The voices made him to do it.
One blistering sub-zero January night Bill MacPhee went wandering naked on a four-lane highway against speeding traffic, convinced he was Christ. When police picked him up and took him to the local psychiatric ward, he thought they were ancient Romans, taking him away to be crucified.
“That’s what it’s like to be mentally ill. When you’re psychotic, you don’t realize you’re sick because you’ve split from reality. You don’t respond to logic because your reality has its own logic,”said MacPhee, a leading mental health advocate and founding publisher of Schizophrenia Digest.
In January, he launched an ambitious new advocacy campaign called “Minds for Action” with three objectives: To help the 300,000 Canadians with schizophrenia get better access to effective medication, to improve job training, and to promote a national mental health strategy.
It is “unethical and inhumane” for governments to restrict the prescribing of a new drug, Risperadal CONSTA, to patients until they have failed on older drugs, which can cause permanent facial disfigurement, he said.
“I want to be a voice for the underdog, for those who cannot speak for themselves. We all deserve a home, a friend and a job, but without treatment that can’t happen.”