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Why I Am Raising Funds for MindFreedom International

Al Galves, PhD is on the board of directors of MindFreedom International.


I’m raising funds for MindFreedom because the work we are doing is very important:

  • Individuals labeled with psychiatric disabilities are often hurt and not helped. Vast sums of money are spent on treatment that doesn’t work and that harms people.
  • The rights of people to be treated in the way they want and to control what is put into their bodies are being violated.
  • The ability of people to have a choice about how they are helped and to have access to a wide range of alternatives has been greatly curtailed.

The medical model belief system that dominates mental health care is based on an erroneous conception of the nature of human beings. Humans are not random organisms controlled by biology. Humans are creative organisms who desire to love and express themselves the way they want, to do productive work, to have meaningful relationships, to contribute to their communities.

I’m raising money because we have a lot of work to do to make available good treatment, to increase public awareness of the deficiencies in our mental health system and to end violations of human rights.

To do a good job of that is the work of thousands of people. We have a staff of one-and-a-half persons. We need much more person-power behind our effort. That’s why I’m working on raising funds for MindFreedom.
The Development Committee has set a goal of raising $125,000 over this next year, building up each year to $275,000 by 2010.

The funds would build a staff of five full-time people: executive director, office manager, public education director (journal, web-site, media outreach, workshops), development director (fundraising, affiliate development, grant writing), and program director (organizing campaigns, MindFreedom Shield, lobbying, demonstrations).
The bottom line is that we have great ideas. We have an important mission. We have a great contribution to make. We need the energy, creativity and commitment of more full-time staff to breathe even more life into our movement.

Our strategy is to raise funds from a number of foundations, along with major and regular donors. Members can help out the Development Committee by writing letters of inquiry and proposals. To volunteer contact the office for more information. And everyone can help by giving a generous donation today, and regularly. For more info., email 

Al Galves is a retired clinical psychologist and mental health consumer who serves on the board of MindFreedom International.

Al is also coordinator of the MindFreedom Scientific Advisory Board, consisting of professionals who consult with MindFreedom. For more information see 'Related Content' below.

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Lauren Tenney, psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

First involuntarily institutionalized, at 15, Lauren Tenney is a survivor of psychiatry. She has been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. Her goal is to help stop forced psychiatric procedures, detainment, and confinement, human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern are the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages, but particularly children and senior citizens, forced drugging, restraints, seclusion, behavioral interventions, and coercion of any kind. Lauren, a Mad-Activist/ Artist/ Author/ Academic/ Adjunct Professor is coordinating The Opal Project, an outcome of participatory action research she coordinated for field research in the PhD program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation topic is: "The Institutionalized "Community." She became involved with WE THE PEOPLE when the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and MindFreedom International needed someone on the ground in Brooklyn, New York to coordinate a response where Esmin Green was murdered-by-neglect. She now lives in Albany, NY with her service dog-in-training and cat. For more info: and
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