Dear MFI Members, Psychiatric Survivors and All Opponents to Forced Treatments,
As many of you know, the driving force behind the Shield program has for many years been David Oaks. Since his accident, David has continued to be a strong supporter of MFI and has consulted and helped keep MFI active. However he has not been able to do the many tasks that he had performed in his past leadership role. We are glad to announce that we are dedicated to re-invigorating and energizing the Shield program. We know that there is an urgency for those who face forced treatment. We ask for you to e be patient with us as we make Shield more active and effective in our fight against forced treatment and our push for the availability of more genuine choices and alternatives. Soon we will be sending out a message to past Shield members and to those who have expressed interest. We hope that you will join with us in developing our community of support, activism and advocacy.
MFI Executive Director
Members of MindFreedom International use mutual support to protect one another from unwanted coerced psychiatric procedures. Current MindFreedom members may register for the MindFreedom Shield for free. Then if a member with a Shield is threatened with coerced psychiatry, that member can instantly activate a public alert system. [Updated Feb 2012.]
Forced Drugging Defense Package: MindFreedom Shield offers, because of assistance from the MFI sponsor group PsychRights, a Forced Drugging Defense Package, click here.
Public Shield Directory: To view a list of MFI members who have chosen to make their Shield public, click here.
Sign up for the Shield: Current MFI member may sign up for the Shield program here.
Chris Busche walks free from New Jersey psychiatric institution, he thanks MindFreedom Shield Campaign. More info click here.
MFI Shield 101
For decades, MindFreedom International has sent out many human rights alerts to defend people who have been harmed by human rights violations in the mental health system.
This MindFreedom “Shield” system is supported by a Campaign. While alerts are often sent out for individuals who are not pre-registered with the Shield, ideally everyone will pre-register if possible.
MindFreedom members registered on the MindFreedom Shield program may quickly activate an international network of public alerts if they are ever threatened with involuntary psychiatric human rights violations!
By adding your name to the public directory of the MindFreedom Shield, you also make a statement that when any individual is threatened with forced psychiatry, we will all speak up together!
Please note that all alerts themselves, when activated, are always public.
Why Sign Up For a Shield?
It takes only a moment, and it’s free to MFI members.
While the MindFreedom Shield Campaign seeks to help any individual at risk of psychiatric human rights violations, by filling out a convenient online Shield form well in advance, you make the process much easier. Campaigns may be as small as a volunteer inquiring with an institution, or much larger; the level of activity cannot be guaranteed.
For an example of a major, successful MindFreedom Shield campaign, click here to read about Ray Sandford campaign! Ray (shown on upper right) was getting forced outpatient ongoing electroshock, but an international Shield campaign won widespread public media and attention, and stopped it.
You may never use your Shield, but you are still saying, “We are all in this together!”
How Does the Shield Work?
Current MindFreedom members may register for the MindFreedom Shield Program for free online, click here.
If a registered Shield member is threatened with or experiences psychiatric procedures against his or her will, these three steps may occur:
- The member may ask the MFI office to activate the MindFreedom Shield Solidarity Network.
- The Shield Campaign Committee evaluates the request, and then those on the Network may be encouraged to speak out, and forward an alert.
- The MindFreedom Shield may send out public human rights alerts to help expose the coercion and apply nonviolent pressure to defend the member’s human rights.
Those registrants who are interested, may also sign up for the Shield discussion list, to help plan and volunteer on each campaign.
Is there an example of the MindFreedom Shield at work?
An example of how the MindFreedom Shield helped a member resist her involuntary psychiatric drugging, click here:
For a more extensive campaign against a member’s involuntary outpatient electroshock, click here:
Is the MFI Shield Guaranteed?
Please note there is no guarantee a campaign may become as big as the above, but at the very least a credible alert will reach the MindFreedom Shield coordinator, for potential dissemination to the Shield committee, and SolidarityNet.
To emphasize this: There is no guarantee or expectation a campaign will occur, or the level of intensity of any campaign that does.
But for another example of how the Shield can work, pictured on the right is Gabe Hadd, a MindFreedom member in Michigan who was being forcibly drugged on an outpatient basis. That is, Gabe was court-ordered to take psychiatric drugs in his own home.
MFI Shield sent out one of its first alerts on behalf of Gabe, and Gabe was able to find resources to create an “underground railroad” over state lines and escape his outpatient forced drugging.
His story was featured on the front page of a Wall St. Journal article about forced outpatient drugging.
Most MindFreedom members have personally experienced human rights violations, and are passionate about changing the mental health system. Here’s a chance to organize that people power, together.
Can a Shield Alert Itself Be Private?
No. All Shield alerts are always public once a Shield is activated. Since alerts are sent out via the Internet, alerts can end up being public forever.
Your name can be kept private on the listing of all people with Shields, just indicate that preference when you fill out the form.
However, the nature of a human rights alert is to activate “people power.” MindFreedom does not have the resources to do private alerts. If you prefer absolute privacy, even when you are threatened by psychiatric coercion, please do not sign up for a MindFreedom Shield.
- More information about the MindFreedom Shield Program.
- If you find yourself going to court to try to stop your forced psychiatric drugging… A reminder that the MFI sponsor group PsychRights has done a lot of work on that very topic, click here: Forced Drugging Defense Package Developed by the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights.
- You need to be a current MFI member to sign up for and use the Shield. The Shield is one more great reason to be a current member of MindFreedom International! To join or renew, click here: http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate
- Current members may sign up for the Shield here.
- And again, to view the public directory of MindFreedom Shield registrants, click here.
- The MindFreedom Shield campaign forwards participant alerts, and cannot always verify the accuracy of information that is forwarded.
- Registering for the MindFreedom Shield campaign is no guarantee of whether an alert can always be sent out, or the extent of that campaign.
- The MindFreedom Shield campaign is not a substitute for professional legal assistance, and does not provide any legal counsel.
- All MindFreedom Shield Alerts, once approved, always go out publicly, and cannot be made private once activated.
- For more disclaimers, see the MindFreedom Shield registration form.