Our free Shield program allows you to record your psychiatric treatment preferences in advance by filling out this private form on our website. Then, if you are ever threatened with or subjected to unwanted psychiatric treatment, you can contact our office to have us organize a public campaign in which our network of volunteers and fellow Shield members will advocate on your behalf by respectfully pressuring the institutions involved in your case to honor your rights and preferences.
While we cannot guarantee any results, past Shield campaigns have successfully reduced and even ended people’s coerced psychiatric treatment by raising public awareness of their situations. See below for examples.
Disclaimer: The Shield is not a substitute for any legal documents such as a psychiatric advance directive (PAD), which we recommend you complete in addition to registering for the Shield.
Q: Do I need to be a member of MFI to sign up for the Shield?
A: No, anyone regardless of membership status may register.
Q: Why sign up for the Shield?
A: It takes only a moment, and it’s free for everyone.
Our organization seeks to help any individual at risk of psychiatric human rights violations, and you can make that process easier for both yourself and MFI by filling out a convenient online Shield form in advance.
Most MFI 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. You may never use your Shield, but by registering you are still saying, “We are all in this together!”
Q: How does the Shield work?
A: If a Shield enrollee is threatened with or actively subjected to psychiatric treatment against their will, these three steps may occur:
- The enrollee can ask the MFI office to activate the MindFreedom Shield Solidarity Network.
- MFI’s 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.
Anyone who is interested may also sign up for the Shield discussion list to help plan and volunteer on each campaign.
Q: Are there any examples of the Shield at work?
A: One example of a majorly successful MindFreedom Shield campaign is that of Ray Sandford. He was being forcibly subjected to outpatient electroshock therapy, but an international Shield campaign put an end to it by gathering widespread attention from both the public and the media.
Another example is Geetha Rathnamala‘s campaign, which helped her resist forced psychiatric drugging.
Gabe Hadd’s campaign is yet another example. He was once court-ordered to take psychiatric drugs in his own home. MFI sent out one of its first Shield alerts on his behalf, which enabled him to find resources to create an “underground railroad” over state lines and escape his forced outpatient drugging. His story was featured on the front page of a Wall St. Journal article.
Q: Is the Shield guaranteed?
A: No. At the very least, a credible alert will reach our Shield coordinator for potential dissemination to the Shield committee and our solidarity network.
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to launch a campaign on your behalf, nor can we guarantee the level of intensity of any campaign that we do launch.
Q: Can my Shield application be private?
Yes. When registering, you can choose to keep the contents of your application private, in which case it will be stored in a secure database that is accessible only by our office personnel.
Joining our public registry of Shield members is optional. Although having public members helps us de-stigmatize the act of defending our rights, we understand that people have perfectly valid reasons for preferring to remain private until and unless going public becomes necessary.
Q: Are Shield alerts private?
A: No, Shield alerts are always public because we issue them online via our mass mailing list, which consists of several thousand recipients. If you prefer absolute privacy even when facing psychiatric coercion, we do not recommend signing up for this program.
⚠️ Disclaimers ⚠️
- MFI cannot always verify the accuracy of the information contained in Shield alerts.
- Registering for the Shield does not guarantee that a campaign can be activated on your behalf. MFI also cannot guarantee the scale of any campaigns that do get activated.
- Shield campaigns are not a substitute for professional legal assistance and do not provide any legal counsel.
- All Shield alerts, once approved, are always public and cannot be made private after publication.
- For more disclaimers, see the Shield registration form.