MindFreedomIreland  ‘Stand By Me’ Mutual Support Group




MFIreland was founded in 2003.  It is affiliated to MFInternational  and shares its vision of campaigning for a nonviolent revolution of freedom, equality, truth and human rights in the mental ‘health’ system.


About five years ago, shortly after the publication of ‘Soul Survivor – A  Personal Encounter with Psychiatry’ a number of us began to meet for an informal chat and cups of coffee in Douglas Shopping Centre.  Douglas is a suburb of Cork City.  Then we became more organized and gave our group the name ‘Stand By Me’ and began to meet in Costa’s Coffee Shop every Wednesday without fail from 3.P.M – 6 P.M.  where the friendly staff have always been very welcoming.


Our numbers every week are on average eight people both male and female.  Nearly all have had some dealings with the psychiatric services which were not to our satisfaction.  We now meet from 4.P.M. – 6 P.M., exchange views and ideas, mutually support each other and have a laugh.


A number of initiatives have grown out the group.  One is a music off-shoot which has seen five of us initiate a musical group called ‘ A little help from my friends’ which also meets most weeks on Fridays to play our instruments – violins, piano, guitar, tin whistle and drums – and sing some songs  including out title tune.


Members of the group are also active in supporting the public campaigning activities of MFIreland such as our annual electroshock protests and various public education events, for example  hosting a Robert Whitaker evening in Cork which was attended by over 200 people and organizing a Cork launch for Dr Terry Lynch’s new book ‘Selfhood’ which was  widely supported.  In addition, we are available for each other by phone, email or as advocates for people in hospital.


We attach great significance to the fact that our meeting venue is in the heart of the community in the shopping centre and every Christmas we get together at some other city venue.


Over the years we have had visitors from other parts of Ireland as well as overseas  and the  feelings of mutual support, at home and abroad, are greatly appreciated by all.