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Mad Pride FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Mad Pride

MF Mad Pride Clown Troupe at Oregon Country FairWHAT'S THE BACK STORY ABOUT MAD PRIDE?

Mad Pride celebrates the human rights and spectacular culture of people considered very different by our society.

Mad Pride may be celebrated anytime but is most often observed in the month of July, usually on or around July 14, Bastille Day. 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of psychiatric survivors using Bastille Day to celebrate Mad Pride.

The tradition of using Bastille Day as Mad Pride Day was started in New York by the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance and has since spread around the world. The 14th of July marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, France in 1789. For over the past two centuries, the storming of the Bastille has been a universal symbol of liberation. In addition, when the Bastille was stormed, two prisoners with psychiatric labels being detained there for that reason were freed.

The Mad Pride celebrations have grown directly out of an historic but little-known international social change movement led by psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers that began in about 1970. MindFreedom International is one of the groups in this movement.

The name "Mad Pride" got its start in London when activists there saw a Gay Pride event and got madly inspired!


This movement is open to ALL, whether or not you have personally been labeled by the psychiatric system. Mad Pride is really about Human Pride. Yes, given humanity's track record, Human Pride may seem daunting. Mad Pride celebrates how each person's eccentricities, passion, uniqueness and freedom makes you truly human. Do not allow our very humanity to be pathologized by a corporate mental health system that has gone out of control! Celebrate YOUR Mad Pride!


About the use of the word "mad": when MindFreedom International's great team is in the United Nations -- as it has been for four years -- we tend to use more "widely-acceptable" language; nevertheless, we feel that an important facet of consumer/survivor empowerment involves doing as Gay Pride has done and reclaiming language for our own creative, positive use! The origin of the word mad is simply "changed." If you choose not to say "mad," that's okay.


YOU ARE INVITED to be part of helping to network, promote and organize future Mad Pride events! It's easy. Just join the non-profit organization MindFreedom International at, and then apply to be on the MindFreedom Mad Pride Campaign Committee. Or e-mail for more info to Include your postal address if you'd like a sample of the award-winning MindFreedom Journal.


You may celebrate in your own way wherever you are!

PLEASE REMEMBER: One way to show your MAD PRIDE right *now*, is simply to forward, copy and post this to appropriate places on and off the Internet!

And please TALK ABOUT THIS, break the silence with your friends, relatives, colleagues. Ask them, "Did you know this is Mad Pride month"? Point them to the web site

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Jim Gottstein of PsychRights

Jim Gottstein is a psychiatric survivor who is also a Harvard-trained attorney, and founder of MindFreedom Sponsor Group PsychRights. Jim blew the whistle on Eli Lilly by releasing their secret documents about the psychiatric drug Zyprexa to The New York Times. Jim is also president of National Association of Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) a founding Sponsor Group of MFI.
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