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Encyclopedia > MindFreedom International
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MindFreedom International is a coalition of over 100 grassroots groups and thousands of individual members in 14 nations committed to winning and protecting the human rights of people labeled with psychiatric disorders. "A majority of MindFreedom members identify themselves as survivors of human rights violations in the mental health system, but membership is ... open to everyone who supports human rights, including mental health professionals, advocates, activists [and] family members" [1]. Image File history File links MindFreedom Banner from [MindFreedom. ... A coalition is an alliance between entities, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest. ... A grassroots political movement, inspired by the German word Graswurzel, is a movement organized by a network of citizens. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that studies and treats mental and emotional disorders (see mental illness). ... When a government violates national or international law related to the protection of human rights, this is termed a human rights violation. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... It has been suggested that Barrister#Advocates in Scotland be merged into this article or section. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as involvement in action to bring about change, be it social, political, environmental, or other change. ...


"A majority of MindFreedom members identify themselves as survivors of human rights violations in the mental health system, but membership is...open to everyone who supports human rights, including mental health professionals, advocates, activists [and] family members" [2]. When a government violates national or international law related to the protection of human rights, this is termed a human rights violation. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... It has been suggested that Barrister#Advocates in Scotland be merged into this article or section. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as involvement in action to bring about change, be it social, political, environmental, or other change. ...

Contents


Origins and Purpose

"The roots of MindFreedom.org reach deeply into the psychiatric survivors liberation movement itself, which arose directly out of the civil rights movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's. The term "psychiatric survivor" is used by individuals who identify themselves as having survived human rights violations within the mental health system." [3] A number of people considered ill and needing treatment by specific psychiatrists or psychiatric doctrine in general do not perceive benefit from the services offered or forced upon them. ... Civil Rights Movement in the United States, political, legal, and social struggle to gain full citizenship rights for African American and to achieve racial equality. ... The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that diagnoses, treats, and studies mental illness and behavioral conditions. ...


"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, MindFreedom Support Coalition International was formed. MindFreedom's very first action was the staging of a counter-conference and protest in New York City in May, 1990, at the same time as the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting." [4] 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ... New York City, officially named the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States, the most densely populated major city in North America, and is at the center of international finance, politics, entertainment, and culture. ... For the Temptations album, see 1990 (Temptations album) MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... The American Psychiatric Association is a professional organization of psychiatrists whose members are American and international physicians who are trained in psychiatry. ...


MindFreedom challenges mainstream medicine's biological psychiatry paradigm, which MindFreedom denounces for being based on the disputed 'chemical imbalance theory', while resisting the global embrace of the "abusive western 'mental health' system." [5] [6] [7] Chemical imbalance theory describes a series of neurochemical changes underlying mental illness. ...


Opposition to "New Freedom Commission"

Among the causes championed by the coalition is the campaign to thwart President George W. Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Since 1992, Dr. Patch Adams, a physician and advocate for alternative medicine, has taken a leading role on behalf of the coalition in the campaign against the New Freedom Commission's attempts to expand the use of mental health screening programs, supported by the pharmaceutical industry and based upon the Texas Medication Algorithm Project. Adams has volunteered to screen President Bush, "He needs a lot of help. I'll see him for free." George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States and a former Governor of the State of Texas. ... President George W. Bush established the controversial President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April, 2002, to conduct a comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system and make recommendations based on their findings. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Hunter Patch Adams (b. ... Physician examining a child The word physician should not be confused with physicist, which means a scientist in the area of physics. ... Alternative medicine broadly describes methods and practices used in place of, or in addition to, conventional medical treatments. ... Pharmacology (in Greek: pharmacon is drug, and logos is science) is the study of how chemical substances interfere with living systems. ... The Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) is a controversial corporate-sponsored set of psychiatric management guidelines designed to enable doctors to systematically screen and treat patients for diagnosed mental disorders within Texas publicly-funded mental health care system. ...


One of the main goals of the President's New Freedom Commission is to ensure "Early mental health screening, assessment, and referral to services are common practice," said MindFreedom's director, David Oaks.


Debate over 'chemical imbalances'

According to MindFreedom, scientific evidence does not support the contention that mental illness results from chemical imbalances in the brain. Addressing the debate over the issue sparked when Tom Cruise criticized the chemical imbalance theory of psychiatry as pseudoscience, MindFreedom director David Oaks said "The APA failed to come up with even one piece of scientific evidence for a chemical imbalance. The APA cannot name one scholarly citation or provide one reliable diagnostic lab test for any chemical imbalance.[8] Chemical imbalance theory describes a series of neurochemical changes underlying mental illness. ... Please help to figure out license type for the image Comparative brain sizes. For other articles about other subjects named brain see brain (disambiguation). ... Tom Cruise as seen on a poster for the 2001 film Vanilla Sky Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York, USA) is an American actor, producer, and Scientologist who has starred in a number of top-grossing movies. ...


Speaking against the marketing of medicines using what many consider to be unscientific claims about chemical imbalances, Oaks added, "Pfizer, Inc. does not explain the following important indisputable fact: There is no scientific evidence for such a chemical imbalance. For example, there is no reliable diagnostic lab test for any alleged chemical imbalance for any mental disorder. Pfizer, Inc. has broadcast this fraud many times on television, in print, on the web and in other material reaching millions of Americans."[9] MindFreedom does, however, support the choice of many of its members make in deciding to take psychiatric medicines. Pfizer, Incorporated (NYSE: PFE), is a global pharmaceutical company, with headquarters in New York City. ...


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 coerced psychiatric treatment. Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to act by employing threat of harm (usually physical force, sometimes other forms of harm). ...


If a member is known to be subjected to coerced psychiatric treatment, 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.


Range of campaigns

  • Psychiatric Industry Watch: The Watch campaign seeks to expose pharmaceutical company 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 electroshock 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'.

Electroconvulsive therapy, also known as electroshock or ECT, is a type of psychiatric shock therapy involving the induction of an artificial seizure in a patient by passing electricity through the brain. ... Lobbying is the practice of private advocacy with the goal of influencing a governing body, in order to ensure that an individuals or organizations point of view is represented in the government. ... Empowerment refers to increasing the political, social or economic strength of individuals or groups. ... Self-determination is a principle in international law that a people ought to be able to determine their own governmental forms and structure free from outside influence. ...

See also

Beginning in the 1960s, a movement called anti-psychiatry claimed that psychiatric patients are not ill but are individuals that do not share the same consensus reality as most people in society. ... The term antipsychotic is applied to a group of drugs used to treat psychosis. ... Biological psychiatry, sometimes referred to as bio-psychiatry, is a term used mainly by critics of mainstream mental health orthodoxy to describe what many believe are unproven and subjective diagnostic and treatment practices in the mental health field. ... Bruce E. Levine, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cincinnati, Ohio for nearly two decades. ... Elliott Valenstein, Ph. ... The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP) is a nonprofit (503c) research and educational network whose focus is the critical study of the mental health professions and their consumer markets. ... Lauras Law, (Assembly Bill 1421, Helen Thomson, Davis), was passed by the California legislature and signed into law by then Governor Grey Davis in 2002, allows for court ordered outpatient treatment of mental health clients who refuse medication in counties that enact outpatient commitment programs based on the measure. ... The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is an American non-profit national advocacy organization founded in 1979 for people affected by serious mental illnesses and their families. ... President George W. Bush established the controversial President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April, 2002, to conduct a comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system and make recommendations based on their findings. ... Doctor Peter R. Breggin is a prominent and controversial psychiatrist from the United States. ... A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a chemical that alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness, or behaviour. ... Sally Satel, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist, a lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine, the W.H. Brady Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of (2001) and Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion (1999). ... The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) is a United States nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting laws allowing intensive, court-ordered outpatient treatment for individuals diagnosed with severe mental illnesses who are likely to become violent if they dont receive the court-ordered treatment. ...

External Links

  • MindFreedom.org - MindFreedom homepage
  • ADHD-Report.com - 'Biopsychiatry Illuminated: The Candlelight Project', Bob Collier, (September 1, 2003)
  • AntiPsychiatry.org - 'The Antipsychiatry Coalition: a nonprofit volunteer group consisting of people who feel we have been harmed by psychiatry'
  • MindFreedom.intenex.net - 'The MindFreedom Shield Program'
  • MindFreedom-Fast.blogspot.com - 'A blog committed to the creation, realization, exercizing and fulfillment of social justice, human rights, self-determination and freedom in mental health: Dedicated in Memory of David W. Hilton', Freedom in Mental Health Blog
  • NIMH.NIH.gov - National Institute of Mental Health
  • NMHA.org - National Mental Health Assocation
  • Omega.twoday.net - 'MindFreedom Shield Program: Re-Election of President Bush may mean more Psychiatric Coercion', MindFreedom News (November 3, 2004)
  • PsychRights.org - Law Project for Psychiatric Rights

  Results from FactBites:
 
MindFreedom International at AllExperts (1130 words)
MindFreedom International, founded in 1988 to advocate against forced medication, physical restraints, involuntary electroshock therapy, and other human rights violations in the mental health system, is an international coalition of over 100 grassroots groups and thousands of individual members in 14 nations.
MindFreedom International is dedicated to winning and protecting the rights of people around the globe who have been labeled with psychiatric disorders.
MindFreedom International is rooted in the psychiatric survivors liberation movement itself, which came directly out of civil rights ferment of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
MindFreedom International - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1222 words)
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.
MindFreedom opposes mainstream medicine's psychiatric paradigms, which MindFreedom asserts are based on a "chemical imbalance theory." This opposition forms the basis for resisting the western mental health system by which MindFreedom identifies a "global embrace" and which it declares is abusive.
In 2003 MindFreedom hunger strikers in Pasadena, California, demanded scientific proof of mental illness as a genuine biomedical disease.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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