Mission: The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) will ensure that consumer/survivors have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community.
New Webinar: Group Reminiscence for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness by Elder Peers
A SAMHSA sponsored webinar:
Group Reminiscence for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness by Elder Peers
A SAMHSA sponsored webinar developed under contract by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and presented by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) will take place Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 2:00pm Eastern Time called Group Reminiscence for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) by Elder Peers.
Cynthia D. Zubritsky, Ph.D. is the Director of Policy Research for the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania
Rob Walker works for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Office of Recovery and Empowerment, responsible for providing a bridge from the Department to provider agencies, persons receiving services, family members and the community at large.
Archived Webinars: Reconnecting with the Earth for Personal and Global Healing
Description: We are at a pivotal time in human history. Please join the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) in a series of webinars where we explore the relationship between ecology, how we relate to one another and the earth, and healing from crisis. We have gathered experts from around the globe, including indigenous peoples, to speak to this topic, share best practices, and propose some solutions to the very complex problems we face.
Click here for more details, and a larger video format
Webinar Part II - The Calling
Presented by: Mark Lakeman, Co-Founder, City Repair Project; Christine Karczewski, Co-Founder, The Healing Field; Paris Williams, Author of Rethinking Madness; Rangi Ahipene, Maori Chief; Moderated by Luke Walters, Campaign Director
Webinar Part I - To Champion the Ripple Effect
Presented by: Rangi Ahipene - Maori Chief, Reverend "Luke A.Shootingsta" Walters, and Jode Freyholtz-London - Wellness in the Woods
Self-direction is a model for organizing supports in which the participant manages an individual budget to purchase for a variety of services and goods used to facilitate their recovery journey.
This webinar starts with an introduction to Self Directed Care (SDC), including a brief history and the places that are testing it out. There will be three perspectives shared:
Bevin Croft, MPP, PhD – Research Associate at the Human Services Research Institute. The research that has been done, preliminary results here and in England. Future directions in research and funding for research.
Julie Schnepp – has participated in the Consumer Recovery Investment Fund Self Directed Care Program for the last seven years. During this time she has become a Certified Peer Specialist with additional training in working with youth and young adults, older adults, forensics, LGBTQA+ and more.
Pam Werner – Manager with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.
Moderated by Daniel Fisher, Ph.D. – Co-founder and CEO of the National Empowerment Center.
Lessons Learned by Statewide Consumer-Run Organizations
Sponsored by SAMHSA and presented by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
Participants will learn about:
Establishing a strong mission statement with goals and objectives
Building a strong board
How to establish strong, inclusive leadership
Building a strong membership, with ongoing feedback to/from the board
Training the grassroots to advocate passionately and how to be aware of critical issues
Fund raising strategies
Moderator: Dr. Daniel Fisher, the executive director of the National Empowerment Center and the chairman of the board of directors for the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.
Panelists: William Parke-Sutherland, Executive Director of Grassroots Empowerment Project (GEP), Anthony Fox, Chief Executive Officer of Tennessee Mental Health Consumers' Association and Sally Zinman, Executive Director of the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO).
Peer-run Respites: Effective Alternatives to Hospitals
Webinar Archive Now Available!
A SAMHSA sponsored webinar presented by National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery took place Wednesday, April 26, 2017 called “Peer-Run Respites: Effective Alternatives to Hospitals."
Description: Leaders of Peer-run Respites from around the country will provide an overview of Peer-run Respites and how they voluntarily engage people and offer a continuity of care which is often unavailable with traditional care and hospitalization. Success stories will be shared, along with reports from the latest research on Peer-run Respite effectiveness.
Steve Miccio – Executive Director, Projects to Empower and Organize the Psychiatrically Labeled, Inc. (PEOPLe, Inc.)
Bevin Croft, M.A., M.P.P., Human Services Research Institute
Daniel B. Fisher, MD, Ph.D. – Chief Executive Officer, National Empowerment Center, Inc.
Jayme Lynch – Director of First Peer Support and Wellness Center in Decatur, GA
Camille Dennis – Program Coordinator, SHARE! (the Self-Help and Recovery Exchange)
Val Neff, CPS - Certified Peer Specialist and works with NAMI Fox Valley as the House Manager at Iris Place Peer Run Respite
Roslind Hayes – Statewide Coordinator of the Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Centers (PSWRC)
NCMHR to collaborate with the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO) for Alternatives 2020
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is excited to announce that the Alternatives 2020 torch will be carried by the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO), in collaboration with NCMHR, at Peerpocalypse, an important national gathering! The 2020 Peerpocalypse conference will be held April 20-23 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center on the beautiful Oregon coast. NCMHR looks forward to collaborating with MHAAO, which shares the values of our movement for social justice. Peerpocalypse is an important national gathering where participants from all over the country and abroad can attend fascinating workshops and powerful keynote presentations, meet and network with old and new friends and colleagues, and experience the peer/recovery movement.
President Trump’s Statement Blaming Gun Violence on People with Mental Health Conditions Is Outrageous, Says National Organization of Mental Health Advocates with “Lived Experience”
WASHINGTON (August 7, 2019)—The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), which advocates to improve policies affecting individuals with mental health conditions nationwide, offers its sincere condolences to all those affected by the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton.
“As a national organization representing persons with mental health issues—many of whom are trauma survivors—the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery condemns President Trump’s statement blaming people with mental health conditions for gun violence,” said NCMHR co-founder and board president Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist with lived experience of a mental health condition.
“As the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and numerous studies have reported, people with mental health conditions are the wrong scapegoat after mass shootings,” Dr. Fisher continued. “Instead, frequently the shooter in these tragedies is an isolated, angry white male with an automatic weapon.
“But the President refuses to take responsibility for his central role in ginning up racism and anti-immigrant hatred in countless statements and at numerous rallies over a period of years. Read more...
Organizing Guide for Psychiatric Survivors
The new Organizing Guide for Psychiatric Survivors is a handbook for those who would like to engage in advocacy for human rights in the mental health system and alternatives to traditional psychiatry. The Nut section offers information and suggestions for minimizing your risk of forced treatment or adverse medication effects, and exploring alternative ways of thinking about your mental health struggles besides a medical diagnosis. The Tree section covers several alternative support systems and healing modalities to the medical model. Finally, in the Grove section, you can learn more about how to get involved with the psychiatric survivors' and disability rights movement, and how these movements are connected with other social justice efforts. Read more... (PDF)
NCMHR presented these 3 policy priorities, recommendations, and talking points to Congress on our Hill Day, July 31, 2018.
PRIORITY 1: Ensure significant peer participation in the development of national and state mental health policies.
PRIORITY 2: Develop and sustain alternatives to involuntary treatment by increasing the availability of peer-run crisis respites and other peer-run crisis supports.
PRIORITY 3: Protect the human rights of persons labeled with mental health conditions.
A Discussion Regarding the Evolution of a Social Movement, by Philip A. Kumin
For anyone privy to the dynamics of the discussion surrounding the manifest destiny of the mental patients' movement one thing is clear; those founding activists who survive are aggrieved at the loss of their native movement. In almost any venue in which these activists air their grievances, there is an aggregate atmosphere of nostalgia and bitterness. The perceived loss of vitality of this movement of the 1970's is mourned. Read more...
National Advocacy Organization of People with Psychiatric Histories Condemns Horrifying Treatment of Immigrant Children
WASHINGTON (6/25/18)—The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR)—a coalition of statewide and other organizations run by and for persons labeled with mental illness—strongly denounces the human rights abuses resulting from the Trump administration’s heartless “zero tolerance” immigration policies.
In response to this American tragedy, the NCMHR has issued the following statement:
“We who have psychiatric labels, many of whom have experienced trauma at the hands of the psychiatric establishment, are horrified by the forcible drugging of immigrant children in U.S. custody with powerful and toxic psychiatric medications.
“Although, on June 20, the president signed an Executive Order ending his cruel policy of tearing children from their parents’ arms at the border, we now learn of additional tortures being perpetrated,” said NCMHR board president Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. “Besides being caged and then subjected to placements with records of abuse, the children already in custody are being forcibly drugged with powerful psychiatric medications to quiet their understandable reactions to trauma. These practices will have catastrophic repercussions for the children, their families, and society.
“Although the Trump administration now says it has a plan to reunite the families it has torn apart, ‘the reunions won’t happen quickly,’ according to a CNN report. We appeal to our government to stop drugging these already traumatized children, and to quickly reunite them with their families, who have fled their countries to escape with their lives, which have been threatened by drug cartels, domestic violence, and other terrible dangers.”
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is a coalition of statewide organizations (representing 26 states and the District of Columbia) run by and for persons labeled with mental illness, and other organizations that support the movement for social justice of individuals with psychiatric diagnoses. NCMHR works to ensure that individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community.
Contact: Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D, NCMHR Board President via our contact form.
Policy Priorities 2018
As part of the Alternatives Advocacy Pre-conference - Please vote on your top 3 policy priorities from this document. This information will be used to educate Congress on NCMHR Hill day, July 31st.
July 29 - August 3, 2018
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) announces that applications for workshop presentations for Alternatives 2018 are now being accepted.
The Alternatives conference is the oldest and largest conference of its kind, organized and hosted for more than three decades by peers for peers (people with lived experience of the behavioral health system, emotional distress/crisis, trauma, or substance use/addiction). Alternatives is renowned for offering the latest and best information in the peer recovery movement, and provides an invaluable opportunity for peers to network with and learn from one another. This will be a 'people’s Alternatives,' funded entirely through registration fees and donations. We will be ‘on our own’ again, connecting to the roots of our movement.
Visit the website: www.alternatives-conference.org for conference registration information, and other valuable information, to nominate potential keynote speakers, and other valuable information.
Sponsors are needed for Alternatives 2018. Please encourage organizations or individuals to become sponsors. More information is at the website
www.alternatives-conference.org which is updated regularly.
We look forward to receiving your proposals and seeing you at Alternatives 2018!
This week, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, touting the bipartisan mental health measure as "bringing to reality the possibility of new breakthroughs to some of the greatest health-care challenges of our time." However, the reality behind this legislation is not quite what it appears to be.
The 21st Century Cures Act will increase the ease with which individuals can be involuntarily hospitalized in a locked ward, increase funding for institutionalized settings, and demand that states implement forced outpatient treatment in order to receive funding. Many media reports are suggesting that it will fix a broken mental health system, incorporate patient voices into clinical processes, decrease mass violence and modernize clinical trials. But will it really? Here are seven reasons why Obama's signing of the 21st Century Cures Act is less than grounds for celebration.
Sandy Hook and other tragedies will not be avoided by the measures contained in this bill.
The "reform" actually sets back many advances made in the 20th century.
It does not help people live in the community.
No extra money is going towards helping people.
Effective treatment is not the focus of this bill.
This bill is not based on the advocacy of users of mental health services.
Pharmaceutical greed and conflicts of interest underlie everything about this bill.
NCMHR is a member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance, which consists of
15 national disability groups, is opposed to the Murphy bill HR 2646
Dear Reps. Upton, Whitfield, Pallone, Burgess, Barton and Shimkus: Our alliance of 15 national disability organizations, all run by persons with disabilities remain opposed to Rep. Murphy' s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis proposed bill, HR 2646, while we support HR 4435, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform and Recovery Act, sponsored by Reps. Green, DeGette, Matsui, Tonko, Loebsack , and Kennedy.
NDLA is a coalition of 15 national grassroots organizations run by persons with disabilities. We value the opportunity to make meaningful choices about our lives, to live and work in the communities of our choice, to have a full voice in all of the policies that affect our lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect for our civil and human rights. Click to read the letter (PDF, 558KB, 3 pages)
National Disability Leadership Alliance as well as the following of its individual members:
Autistic Self-Advocates Network
APRIL (Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living)
Little People of America
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Council of Independent Living
National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
Not Dead Yet
United Spinal Association
Dan Fisher's keynote address, "Heartbeats of Hope" to the Asia Pacific Conference, Brisbane, Australia, October 25, 2016
The radio interview of Dan Fisher and Jenny Speed on topic of Emotional CPR, by Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Dec. 4, 2016
Psychiatrist Daniel Fisher would like to shift the paradigm of mental health services and empower people to play a strong role in their own recovery—so he’s teaching emotional CPR. Click to listen
Living With Schizophrenia
Here is a touching essay by a woman who was recovering from "schizophrenia" and was killed by police while holding a pair of scissors. These killings by police of our people must end.
In the essay, Deborah Danner described the challenges of living with mental illness, including interacting with law enforcement. Read at NY Times...
New study by HHS shows benefits of peer delivered services
Peers in a variety of settings are shown to inspire hope, facilitate empowerment and reduce frequency of hospitalization.
The Coalition Welcomes Dr. Anita Everett as Chief Medical Officer of SAMHSA
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is pleased to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Anita Everett, who has been appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA). Dr. Everett will head a five-person staff for the newly created Office of Chief Medical Officer.
During the course of her psychiatric career, Dr. Everett has gained extensive experience in numerous arenas in the mental health field. She is a compassionate physician, a keen policy advocate, and an inspiring leader for recovery-based transformation of public mental health care.
Dr. Everett has shown a great respect for the perspective of people with lived experience. In the 1990’s, at the height of controversies related to patients dying and suffering in Virginia’s public psychiatric hospitals, Dr. Everett served as the first Inspector General for the state's public mental health system. In that capacity, she created teams of mental health consumers who inspected state hospitals and made recommendations for the improvement of care and protection of civil and human rights.
More recently, Dr. Everett has served as division director of Johns Hopkins Community and General Psychiatry, Bayview Campus, and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Everett has also served as president of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists and is currently the president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Everett has the skills, dedication, and depth of knowledge needed to build bridges and consensus among stakeholders in the mental health community and among policy decision makers.
NCMHR looks forward to working with Dr. Everett and SAMHSA in promoting voluntary, community-based, peer-driven services and supports across the country.
Stop FDA from Down-Classifying the Shock Device to a Class II Device Stop shock treatment
Please sign this petition to the FDA requesting that ECT machines not be downgraded to Category II and also directly contact the FDA to give testimony that there should be no down grading of the ECT machines
The Recovery Now! Campaign advances innovative strategies to improve the quality of mental health care, promoting recovery for all Americans affected by mental health conditions. Learn more and join the campaign today!
Advocates Launch Campaign to Advance Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care
As House and Senate Democrats and Republicans focus on comprehensive mental health reform, and a recent poll by the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research indicated that 71% of Americans are calling for “significant “ or “radical” changes in the way that mental illnesses and addiction are treated, leading mental health experts and advocacy groups have announced the formation of the Recovery Now! Campaign. The campaign has been created to address the crisis in our mental health service system and the personal crises faced daily by individuals and families in great distress. Click here to read the campaign launch announcement.
2017 Public Policy Priorities
Our 2017 public policy priorities focus on advocating for a recovery-focused mental health system that prevents crisis, protects rights, and promotes wellness, economic empowerment, and social inclusion. Click here to view our public policy priorities.
GAO Report on Health and Human Services Leadership Misleading, Incomplete
In 2014, Representative Tim Murphy (PA-18) engaged the GAO to enumerate the programs the Administration funds to assist persons with severe mental illness, to determine the degree to which these programs are coordinated, and to assess the evaluations done on the programs. The GAO identified over a hundred federal programs, but comes to misleading conclusions in its report. Read the GAO report and our position statement (PDF, 120KB, 1 page).
Editorial: Does the scientific evidence support the recovery model?
One of the most robust findings in schizophrenia research is that a substantial proportion of those with the illness will recover completely and many more will regain good social functioning. Click here to read the entire editorial. (PDF, 74KB, 6 pages)
For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients
NCMHR has compiled lists of references and citations to support legislative advocacy and public education efforts.
To access research and citations on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), click here (PDF, 157KB, 5 pages).
To access research and citations documenting the weak link between mental health diagnoses and violence, click here (PDF, 156KB, 5 pages).
To access research on the evidence base for peer support and recovery-oriented approaches to distress and crisis, click here (PDF, 208KB, 13 pages).
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says
Under Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), a person with a serious mental health condition is mandated by a court to follow a specific treatment plan, usually requiring the person to take medication and sometimes directing where the person can live and what his or her daily activities must include. Proponents of IOC claim that it is effective in reducing violent behavior, incarcerations, and hospitalizations among individuals with serious mental health conditions. However, repeated studies have shown no evidence that mandating outpatient treatment through a court order is effective; to the limited extent that court-ordered outpatient treatment has shown improved outcomes, these outcomes appear to result from the intensive services that have been made available to participants in those clinical trials rather than from the existence of a court order mandating treatment.