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MindFreedom staffer pens a vision statement for our new campaign, MFI Health Connections

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MindFreedom would love to hear about your interest. We plan on developing a network of natural health and advocacy allies and starting a dialog to see how we can work together.

I love the Mad Pride Movement my dear friend, David Oaks--and many others like him--have helped to nurture and grow across the globe these past 30 years. It is the heritage of MindFreedom International and it encompasses a great deal of awakening and success that we should all be proud of. Having said that, I am ready to suggest a new phase in the development of this “revolution,” as David was fond of encouraging. I am ready to suggest that this next phase could, indeed, represent a much deeper and broader revolution that any of us could have imagined.

We need a total revolution: an awakening to a better way of living, of being human, in all areas of life in our society and as individuals: socially, politically, spiritually, in areas of health and wellness—you name it! We need to respect each others beliefs, yet at the same time, encourage a closer look at our assumptions and advocate for “thinking out of the box.” The challenges we face are monumental and, in my view, require a fundamental nonviolent revolution.

We are very much like fish that do not understand what dry is because we have never been out of the water. Not a terribly accurate analogy because the “dry” I refer to is community. The “dry” I refer to is living in harmony with the pace and rhythm of Mother Earth. We in the West (especially) have lived such isolated, individualized lives—separate from the natural world--we RARELY understand what it means to have community and RARELY pay heed to our intuition that tells us when we have violated nature’s laws. But it is vitally important we try to remember. It is who we are at our core. It is part of our genetic code. I believe we are all connected to Mother Earth and to our spirit and we are inherently communal and social creatures. Technology (Netflix and texting through cell phones, etc.) is taking us even further and faster away from our true nature than the technologies of previous generations. And we are quickly forgetting our humanity in the process. The real danger? These developments make us easier to control and accept the eco-disasters that surround us daily, the widening gap between rich and poor and the psyche destruction that comes from advertising in every facet of modern life. We have no hope for a better future if we lose the drive for resistance to the tyranny of the status quo.

This brings me to the launch of our newest MindFreedom initiative. The thinking I’ve outlined above is the impetus for what we’re calling “MFI Health Connections.” As a first step in making connections and thinking “out of the box,” we’re calling attention to the myriad ways our mental health is intimately and irrevocably connected to our surrounding environment and what we put into our bodies. Paying more attention to those relationships will help all of us avoid the stresses that lead to depression and the threat of emotional crisis. And at the other end of the equation (for psychiatric survivors), these considerations will help us recover more fully and permanently from whatever path we have pursued in the mental health system that did not work well.

MindFreedom has, for years, brought to our attention the extraordinary benefits of communing with nature, good relationships, walking and eating well. This program solidifies and expands upon that line of inquiry. We intentionally and enthusiastically embrace what can be called the naturopathic model of health and well being. We fully recognize that nature has designed us to be—at our core—interconnected with the pace, scale and rhythm of nature. We must make decisions for ourselves based on how we have evolved and what nature has provided for our health. Doing so, we believe, will lead to happier, less stressful lives.

If MindFreedom and associated Mad Pride organizations have so eloquently called into question a corrupt psychiatric-BIG Pharma system, why would we exclude the Medical-Industrial Complex in our criticism? While I recognize the brilliance of doctors and hospitals in helping people recover from traumatic injuries, I likewise recognize the precisely converse utter failure of that same well-funded, technologically advanced medical system to make a dent in the incidence of chronic diseases. Deadly chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes only seem to get worse in developed nations. And now our children are increasingly stricken with childhood diabetes, leukemia, autism and obesity. These are diseases of our modern civilization: lonely, alienating and far out of balance with nature. The standard system of drugs/surgery/radiation has utterly failed us. It is prohibitively expensive, ineffective and dangerous...and even worse: very few of us are even happy with the way the system works—or should I say, doesn’t work!

We need to join together and question our underlying assumptions.

“By conventional medical standards, you are considered healthy as long as you are not diagnosed with a disease. A more accurate definition of good health would include a strong immune system, the ability to adapt during stressful periods, as well as a consistent experience of vitality and mental clarity.”

~ James D. Jordan, CNC, JD from “Your Health Is In Your Hands:
The 3 Reasons You’re Not Well And What to Do About It

My contention (and that of health educator and nutritional consultant, James Jordan) is that when we have learned about the three underlying causes of all diseases: lack of essential nutrients, toxicity and chronic stress—we can take steps to address our weaknesses and achieve true vibrant health. And when we have this strength, we can deal with the stresses that inevitably come from living in a sick society. When we are on the road to vibrant health we can more easily and quickly recover from whatever injuries we have survived in either the mental health system or the medical system.

We hope you will join us in the development of our new program, MFI Health Connections. Our first project will be the creation of a clearinghouse of information, allies, resources and ideas on the link between good health practices and resilient mental health. Please write to us with your interest in the initiative or with any questions: A web site for the project is under development. 


November 2014
John Jordan-Cascade
Communications Adviser to MindFreedom International


MORE about the campaign from last Summer->>

Portrait of John by Debbie Thornton

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We are MFI

Paula Joan Caplan, PhD

Paula Caplan, PhD: Psychologist, author, playwright and activist who is challenging the harm caused by psychiatric labeling. Paula is a long-time member of MindFreedom International. Author of 12 nonfiction books. Her latest book, "When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans," uncovers the way too many people traumatized by war are told that that makes them “mentally ill.” Her book won the 2011 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in the Psychology category.
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