January 9, 2021
New York, NY – The World Mental Health Coalition calls for the immediate removal of President Donald Trump from office, by invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, impeachment, or resignation. Intervention must be swift and firm to be effective, while ensuring that guardrails are in place.
Violence must be recognized as the end product of a long process. Prevention is far more feasible and less costly than intervention after dangers have spread. Scientific research of the last several decades, and our clinical mandate of keeping patients and potential victims safe from “danger to self or others,” have equipped us with a professional responsibility to share our expertise and to inform the public of potential dangers.
Our mission remains resolutely on the side of the public, which we serve above any special or conflictual interests. We acknowledge the validity of the anxieties and horror that are a normal response to the January 6, 2021, violent assault on the People’s House and on our democracy. Just as we have sought to affirm, with scientific evidence, the anxieties Americans felt since the outset of this presidency, we are equally eager to support, promote, and advocate for the nation’s healing.
[Our immediate responses, including a petition to the courts for an immediate psychiatric evaluation on January 7, 2021, and a follow-up letter to the vice president and the U.S. Congress on January 8, 2021, can be found here.]
The World Mental Health Coalition formed as an alternative to the American Psychiatric Association, in order to prioritize public safety over deference to power. We do not diagnose, but we adhere to the highest principles of medical ethics, and our message has been consistent. Four years since its inception, it remains the largest professional organization in mental health dedicated to speaking up against dangerous leadership as a critical determinant for societal mental health and wellbeing.
Of note, the American Psychoanalytic Association has also bravely advocated for removal at this time, when the American Psychiatric Association acted in complicity with a dangerous leader. The latter did so through a misguided reinterpretation of “the Goldwater rule,” which silenced professionals since the start of this presidency. We urge the mental health community to come together on medical and scientific grounds, despite the prior political censorship by this one psychiatric association, which no other mental health association has agreed with but also felt too intimidated to challenge. We attest that conscientious mental health professionals have always held a near-consensus around the president’s dangerousness, as witnessed in the 2017 public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”