Dorothy Dundas Receives 2014 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award
Every year, NCMHR chooses an exceptional leader in mental health advocacy to receive the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award.
Dorothy Dundas has been a part of the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient (C/S/X) movement since the late 1970's and has been a tireless advocate for civil rights and humane, voluntary, and peer-led services ever since.
Dorothy was one of a few electroshock survivors who testified at the January 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration public hearings on electroconvulsive therapy, leading to the FDA panel’s decision to require rigorous testing of the device used for electroshock.
Her story appears in “Beyond Bedlam,” her op-eds and letters have been published in many newspapers, and her revolutionary poster, “Behind Locked Doors“ is used to educate students and the general public about the abuses that have happened under the guise of mental health “treatment.”
It is with gratitude for her work that NCMHR honors Ms. Dundas with the 2014 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award.
NCMHR Visionary C/S/X Leadership Conference - Audio Recording Now Available!
Another lively and inspiring discussion took place this year, featuring Daniel Fisher, Susan Rogers and Wilma Townsend, and moderated by Keris Myrick. If you missed this annual NCMHR event, please click here to access the audio of the presentations.
NCMHR Members and Friends Rally for Real Medicaid Reform
On September 21, 2011 NCMHR and Washington, DC-area advocates participated in the Rally for Real Medicaid Reform, sponsored by a variety of cross-disability, aging, and civil rights groups. "It was an important opportunity to make our voices heard and stand up for a health care system that meets our real needs," said Lauren Spiro, NCMHR Director.
Health Care Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for Behavioral Health Care Reform
Daniel Fisher and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
More than 150 mental health advocates, policy-makers, practitioners, educators, and researchers convened at the symposium to discuss “Health Care Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for Behavioral Health Care Reform.” Dr. Fisher presented on the topic of comparative effectiveness research in mental health. He drew on personal lived experience as well as research carried out at the NEC. He pointed out the importance of integrating persons' lived experience into any research into recovery and wellbeing. He emphasized that participatory, qualitative, action research is best suited to gathering evidence as to the most effective means of assisting people to recover. For more information on the symposium, please visit www.cartercenter.org.
Campaign for Mental Health Reform
On March18, 2009, the Campaign for Mental Health Reform held its annual dinner in Washington, DC, to present awards to Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) and the First Lady of Massachusetts, Diane Patrick, who has been very honest about her battle to overcome depression. Many grateful words and warm wishes for a speedy recovery were given to mental health and healthcare champion Senator Edward Kennedy, who was receiving medical treatment in Florida on this celebratory evening.
Speaking Up and Speaking Out for Mental Health in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region: A Call to Action
On September 16, 2008, NCMHCSO brought together 150 consumer/survivors,
advocates, providers, and administrators from Washington, DC, Maryland, and
Virginia whose collective knowledge and experience resulted in a report that
highlights 6 goals with recommendations to transform mental health care in the
DC Metropolitan region.
This Forum featured the 2008 Presidential Candidates. John McCain and Senator Harkin, who served as the surrogate for Barak Obama who was in the middle east, presented their visions for the future of disability policy in America followed by questions by Judy Woodruff (news anchor and journalist for "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer". [Click here to view the archived webcast of this historic event]
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Lauren Spiro (National Coalition Policy Director)
NATIONAL FORUM ON EQUALITY, OPPORTUNITY & ACCESS
On November 2, 2007, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, along with more than 20 other national disability rights organizations, co-hosted the Presidential Candidates’ Forum: A National Forum on Equality, Opportunity and Access, in Manchester, New Hampshire. This historic, day-long event featured presidential candidates speaking on disability issues and answering questions from the audience.
“You could feel the excitement in the auditorium on this historic day that brought together unprecedented numbers of cross-disability groups with most of the presidential candidates,” said Lauren Spiro, the National Coalition’s policy director.
“Ted Kennedy Jr. said, ‘We must end social and political isolation. It is not the disability but society’s perception that is the most disabling condition.’ ” The event was covered by television and was Webcast live.
For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients
New Yale study challenges the notion that biological explanations for mental illness boost compassion for the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from mental-health problems. Click here to read the findings | Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians’ empathy by Matthew S. Lebowitz1 and Woo-kyoung Ahn (PDF, 637KB, 5 pages)
New Research Briefs
NCMHR has compiled lists of references and citations to support legislative advocacy and public education efforts.
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.
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says (PDF, 152KB, 4 pages)
Mental Health Advocates Blast Rep. Tim Murphy's Bill as a Costly Step Backward, to the Days When a Mental Illness Diagnosis Was a Life Sentence
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Tim Murphy introduced legislation that, if passed, would reverse some of the advances of the last 30 years in mental health services and supports. It would exchange low-cost services that have good outcomes for higher-cost yet ineffective interventions, according to the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition of 32 statewide organizations and others representing individuals with mental illnesses; the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the non-profit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities; and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization. Click here to read the entire press release.
Asheville event focuses on mental health
National Mental Health Coalition Calls “Today Show” Electroshock Segment One-Sided
Coalition Recommends Balanced Coverage of Controversial Intervention
WASHINGTON, DC (8/22/13) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) urges “The Today Show” to provide balanced coverage of the risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which grand mal seizures are electrically induced, usually to treat severe depression. The NCMHR is responding to a one-sided segment about ECT that “Today” ran on August 20, 2013.
“We are disappointed, especially because two NBC producers had sought out ECT survivors who could attest to the disabling effects of this controversial treatment,” says NCMHR director Lauren Spiro, who was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. “The producers were given contact information for five willing individuals, but chose not to include them.” The producers later called this an editorial decision.
NCMHR Responds to Torrey/Jaffe Article Attacking SAMHSA, Promoting Involuntary Treatment
We are writing to respond to an article in the National Review online (August 15, 2013) by E. Fuller Torrey and D.J. Jaffe. Dr. Torrey heads the Treatment Advocacy Center, whose mission is to expand the use of involuntary outpatient commitment (also called Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or AOT) throughout the country.
Dr. Torrey does not believe that individuals with mental health diagnoses – such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression – can recover. He is wrong. We – members of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (a coalition of 32 statewide organizations representing individuals with mental health conditions) – are among the millions of individuals who have recovered despite the fact that we have been diagnosed with such disorders. Click here to read the full 8-page rebuttal (PDF, 143KB, 8 pages).
Letter to President Obama
On July 2, 2013 the National Coalition sent a letter to President Obama with copies to selected others regarding our recommendations for including people with the lived experience of mental health recovery in dialogues, meetings and pertinent opportunities to discuss mental health in America. Click to view letter (PDF, 162KB, 4 pages)
Community treatment orders 'don't reduce psychiatric readmissions'
This study of community treatment orders (CTOs) in patients with psychosis is reported as being the largest of its kind. Its findings support those of two previous trials, which also found no benefit from CTOs in reducing readmissions. Click here to read a summary of the study.
I GOT BETTER Campaign - Executive Summary of Findings
The I GOT BETTER Campaign seeks to understand the factors contributing to individual recovery. Survey results clearly show that many individuals (even those with so-called severe mental illness) can and do achieve stable, medication-free wellness. And 97% of Follow-up Survey respondents with a psychiatric diagnosis affirmed they had “experienced at least some recovery from mental or emotional problems.” Click here to read the full report.
NC has been very busy strategizing about our next legislative steps
Obama administration to launch mental health dialogue
The Obama administration is planning a national campaign to encourage the discussion of mental health issues in light of recent mass shootings.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will lead the effort, which will begin within weeks, Sebelius said Tuesday.
"There is no question that the recent tragedy in Newtown broke the hearts of the nation," Sebelius told a medical conference in Washington, D.C. "But it also gives us an opportunity to address some important issues that have gone unaddressed for too long."
The administration called for the dialogue in its January recommendations on preventing gun violence. Four of President Obama's 23 executive actions on the issue addressed mental health.
Training and Technical Assistance Opportunities
The Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) Team can assist you in your work through free training opportunities, telephone consultations, email resources, peer learning, webcasts, distance learning, and knowledge products. The BRSS TACS Team is a consortium, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), dedicated to promoting wide-scale adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from substance use and/or mental health conditions. Click here to access the TA Request Form (Word Doc, 2 pages).
"Free Your Mind Projects" Radio Show featuring Daniel B. Fisher on Gun Violence, Mental Health, and Emotional CPR
Dr. Fisher discusses his personal story of recovery and Emotional CPR. Click here to listen to the show (streaming audio, 56 minutes). Click here for complete description of the show. (PDF, 88KB, 2 pages)
National Coalition Representing Individuals with Psychiatric Diagnoses Lauds President Obama’s Recommendations to Contain Gun Violence
WASHINGTON (1-17-2013) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition of 32 statewide organizations representing individuals with mental health conditions, joins with other Americans to thank President Obama for taking bold and decisive action against the shocking escalation of gun violence in America.
National Empowerment Center (NEC) Calls for Peer-delivered Community Services Instead of More Forced Treatment
The Coalition received start-up funding from the Washington-based Public Welfare Foundation. The Coalition office is located at 611 Pennsylvania Ave. SE #133 Washington, D. C. 20003.
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