Competing with thousands of organizations from across the world, the Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) was named the 2023 Digital Award winner in the category of Media Relations. Recognizing the most innovative and industry-altering digital communicators and campaigns, the 2023 Digital Award was presented to CCHR for their work to defend parental rights and prevent children from being wrongfully institutionalized. 
Diane Stein, president for the Florida chapter of CCHR, and her team set out to help amend the law to restore parental rights in the area of mental health. The team first began raising awareness on the need for change through events, traditional and social media, and via press releases after developing a PR and communications strategy to restore parental rights and protect children from unjust involuntary psychiatric examination, called a Baker Act. Next, CCHR created a booklet, Parental Rights in Florida: A Guide for Parents, which was mailed out to families, policy makers, school districts and law enforcement in the state. Once policy makers had filed the bills needed to make the changes, the team launched an email marketing and social media campaign to have Florida families contact members of the Florida Legislature resulting in the passage of multiple bills protecting children and families from mental health abuse.
“Using online and other means of communication, we were able to raise awareness on these issues and to help make positive changes in our state. The success of this campaign demonstrates that a small group of well-intentioned people can change their community for the better,” said Diane Stein.
In total, the communications campaign reached tens of millions in the state of Florida and resulted in new and revised laws that accomplished the goal of protecting Floridians from abusive mental health practices.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
109 North Fort Harrison Avenue
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