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MindFreedom Media Coverage

A few of the mainstream and alternative media that have mentioned or covered MindFreedom International.

DISCLAIMER: MFI lists articles for non-commercial public education, author is responsible for content; forwarding in no way implies endorsement of all or part.

File Mary Maddock, founder of MindFreedom Ireland, profiled
The Irish Sunday World, on 17 July 2011, profiled Mary Maddock. Mary used to be a nun, and ended up getting forced electroshock, along with coerced psychiatric drugging on which she became dependent. Mary, with help from her husband Jim, got free of the psychiatric system, and founded MindFreedom Ireland. This is a one-page PDF of the story about Mary in this Irish publication.
Article 'Cuckoo's Nest': Wisconsin Newspaper Carries Electroshock Mini-Debate
Reporter Shawn Doherty wrote a very biased article about electroshock (electroconvulsive therapy or ECT) for her paper, Capitol Times in Wisconsin. She quotes five (5) credentialed experts in support of shock... and quotes zero (0) expert critics (though she mentions MindFreedom). The newspaper did publish letters by three MindFreedom members in response, including a mini-debate with the journalist. [Updated 8 August 2011.]
Article SAMHSA, the Alternatives Conference, and the Story of an Opportunity Lost
Author/journalist Robert Whitaker was picked to keynote at the Alternatives Conference 2010, bringing together more than 1,000 mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors. His topic: Challenging mental health industry hype that inflates the benefits of psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Federal funders pressured organizers to disinvite him, but MindFreedom organized a public campaign that successfully reversed that decision. Whitaker spoke, but the federal funders required another speaker as a rebuttal. Here, Whitaker describes this whole experience of speaking about the apparently taboo topic of questioning the psychiatric drug approach.
Article GUEST VIEWPOINT: It's time to end this grand experiment with psychiatric drugs
Journalist and author Robert Whitaker wrote this column that was published in the main daily newspaper of Eugene, Oregon, USA, The Register-Guard. Whitaker mentions MindFreedom's work for human rights as a sign of hope. (In an event co-sponsored by MindFreedom and LaneCare, Whitaker speaks in Eugene on 8/20/10, free.)
Article Misguided Thinking: Mental health at a crossroads
Chuck Areford, a long-time mental health worker in Lane County, Oregon, wrote this column challenging the current drug-oriented model of the mental health system. The column was published by the Eugene Weekly, which is the second-biggest newspaper in Lane County, Oregon. Chuck is a long-time member and supporter of MindFreedom International.
Article Mental disorders - diagnoses or discriminating?
The Torch is the newspaper for Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, USA. After student columnist Haydenn Harper was widely criticized for his language in an article he wrote for the Torch about allegedly "crazy" people he saw on the bus, he investigated the topic of psychiatric labeling with several interviews, including with David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International. Harper looks into the origins of labeling via the psychiatry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, also known as the DSM.
Article Are Prozac and Other Psychiatric Drugs Causing the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America?
This Alternet interview with Robert Whitaker, author of the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, is by Bruce Levine. Bob's book praises MindFreedom's activism, and the interview touches on MFI's work and views.
Article Different Paths to Mental Health: Alternatives to medication for mentally ill patients
The weekly newspaper for Eugene, Oregon covered the topic of alternatives to psychiatric drugs, quoting MindFreedom activists Ron Unger and David Oaks several times.
News Item Portland Mental Health Examiner Runs Three-Part Interview with David Oaks about Oregon
Electroshock, Oregon, mental health, and MindFreedom are all topics of a three-part interview with MindFreedom director David Oaks that was run in the Portland Examiner, on 19 January 2010.
Article GUEST VIEWPOINT: Eugene recognizes mental health patients have rights, too
The daily newspaper for Eugene, Oregon, USA -- The Register-Guard -- ran an "op ed" guest column by David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, about a recent City of Eugene City Council resolution that was recently adopted. Resolution 4989 promotes more choice in mental health -- including more non-drug choices for full recovery -- as a human right. Today is also the 61st Human Rights Day, marking the signing of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Article Psychiatric patients still given ECT treatment without consent
One of the main Irish newspapers covered the campaign by MindFreedom Ireland, Mad Pride Ireland and others to stop forced electroshock in Ireland. Mary Maddock -- shock survivor and board member of MindFreedom International -- is also featured, along with her husband Jim, who are co-authors of the book Soul Survivor.
News Item Utne names David Oaks one of 50 Visionaries for 2009
Utne Reader magazine periodically names "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World." A psychiatric survivor activist - David Oaks, director of MindFreedom International - is named as one of these visionaries in Utne's November/December 2009 issue, which hits the stands now.
Article Advocates want investigation into state hospital patient's death
MindFreedom broke the news about a suspicious death inside Oregon State Hospital on 17 October 2009. Here, the largest state daily newspaper, The Oregonian, talks about the death, and cites MindFreedom's concerns.
Article ECT work group proposes more protections with forced treatment
A brief article about a work group that is considering changes to Minnesota law about involuntary electroshock. The article, published by a Minnesota disability group, mentions that MindFreedom helped get the ball rolling because of a campaign to support the efforts of Ray Sandford to stop his forced outpatient electroshock. So far that campaign has been successful. The article is by attorney Pamela Hoopes who is the Legal Director at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, which is the federally-funded 'protection and advocacy' for that state. Ms. Hoopes also co-chairs the work group with Maureen Marrin, who directs the Minnesota Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Network. Based on the article, the work group is apparently considering a "definite time limit" on court-ordered forced electroshock, similar to laws in five other states.
Article Text of ABC-TV Online Story on Mad Pride, Mental Health Rights, and Alternative Mental Health (Part 1 & 2)
On 25 August 2009, ABC-TV national television ran a story on MAD PRIDE on their Primetime "Outsider" show. Several mental health advocates, including MindFreedom director David Oaks, were interviewed. Here is the text from their online summary of the story, in two parts.
Event ABC Primetime - Mad Pride (from Aug 25, 2009 10:00 PM to Aug 25, 2009 11:00 PM)
ABC plans to air a report on Mad Pride this Tuesday.
Article ECT debate: A danger, or effective therapy?
The daily newspaper for Worcester, Massachusetts, USA covered the electroshock debate, citing MindFreedom and quoting two MindFreedom members in the region. Unfortunately, the piece is biased. The reporter stated as proven fact the opinion that electroshock works. The reporter makes no mention of the fact that, by psychiaty's own definition of 'recovery,' electroshock has an enormous relapse rate. At the bottom of this piece is how you can complain.
Article "Minnesota mental health patient Ray Sandford forced into electro-shock therapy"
This article, from the Minneapolis newspaper City Pages, details the ongoing forced outpatient ECT of Ray Sandford.
Article Minnesota patient wants right to refuse electroshocks
The Associated Press covered MindFreedom's protests about Ray Sandford's ongoing, involuntary, outpatient electroshock. Unfortunately, the AP quotes four "experts" -- a psychiatrist, guardian, psychology professor and ethicist -- who refuse to criticize Ray's forced electroshock. MindFreedom offered AP plenty of experts who would speak against Ray's forced electroshock, but AP declined. Psychologist Al Galves was present at the protest, and gave quotes to the reporter critical of Ray's forced electroshock. But the reporter simply mentions that Al was present and does not actually quote any of his words about Ray. At bottom is how you can give feedback to AP.
Article Greening of Mental Health?
The main weekly newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, USA -- home of MindFreedom International headquarters -- featured an article questioning the "label of bible" of American psychiatry. MindFreedom's director David W. Oaks says that democracy need to get hands on with the way psychiatry creates its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
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Ted Chabasinski

Ted received electroshock at the age of six, and spent 10 years of his youth locked up inside a state psychiatric institution. He became a psychiatric survivor movement leader in 1971, and later became an attorney. He has served on the board of MindFreedom International for several years. (Photo by Tom Olin)
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