A MindFreedom affiliate is forming in Florida. This article is intended to introduce people to that affiliate, and some of the actions its members have been involved in, past and present.
MindFreedom Florida is an affiliate of the global human rights organization MindFreedom International starting up in the sunshine state. Our membership includes psychiatric survivors, mental health consumers, relatives of survivors and consumers, and holistic therapists. Our members agree to abide by the mission, and to pursue the goals, as set by the parent organization MindFreedom International. MindFreedom Florida is dedicated to bringing the revolution in mental health care home to Florida. MindFreedom Florida is striving to place itself firmly at the forefront of the struggle for social justice and human rights waged by and for people with first hand experience of the psychiatric system in the state of Florida.
Our existence as an organization began a number of years back when Mike Fontana had himself listed as an affiliate contact in the MindFreedom directory of affiliates and sponsor organizations. Frank Blankenship joined him when he moved from central Virginia to northeastern Florida sometime around Christmas of 2008. He had been working to build an affiliate in Virginia, and it was perfectly natural for him to continue in the same vein once he got situated in Florida. These two people, together with a woman from southwest Florida, served as the nucleus for initial efforts to form an organization in state. After a few successful MindFreedom sponsored events our membership has managed to grow even more, and it is our hope that this growth will continue steadily into the future.
MindFreedom Florida has been holding monthly meetings with the eventual aim of incorporating as a level 3 MindFreedom affiliate. This goal is drawing closer all the time. We are aware that MindFreedom International intends for its affiliates to work at the local grassroots level. As our membership base grows, we plan to divide our state affiliate into regional affiliates, and local affiliates.
Among the past and current actions Mindfreedom Florida has played some role in are those that follow. MindFreedom Florida sponsored a recent showing of the movie Little Brother BIG PHARMA at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, Florida. Reports are that this film screening went over very well. MindFreedom Florida also manned a table on the campus of the University of Florida during the Civic Media Center sponsored Radical Rush. MindFreedom Florida has been actively campaigning for the release of Brian Henley held against his wishes at Northeastern Florida State Hospital in MacClenny, Florida. MindFreedom Florida is working on sponsoring more local events and hopes to take part in more actions on campuses throughout Florida. Now that we’re here, expect to be hearing more from MindFreedom Florida in the days to come.