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MindFreedom International


MindFreedom International is an international coalition of over one hundred grassroots groups and thousands of individual members from fourteen nations. It was founded in 1988 to advocate against forced medication, physical restraints, and involuntary electroconvulsive therapy. MindFreedom is dedicated to winning and protecting the rights of people around the globe who have been labeled with psychiatric disorders. A majority of MindFreedom members identify themselves as survivors of human rights violations in the mental health system, and membership is open to everyone who supports human rights, including mental health professionals, advocates, activists and family members.[1] MindFreedom is recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a human rights NGO with Consultative Roster Status.[2]


Origins and purpose

MindFreedom International is rooted in the psychiatric survivors movement, which arose directly out of the civil rights ferment of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The term 'psychiatric survivor' is used to describe individuals who assert their human rights have been violated by the mental health system. In late 1988, leaders from several of the main national and grassroots psychiatric survivor groups decided an independent coalition was needed, and under its original name, Support Coalition International (SCI) was formed. SCI's first public action was to stage a counter-conference and protest in New York City, in May, 1990, at the same time as the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting. [3]

Range of campaigns

  • Psychiatric Industry Watch: The Watch campaign seeks to expose pharmaceutical industry financial and political influences upon the direction of 'mental health', such as its efforts to expand the use of outpatient commitment programs calling for coerced and forced psychiatric drugging.
  • The Right to Remember: Campaign to end to involuntary electroconvulsive therapy by publicizing instances of forced electroconvulsive treatment, and lobbying decision-makers to stop such practices.
  • Oral Histories: Program seeking to compile and publicize psychiatric survivor stories, promoting individual empowerment by highlighting stories of those who attain a state of stable remission or regain self-direction, from the perspective of those who have experienced the mental health system.
  • Mad Pride: Advocates self-determination among those deemed 'mad'. The coalition has proclaimed July as "Mad Pride Month", and supports events around the world celebrating the experience of 'madness'.

MindFreedom Shield Program

The MindFreedom Shield Program is an "All for one and one for all" registration system and network of members seeking as much protection as possible from involuntary psychiatric treatment.

If a member is known to be involuntarily treated, an alert is sent to the MindFreedom Solidarity Network on that person's behalf. Members of the network are expected to participate in constructive, nonviolent actions recommended by the program when an alert has been issued.


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See also

  • Anti-psychiatry
  • Biopsychiatry controversy
  • Psychiatric survivors movement
  • World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

External links and References

  • - MindFreedom International homepage
  • - "Freeing Your Mind", Keith Goetzman, Utne (May/June, 2006)
  • - 'Evolution of the Antipsychiatry Movement Into Mental Health Consumerism', Psychiatric Services, Rissmiller and Rissmiller, 57 (6): 863 (2006)
  • - 'Eli Lilly to bolster Zyprexa warning', John Russell , Indianapolis Star (October 6, 2007)
  • - 'Rights group up against Eli Lilly', Susan Palmer, The Register Guard, (January 15, 2007)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "MindFreedom_International". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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