Jolijn Santegoeds

Jolijn Santegoeds, from the Netherlands, is a user/survivor of psychiatry. Despite of the fact that the Netherlands is not considered the most problematic country in the area of mental health services, Jolijn had to face a range of forced and degrading practices when she was 16 year old. The institution that hosted her forced her to isolation through others.

After being transferred to another institution, where she was treated in a more humane way, her condition suddenly improved. She was not suicidal anymore. Eventually after 3 years she left the institution; she was then homeless for over 2 years. At age 22 she found a place to stay and finished college to be an Engineer on Sustainability. She realized that her drive was to change the injustices in the mental health care system and started a protest group called Rage against Isolation! (Tekeertegen de isoleer!), which later became an NGO called Mind Rights.

Jolijn’s main activities are aimed at stimulating alternatives to forced treatments and the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in health care. In the context of the Dutch law reform on forced psychiatric interventions, she developed an alternative model, called the “Eindhoven Model”, which is based on using Family Group Conferencing for supported decision-making to avoid forced psychiatric interventions.

In 2014 Jolijn Santegoeds became a Board member of ENUSP for the Northwest region.

She is also a co-chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), which aims to secure the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities everywhere around the world. She is generally active at all levels from practical alternatives in mental health services to policymaking and United Nations expert sessions.

In 2015 Jolijn Santegoeds actively led the process of creation of the Shadow report on behalf of ENUSP and participated in all relevant events and sessions, as well as in the follow up activities.

Since May 2017 she has been elected in the EDF Board of Directors.