Four Freedoms of Mental Health
The Four Freedoms that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke about in January of 1941, and that Norman Rockwell immortalized in his 1943 illustrations—freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—are as relevant today as ever.
In the spirit of the originals, the Austen Riggs Center is proposing the Four Freedoms of Mental Health:
- Freedom from Stigma
- Freedom from Dehumanizing Treatment
- Freedom to Pursue Recovery
- Freedom of Access to Medically Necessary Treatment
These freedoms tie directly to the underlying principles and philosophy of treatment that Riggs has pioneered over the past 100 years, grounded in the importance of relationships, the meaning behind symptoms, and the voices of patients in their lives and in their treatments.
There are a number of individuals and organizations already working hard to help those struggling with mental illness, and they deserve to be commended for their work. To that end, and in honor of its Centennial Year in 2019, the Austen Riggs Center has established the Four Freedoms of Mental Health Award to periodically recognize an individual’s or group’s work to advance the cause of accessible, quality mental health care in the United States and to help those with mental illness realize the Four Freedoms of Mental Health.
Watch Dr. Eric Plakun talk about Art, Love, and Identity: The Four Freedoms of Mental Health at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
The inaugural award was presented at a Centennial Celebration on the evening of September 21, at Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning.