A newsletter that was published in San Francisco starting in late 1972 and continuing through 1986. Beginning with a small readership and then developing into a quarterly national publication at a small size and a small fee.

This newsletter was the voice and networking center for the Mental Patient Liberation Movement in the United States, unapologetically advocating for the full human dignity, self-expression and civil rights of people diagnosed and labeled as mentally-ill. 

As a quarterly journal, Madness Network News published personal experiences, creative writings, art, political analysis, and factual reporting from the point of view of people who had been on the receiving end of psychiatric treatment and who now found themselves relegated to pariah status, living in marginalized and oppressive conditions and denied even the most basic aspects of personal choice, self-determination and human rights. 

Known for its use of humor and sense of irony, MNN declared on its masthead that it covered “
all the fits that’s news to print



In November of 1971, Jennifer Gleissner and Tullia Tesaro who were both patients at the Agnews State Hospital, put on a workshop in San Francisco for therapists “Encountering Psychosis or Everything You Always Wanted to Ask About Madness but Were Afraid to Ask.” An outcome of this workshop was the growth of a coalition of ex-patients, therapists, and others that met together informally over the next several months.

Volume 1 Issue 1:

Sherry Hirsch, David Richman, Richard Keene, Judith Weitzner, Felicity Facility, Tullia Tesaro, Jennifer Gleissner, Jade Hudson

Book: Madness Network News Reader

Editor: Sherry Hirsch
Copyright 1974
(includes excerpts from the newsletters)

Compilation: Madness Network News Redux

Leonard Roy Frank, Judi Chamberlin, Howie the Harp, Sally Zinman, David Oaks.
Copyright 2014



Through volunteers and very limited funding consisting mainly of subscriptions to the newsletter.

Couriers distributed the newsletter to S.F. Bay area book stores.
Point Foundation of San Francisco donated money with special thanks going to Jerry Mander.
Vocations for Social Change & Burt Alpert loaned the use of their typewriters.



To bring awareness to the institutions that were providing the “care” of their psychiatric patients and to provide an outlet / unifying agent to those who were 'survivors' of psychiatric “care”.



[Why do we care?  I'll tell you!  This is the precursor to what we're trying to do here at Defective Magazine.  This publication did it first, and very well, and with a similar spirit and voice as what we're trying to accomplish.  We have the utmost respect for this magazine that started over 40 years ago and still touches people today with its brilliance, insight, attitude and humor.  I can only hope that we have as good of a run (over a decade!) and have as much impact.  We can only hope - and try like hell.  I personally purchased the book, which is a collection of excerpts, at the recommendation of a friend.  I encourage you, if you are at all interested in the history and story of mental health care and the industry built around it, to hunt down and find the book from 1974, or go to the website to purchase reprints of the actual issues.  Thanks, MNNR.  And, thank YOU for supporting us on our quest to do good work and do it with an attitude.  - TAIC.]


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