"Just Say No to Psychiatric Oppression."
MindFreedom Shield Program
With today's re-election of President Bush, advocates for the human rights of people affected by the mental health system are preparing for the worst.
Today, MindFreedom International, an independent non-profit coalition of 100 grassroots groups, is launching the MindFreedom Shield Program to defend members from an expected increase in coerced and forced psychiatric procedures.
President Bush has endorsed a drug company plan to screen every American for mental health problems. A Bush appointee to a key federal committee, psychiatrist Sally Satel, has openly called for more "coercive," "intrusive, highly paternalistic" and "involuntary care" in mental health.
MindFreedom International has an established track record of taking constructive, nonviolent action when a person is being subjected to coerced or forced psychiatric procedures. In order to better utilize its very limited resources, MindFreedom International announces the official beginning of the MindFreedom Shield Program.
MindFreedom Shield is a coordinated registration system and solidarity network composed by and for people who want to have as much protection as possible from being subjected to coerced or forced psychiatric "treatment."
"I hope this program lets people know that they not only have choice A, B, or C but that they are free to choose, 'NONE OF THE ABOVE!'" explains advocate Pat Risser, one of a group of psychiatric survivors who envisioned and initiated the concept that has become the MindFreedom Shield. "This is a way to 'just say no' to oppression."
MindFreedom Shield is designed to support a person's choice to be free from coerced or forced psychiatric "treatment" by backing this personal choice up with the MindFreedom Solidarity Network -- a network of people ready to take constructive, nonviolent action if someone's choice to be free from coerced or forced psychiatric "treatment" is not being respected or upheld.
As the current mental health system continues to globalize and rely more and more on coercion and outright force, many people's rights to have their previously expressed and even properly documented wishes carried out are being ignored. The recent recommendations of the President's New Freedom Commission to begin universal mental health screening, currently being implemented in several states, is only one example of the increasing use of such pressure.
In order to best implement this program, MindFreedom is collaborating closely with sponsor group The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights.org). "Through this mechanism people saddled with psychiatric labels can unite and offer effective resistance to psychiatric abuses," said attorney Jim Gottstein, director of PsychRights. "The MindFreedom Shield Program fits PsychRights' mission of defending people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging and other forced psychiatric procedures administered against their will perfectly."
All for One and One for All
MindFreedom board member and psychologist Al Galves, PhD said, "The MindFreedom Shield is a quick, cost-effective defense against people being railroaded into using such methods as medication and electroshock to alleviate normal responses to life issues that can more effectively, economically and safely be addressed through interpersonal emotional support and creative action."
"We can't guarantee the results," cautions MindFreedom director David Oaks, "But it has been our experience, including testing the MindFreedom Shield Program to help free a member from a Canadian psychiatric facility, that public awareness and people engaging in specific, nonviolent action can often reduce or even end coerced or forced psychiatric 'treatment.'"
MindFreedom Shield is not meant to take the place of legal documents expressing a person's medical and psychiatric care preferences, such as an "Advance Directive." MindFreedom Shield is intended to provide the people power clout it sometimes takes to enforce a member's wishes, including members with Advance Directives. "Our recommendation is that a member have both a MindFreedom Shield and an Advance Directive in place." said Krista Erickson, chair of the MindFreedom Shield committee.
Any current member of MindFreedom may register a MindFreedom Shield for free. Detailed information about the program, as well as a registration form, can be found online at:
Any MindFreedom member who does not have access to the Internet may write to the MindFreedom office to obtain information about the program.
MindFreedom Support Coalition International is a grassroots human rights non-profit uniting over 100 sponsor groups in 15 countries working for human rights and alternatives in mental health. The organization is the only group of its kind with Non Governmental Organization accreditation by the United Nations (ECOSOC Consultative Roster Status).
Sometimes called the "Amnesty International of mental health," MindFreedom is independent from any government, mental health provider, drug company or religion.
To join or renew membership in MindFreedom go to:
Or write to:
PO Box 11284
Eugene, OR 9744-3484 USA
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For information about President Bush's screening program, and his appointee psychiatrist Sally Satel, see President Bush and the Shrinking of the USA
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