DRW launches 'the Megaphone Effect'

Mark Stroh
Executive Director

“The Megaphone Effect: Reclaiming Recovery” explores the evolution of a patient rights group at Western State Hospital (WSH) known as the “Sanka Party” that formed in response to lost rights and privileges after one Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) patient walked away from an Eastern State Hospital (ESH) sanctioned field trip.  The resulting mass media frenzy culminated in a series of punitive legislation and state hospital policies eroding patient rights and ultimately the hope of recovery by patients at both state hospitals.  One such legislative action banned NGRI patients from leaving their buildings except when attending a funeral or going to a medical appointment.  See related story in DRW’s Winter 2013 Envoy.

“The Megaphone Effect” was created, in part, to show at the 2013 National Disability Rights Network Annual Meeting during the workshop, “Using Technology and Social Media to Amplify Voices.”   The video illustrates social media employed by self advocates to advance their agendas.  The patients’ goal in making “The Megaphone Effect” is to educate lawmakers and the public in order to advocate for change in the punitive law and policy in order to reclaim recovery.   Workshop presenters include David Carlson and Emily Cooper of Disability Rights Washington as well as Daniel Gautier, a WSH patient, participating from the hospital via Adobe Connect.  

It is believed to be the first time an NGRI patient has presented at a National Disability Rights Network Conference.

“Without their bravery, this story could not be told,” said Cooper of the patients who participated in the creation of the video. 

Cooper also acknowledged hospital staff and lawmakers who “helped support, amplify and give credence to these meaningful voices.” 

Individuals interviewed for the video include John Murphy - ESH Patient Advocate; Jeff Ramirez,- Clinical Nurse Specialist and ESH Quality Management Director; Ketema Ross - ESH Patient; Elaine Alberti, ESH Clinical Nurse Specialist;  Representative Tami Green - Washington State House of Representatives and Majority Floor Leader; Daniel Gautier - WSH Patient; Laurel Lemke - WSH Director of Consumer Affairs; Steve Einhaus - ESH Peer Specialist; Doug Boise - WSH Patient; Jesus Martinez - ESH Patient; and Marylouise Jones - WSH Clinical Operations Director.  Phil Paul, WSH patient, provided the music for the video credits.

The video production team led by Tina Pinedo included Tina, Kayla Bienert and Madeleine (Madi) Dagman.  Tina is completing her second year as a DRW intern while Madi and Kayla are wrapping up their first year.  All three are Seattle University undergrad students.  The interviews were conducted by DRW staff member Emily Cooper who was also the primary subject consultant for the video.  Also consulting on the video were DRW staff members Andrea Kadlec and David Carlson.