born in Augusta, Maine, the son of Ralph and
Jean (Bates) Hilton. He grew up in Rochester and had
lived in Concord for 30 years. He graduated from
Spaulding High School in 1971. While in high school,
he played football and was named an all-state halfback
during his senior year. He also ran track and received
many academic awards in math and science. He earned a
master of arts in humanities from California State

Hilton had worked for the state Division of Behavioral
Health since 1989, first as a director of the Office of
Consumer Affairs, which was established in 1991 and was
the first of its kind in the country. Most recently, he
worked as a policy and planning specialist.

He enjoyed playing and listening to music. He played
bass guitar and the keyboard and on occasion played
with the Misty and the Sundowners Band. He also
enjoyed carpentry.

Survivors include his parents, Ralph and Jean Hilton
of East Rochester; his brother, Peter Hilton of
Londonderry; two sisters, Holy Bennett and Lorie
Tweedy of Rochester; and nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will not be held. Funeral services will
be held Thursday at 2 p.m. in the First United
Methodist Church in Rochester. Burial will be Saturday
at the Pine Knoll Cemetery in Newcastle, Maine. R.M.
Edgerly & Son Funeral Home in Rochester is in charge
of the arrangements.



Funeral Svcs will be held
Thursday, September 18, 2003 at 2:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
34 South Main Street
Rochester, NH 03867


From: WQuinn@dhhs.state.nh.us
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 14:38:25 -0400

Hi to all of you.

Thanks you again for your continued support.

The family funeral is tomorrow at 2:00 pm at the First
United Methodist Church, 34 South Main Street,
Rochester, NH.

Former DHHS Commissioner Don Shumway and myself will
speak at tomorrow's service.

The cemetery service is Saturday at Pine Knoll
Cemetery in New Castle, Maine.

In addition, the Division of Behavioral Health will be
announcing a memorial service for David as well.

The NH consumer community will also be planning a
memorial as well and would extend invitations to all
of you who are able to attend.

Details of both of these will be forthcoming soon.

Since many from out-of-state have indicated interest
in attending such a memorial, we will attempt to plan
it so that individuals traveling from other states
have time to make arrangements. And although I used
the word memorial, it very likely will be more of a
celebration of David's life and of the positive impact
he has had on many of us. So, perhaps a tribute to
David is more of what we are planning.

Please feel free to offer any thoughts you might have.

Bill Quinn


From: "Dan Fisher" <Soulvoice@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 14:55:37 EDT
Subject: Farwell to David Hilton

Dear friends and colleagues,

With a heavy heart I share with you the news of David
Hilton's untimely
death. What a wonderful, strong spirited man he was. I
feel his spirit today
and it truly will be present with us far into the
future. I always admired
David's courage and voice. In his Johnny Cash-like
voice he
constantly spoke up for
those who had not the courage or the strength to speak.
His shining example
of tireless advocacy in New Hampshire, where he helped
establish a rich network
of self-help centers and nationally where inspired many
others, will long
serve as a beacon of hope. Of course he was no angel.
He was made of the same
human stuff we all are. Unfortunately he could not
perhaps harmonize with his
passions sufficiently to stay with us longer. He is
gone but never forgotten.
David, I will miss you very much.


LINK to a couple of articles available via PDF
co-authored by David W. Hilton:



Here's a note of solidarity written earlier this year
by David Hilton to
colleagues in England about their battle to fight
forced psychiatric
on the e-mail list "Protest against the Mental Health

From:  "David W. Hilton"

Sun Feb 16, 2003  8:23 pm

Subject:  Some data from across the pond

I am dismayed to hear of your misfortune with this new
political initiative in the UK to further constrain the
rights of persons with mental illnesses to pursue
wellness and recovery. Here in the states, we have
excelled at pursuing these strategies of civil and
legal compulsion.

In my own state, which is a model for the entire
country according to our esteemed national family
advocacy organization, we have perfected the process
of removing peoples' civil right to thrive on the
understanding that if one has an illness like this and
refused to take prescribed medication for it you are
tantamount to being a "murderer in waiting".... here I
am quoting one of NH's esteemed justices musing on the
subject some years back when the debate on how to
facilitate compliance with treatment came to the front
of the local newspapers due to an unfortunate incident.

Since that time, we have made it routine for
admissions to our small state asylum to check their
civil and legal rights at the door and not get them
back, if ever, for at least a good few years. Oh we
can live in the community, but only if agreeing to
conditions. However, and I have data to support the
following assertions, it has cost a good deal for our
state to pursue this strategy, now mimicked by most
states in the country and this is where the ultimate
rub comes......

The costs of community "monitoring" has blown the lid
off the state's medical services budget for the poor
and the disabled .... while at the same time, in
development in our peer support services system, the
"technology" for restoring people to self care,
management, and "civil obedience" was increasingly

The cost of teaching people how to handle their
illnesses and develop a plan for health and
restoration of "community integrity" of course, little
as it is compared to the burgeoning mental health
budget, threatens the establishment..... where the
truth really lies in the whole misguided mess. We
could teach people how to stay safe and well for much
less the cost than currently is expended forcing them
to ...... its a different version of the "give a man a
fish" ... allegory ... but true just the same.

I would be happy to share with you the trend analyses
done both on state expenses, and users served..... as
I think an important point to make to the decision
makers is that this approach to helping the mentally
ill is both inhumane, extremely costly and investing
in the wrong resources that will only disable the
community further, rather than achieving the health
and well-being each of us deserves.

My regards to you all in this difficult fight.....
certainly hard to gain attention for when all is so
much preoccupied with war.

David Hilton


Feel free to forward.

David Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom Support Coalition International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

email: oaks@mindfreedom.org fax: (541) 345-3737
phone: (541) 345-9106 toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRIDE

MindFreedom Support Coalition International is an
independent non-profit uniting 100 sponsor groups
to win human rights & alternatives in mental health.

------- End of forwarded message -------

Morgan W. Brown, Administrator
E-mail: mffastblog@justice.com
Freedom in Mental Health Blog:
A blog committed to the creation, realization,
exercizing and fulfillment of social justice, human
rights, self-determination and freedom in mental health

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