Other questions asked about MFI
Here are MORE questions that are sometimes asked about MindFreedom International, including what to do if your question is not addressed on the MFI web site. (Last update: Oct. 2011)
How do I search for information on this web site?
So... You've drilled down into MFI's ever-growing "Knowledge Base." You've clicked around, such as the "About Us" at the top of the page.
And you still can't find what you're looking for?
This MindFreedom web site has a great internal search engine!
Near the upper right hand corner of every MFI web page you will find a blank for your "search."
Note that for an advanced search simply click that "search" button in the upper right hand corner WITHOUT typing anything in the blank. You will then find a number of advanced options to assist and narrow your search.
To see an overview of the entire site click "Site Map" near the upper right hand corner.
Is MindFreedom against psychiatric drugs?
MindFreedom International is pro-choice about members' personal and often difficult health-care decisions. There are many members who choose to take prescribed psychiatric drugs, and they feel welcome. MindFreedom unites people from a wide range of perspectives.
It is also true that one of the main human rights violations in the mental health system today, is the way the psychiatric drug approach dominates, squeezing out alternatives and spreading dis-information.
Because MindFreedom is independent, MFI is now one of the few mental health advocacy groups to consistently and openly speak out about the unethical way psychiatric drugs are being promoted, even pushed. This does not make us "anti-drug." Often, it's MFI members who are willingly on prescribed psychiatric drugs who are the most passionate and active about challenging psychiatric drug industry abuse, because they have the most at stake. Their lives are on the line.
In the same way, MindFreedom International never uses the term "anti-psychiatry" in describing our work. There are psychiatrists active in MFI, and on MFI's Scientific Advisory Board. Many of our members see psychiatrists.
Some defenders of the current mental health system have had an interest in trying to "pigeon hole" all critics as being marginal.
Actually, MindFreedom's concerns are now mainstream concerns. The general population is more and more expressing concern and even outrage about corruption in the psychiatric drug industry, and in the mental health profession itself.
Can MindFreedom provide me with any medical or legal advice?
MindFreedom makes a disclaimer similar to that found in other places on the web, such as Wikipedia: MindFreedom International web site and materials contain articles and other information on many medical topics. However, no warranty whatsoever is made that any of the articles are accurate. Nothing on MindFreedom.org or in our material should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine. Any individual deciding to quit psychiatric drugs should do so carefully, with correct medical advice, because suddenly quitting some psychiatric drugs be dangerous.
MindFreedom is not a legal advocacy organization, and does not provide law services.
May I get a copy of MindFreedom's financial statement to the IRS?
We are happy to send via email copies of MindFreedom International's 990 form filed with the US Internal Revenue Service, for the last fiscal year ending 30 June for which MFI has filed. You'll see MindFreedom does a lot on very few resources. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
What about other ways of giving? May I donate stock? May
I make a bank transfer? May I name MindFreedom International in my
Yes at any time, MindFreedom International is able to accept appropriate donations via stock or bank transfers.
And yes, you may name MindFreedom International in your Will. Each individual situation is unique. MindFreedom has provided several examples of wording you may use in your Will. For examples click here.
If you have any question about the proper way to leave a bequest, create a trust, name a beneficiary of your retirement or insurance plan, do a bank transfer, or transfer stock to benefit the non-profit human rights work of MindFreedom please contact the office at (541) 345-9106 and ask for MFI Director David Oaks, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Do you offer refunds?
For materials that MindFreedom sells through the MadMarket, yes, absolutely, satisfaction with all MadMarket books, DVD's, t-shirts, etc. are guaranteed. Just return the item within a reasonable time, in the same shape received, and you can have a refund of payment, or receive a credit (including for the cheapest return postage possible if you specify).
For donations and membership dues, no, with some exceptions: Immediately after your donation or membership dues payment, if you discover you made an error, let the office know your reason in writing - such as by e-mail - and you may receive a refund. However, like most nonprofits, donations are generally non-refundable, since they are for support of the ongoing human rights activities by MindFreedom International.
If I submit material for publication to MindFreedom, is it private or public?
You need to clearly say, one way or the other.
One of the main purposes of MindFreedom is to educate the public.
That said, sometimes a person's job, liberty or even life depend on privacy of their material.
If you submit any material such as articles or photos to MindFreedom that you would like to remain private, please be sure to put this request clearly and exactly at the very top of your material.
What about whistleblowers? Please spell out what level of privacy you want, if any. For instance, can we publish your material with a pseudonym? Please say so. If the material is only for "background," because details can be traced back only to you, let us know. Or if your material can be placed under MindFreedom's name, in other words 'ghost written' by you, let us know that too.
Important: Unless there is a clear indication at the top, then all material submitted to MindFreedom is assumed to be for public and open dissemination, including by web, e-mail, print, video and other means, in perpetuity.
There is a saying on the web, "The Internet is forever."
If you submit material to MindFreedom for public dissemination, and later change your mind, you may not be able to recall that material from the web. For example, material published on the web quickly becomes copied and recopied and a variety of permanent archives on the Internet. While you can sometimes ask Google to take an item off of it's "cache" (or archive), it is often impossible to make web-based material entirely private again, once it is published.
Please make your decision between private or public carefully, at the start, because this decision may not be changed in the future. MindFreedom cannot accept responsibility for your decision to publish any material, and is unable to promise we can assist once that decision is made.
Why do you say "nonviolent revolution," don't I have a right to defend myself?
MindFreedom mission statement calls for a nonviolent revolution, and during all MindFreedom actions we require all people to follow nonviolence guidelines similar to those used by Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. You may read about those guidelines by clicking here.
However, this does not mean MindFreedom members themselves are philosophically pacifists, or that they would not defend themselves personally. The nonviolence guideline does not mean we believe society itself cannot use prisons or police, when fairly done. While we can't speak for all members as individuals, like most people many of us would personally choose to defend ourselves if needed.
As an organization, we choose to take direct action in a nonviolent way. We are seeking mental and emotional well being for all, and -- like the civil rights and peace movements -- the ends and means are related. You may strongly oppose oppression at MindFreedom activities, but we ask you to be civil and nonviolent. If you are unable to follow these guidelines we ask for you not to participate at that time, thanks for understanding.
We do call for a nonviolent revolution -- not reform. Mild reform to fix scandals has actually enlarged and built the mental health system as we know it over the centuries. Those interested may want to read the history book, Masters of Bedlam, about the origins of the large psychiatric establishment in the 19th century, and their choice of a medical model as a way to consolidate that power. Democracy needs to get hands on with mental health care, and overturn its authoritarian power structure, from top to bottom, peacefully. If you agree, join us!
What do you people call yourselves, anyway?
Thanks for asking!
While MindFreedom membership is wide open to the public, we are proud that according to a survey, the majority of MindFreedom's members identify as people who have experienced human rights violations in the mental health system. In other words, "psychiatric survivors."
But not everyone wants to be called that.
So what do you call us?
It depends on the person.
The generally acceptable term among some government agencies is:
"mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors."
Just one request: Don't call us "mentally ill," because that pigeon holes us into one model, and there are many models of recovery and empowerment.
For an essay about not calling us "mentally ill," with suggested alternatives, see, "Let's Stop Saying "Mental Illness" by David Oaks, click here: http://tinyurl.com/not-mentally-ill
What if my question is not answered on this web site?
If you do not find your answer on this MFI web site, you may consider forwarding your question, problem, feedback or comment to the MindFreedom Member Services Office via e-mail at office (at) mindfreedom.org. For other ways to contact MFI, click here.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Because of the increasing volume of incoming communication, and low resources of our independently-funded human rights group, while the office tries to read all questions and comments received, the office cannot guarantee a personal response to each and every communication. Thank you for understanding.
Sometimes the office will ask an MFI volunteer to reply to a question. The volunteer does not officially speak for MFI, but we have some great volunteers with thoughtful ideas.
While MindFreedom does attempt to assist as many people as possible -- whether or not an individual is a current MindFreedom member -- please remember that MFI is a membership organization. MFI is not a taxpayer-funded agency.
While MFI membership does not guarantee a response to a question or problem, assisting MFI members to become the most effective advocate and activist possible is one of MFI's top goals.
So if you are not a current member, that's one more reason to join and renew! Click the "Big Red Button" on the upper right of this page!
MFI membership does not assure your question or problem can be addressed, but here are a variety of ways membership may help you find out more, by members helping members:
- MFI member web forums: Members can post comments and questions that other members can reply to, such as on My-MFI.
- MFI e-mail lists: There are a number of e-mail lists for members on a variety of topics. There's even an 'open topic' e-mail list for questions and comments on any topic, as long as communication follows MFI's guideline of mutual respect.
- MFI volunteer committee: We sometimes forward queries from members and non-members to our great volunteers for help. A volunteer does not officially speak for MFI, but many have creative and helpful ideas. Especially if an MFI member has a special project, goal, questions, concern, etc., we go out of our way to ask other members to assist.
- MFI member networking teleconferences: Several times a year, MFI has a teleconference for members only, to network with one another, learn from one another, and build community.
- MFI campaigns, committees, affiliates: MFI members are encouraged to become active in a variety of ways, including some of the campaigns you read about on this web site, various committees, and even starting their own local affiliates.
- MFI is about community building! Consider joining MFI and becoming active, as a way to help reach your own activist, advocacy and healing goals! If you are a member, consider volunteering! Often, helping others is the best and most rewarding way to help yourself!
And if you are already a member, please check out the member-only section of this web site (find link in the column on LEFT) for ways to become more involved. Feel free to contact the office with your questions, ideas, suggestions, plans and visions! We'll do what we can to support your empowered activism, and reach other members!