Frequently asked questions about how to start, how to join, and how to build an Affiliate of MindFreedom International, as well as becoming a sponsor organization.

Howcan I contact affiliate and sponsors?

Youcan view a full list of MindFreedom’s affiliates and sponsors. The contactinformation for each affiliate is kept private to avoid spam. Please email our office for affiliate email addresses.

 

What’sthe difference between an Affiliate and Sponsor?

It’s simple!

An affiliate uses the”MindFreedom” name, and is similar to a chapter. An affiliate isbased on local geography. For instance, there is a MindFreedom Ireland. AMindFreedom Ghana. Since you are using the MindFreedom name, you enter into awritten agreement with the MFI board. This “Frequently AskedQuestions” will help you do this.

A sponsor is analready-existing group that agrees to support MFI goals, and does not have the”MindFreedom” name in it. For a PDF downloadable form to register foryour group to register as a Sponsor Group, click here. If you can’t download, send a self-addressed stampedenvelope to the office with a request to join as a Sponsor.

How do I start a new affiliate?

There are three easy steps!

  1. If you do not yet have aMFI membership, or yours has expired, be sure to join/renew.

  2. Check the MFIaffiliate list to see if there’s already someonenear you who is actively creating an affiliate.  

  3. If there is no localcontact, or this contact is inactive, then just let the office know you’reinterested in forming one! E-mail to member@mindfreedom.org about your interest and area. We will create a mindfreedom.orgemail account, and answer any additional questions.

Email questions to FrankBlankenship, Chair of the MindFreedom Affiliate Support Committee  at nfla@mindfreedom.org.

Do I need to become a member ofMindFreedom International to start an affiliate?

Yes, the affiliate program is openonly to MFI members. As you work in the community, encourage any new contactsto also join as a MindFreedom member as soon as possible.

Since we do not accept funding fromthe government or pharmaceuticals and other industries, our resources are verylimited. So, we are only able to support MindFreedom members who becomeaffiliates. Membership dues allow us to work on important campaigns such aspromoting choice in the mental health system, speaking out against forcedtreatment, Mad Pride, and other important human rights initiatives.

Last, but not least, membershipsallow our movement to grow. We have strength in numbers!

Willyou publish my phone number or address?

No. We will provide affiliates an’alias’ e-mail address (for example, we may create virginia@mindfreedom.org fororganizers of a Virginia affiliate). We can even have e-mail to that alias goto more than one e-mail address so that the job of answering e-mail can beshared by others in your affiliate. 

For more information about alias e-mailaddresses, clickhere.

Howcan I find others to build our affiliate?

MindFreedom headquarters willencourage members in your area to contact you.

The purpose of forming an affiliateis to empower your community and help the movement grow. MFI encourages you toreach out to people in your area!

Here are a few outreach andnetworking strategies you may consider:

  • Share information about your group withthe MindFreedom email lists.Also, remember to join the mf-grassroots email listto exchange support and tips with others here. 

  • Write a letter to the editor to drawattention to an important mental health issue and your affiliate group.

  • Go to meetings and events and tellpeople about your group. Tabling, posters, flyers, and brochures can be a greatway to let others know you exist and what MindFreedom is all about.

    You can download a sign-up sheet to help you gather e-mail addresses (as longas you agree to keep those private). Use them for local MindFreedom activities,and also provide them to the MindFreedom central office. To download the formand for more information, click here.

  • Youcan also pass out MFI’s brochure, Givethe Mental Health System a Truth Injection

  •  Start a Facebook fan page to begindiscussions and share information. Contact the MFI office for more information.

  • Share photos, art, stories, videos,and poetry online through sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. In the 21stcentury, we are the media! 

  • Throw an event! Host a parade,protest, party, and invite people to come. Whenever you plan events, let theMindFreedom office know so we can help you promote it!

     

Whatare some easy actions we can all take together as an affiliate?

All it takes is one person to writea letter to the editor or to state and federal lawmakers. Two or three peopleand you can leaflet against forced treatment or hold a vigil at some facilityin your area of the country.

And we all know the value of mutualsupport, so you are encouraged to network and exchange support about youractivism.

Read the MindFreedom Journal for alist of priority campaigns that MindFreedom is engaged in. You’re sure to findsomething that matches the interests of several of the people in youraffiliate, however small or big.

Visit our affiliatenews page for a sense about what sort ofprojects affiliates organize. We know you will be inspired!

Whatare affiliate “levels”?

  • Level 1: This is how you start. Mostaffiliates are building a Level 1 Affiliate. It’s easy. A current member of MFIbegins by letting MFI know you are interested in forming affiliate level one.MFI will seek to help publicize your interest in starting this affiliate. Ifyou have even a small group of two others you may be approved by the board asan official “affiliate level one.” You can stay at level one andaccomplish a great deal.

  • Level 2: Once you build to the pointwhere you can have an organizing committee of about five people, you can applyto be an affiliate level two. Choose well, because this is the start of a boardof directors or steering committee.

  • Level 3: The third level is if andwhen you incorporate as a nonprofit in your region. You then become your ownnonprofit, within contractual agreements with the board of directors. But norush… take the time to get to really know one another first.

Once several towns and cities haveaffiliates you can then form a State or national affiliate. In othercircumstances you can try to start a regional, state or even nationalaffiliate. You can consult with the MindFreedom office about this decision.

Howdo we handle any problems?

For starters, as with any activitywith people you do not know, your common sense in working with newacquaintances and colleagues is encouraged. While we have wonderful MindFreedommembers, please use discretion as you get to know anyone who is new to you. MFIdoes not have the resources to get to know all members or those seeking anaffiliate. Let the MFI office know immediately if there is any violation of ourguidelines.

If you are interested in forming anaffiliate, and if you agree with the stated mission of MindFreedomInternational, there should be few major problems arising. The mission ofMindFreedom is to work together in a spirit of mutual cooperation.

You can consult with the AffiliateSupport Committee, and ask for ideas on the MindFreedom Grassroots e-mail list.

Should any such disputes occur, andyou are unable to resolve them locally, please keep in mind MFI has few resourcesfor resolution. The board of MFI may suggest a variety of options, includingmediation, or even temporary suspension of the affiliation until the dispute isresolved. For serious disputes, an attorney affiliated with MindFreedom isavailable for board consultation.

Please do your best to work togetherwell! We need to channel our energy towards working on the pressing issues ourmovement faces.

What can I do to help others startaffiliates in MindFreedom International?

Please consider assisting our AffiliateSupport Committee. Email Frank Blankenship, Chair, at nfla@mindfreedom.org.

How can we become a sponsor group?

If you are in an already-existingorganization that does not use the “MindFreedom” trademarked name,you can apply to be a sponsor group in the MindFreedom coalition. You maydownload an application by clicking here. You may also e-mail any questions or about your interestto member@mindfreedom.org.

 

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