Who we are
MindFreedom International is a nonprofit organization under IRS 501(c)(3). For over two decades and counting, we have been engaging in successful advocacy, peaceful protests, public education, mutual support, lobbying, and organizing without ever giving up our dream of facilitating mental and emotional wellness for all people.
We are neither controlled nor funded by any pharmaceutical companies, governments, political parties, or religious organizations. Instead we are powered solely by contributions from individuals like you and occasional grants from independent foundations.
We are also the only organization in the field of mental health that is accredited by the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Roster Status.
Most of our members are psychiatric survivors, that is, those who have personally experienced human rights violations through psychiatry. Others are voluntary consumers of mental health services, family members and friends of survivors or consumers, attorneys, advocates, and professional providers of mental health care including “dissident” psychiatrists. Many also constitute marginalized demographics such as people of color, LGBT+ people, neurodivergent people, disabled people, etc. Some of us have been activists for over 30 years, and others for only 30 days.
All are welcome! We invite anyone and everyone who supports human rights to join us and strengthen our movement with their unique perspectives.
Our mission statement
In a spirit of mutual cooperation, MindFreedom International aims to lead a non-violent revolution of freedom, equality, truth, and human rights in mental health care by uniting psychiatric survivors, consumers, and allies through movements for justice everywhere.
- Challenge human rights abuses in mental health care (e.g. coerced and/or fraudulent drugging, electroshock therapy, and institutionalization).
- Support the self-determination of psychiatric survivors and consumers.
- Promote humane and effective mental health care.
Our current team
Scientific Advisory Board
MFI’s Scientific Advisory Board comprises psychiatrists and psychologists who play a crucial role in our success.
MFI’s Academic Alliance unites professors, instructors, and other leaders in academia who support our cause of human rights in mental health care.
- Sarah Smith, Programs Manager
- Cara V., Office Manager
Our origins: a brief timeline
• Circa 1970: Inspired by the civil rights and other movements, psychiatric survivors, dissident mental health professionals, and advocates formed a diverse international effort to change the mental health system. MindFreedom is directly rooted in this international social change movement.
• 1986: The project that would eventually become MindFreedom International began as a newsletter about human rights and psychiatry. Titled Dendron, it was published by Clearinghouse and funded with a start-up grant from the Levinson Foundation.
• May 1990: A coalition was formed during a counter-conference and peaceful protest against an annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in New York City. This network was named Support Coalition International.
• August 2005: Support Coalition International changed its name to MindFreedom International.