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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

National Coalition News (NCN)

November - December 2012 Newsletter

From the Director

As we head towards the end of 2012 the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NC) has much to be proud of. First, however, we send our deepest hopes and prayers to our sisters and brothers in New York and New Jersey who are still recovering from the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy.

The NC had a very good year in 2012, making advances in educating and advocating for systems changes that support our values and policy priorities. We have had numerous visits to legislative offices on Capitol Hill and keep our finger on the pulse of many issues and legislation that directly impact our constituency. We have participated actively in many meetings with SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde and high-level SAMHSA staff as well as staff from other federal agencies (Medicaid, Office of Disability, National Institute of Mental Health).

We have succeeded in retaining the additional $960,000 in funding the NC secured years ago for the Consumer Statewide Networking Grants. We have been very actively involved in BRSS TACS, a new technical assistance center that started in late 2011 and we have strengthened our relationship with the leadership of Faces and Voices of Recovery, our counterpart in the substance abuse community. We had a daylong dialogue with mental health and substance addiction representatives this year that will be published in a SAMHSA report.

We held our first-ever national election to fill two at-large board seats. We welcome to our board Lauren Grimes, Transitional Age Youth Outreach Coordinator for On Our Own of Maryland, and Jimi Kelley, who works with the First Nations Behavioral Health Association in Nashville, TN. We also welcome Robyn Priest, Executive Director, Alaska Peer Support Consortium, interim board member until a Western region election occurs.

We have continued expanding Emotional CPR, our public education program that teaching people skills to assist others through an emotional crisis. We are making new inroads with eCPR both inside and outside the U.S. as a growing number of people understand it to be hopefull, life-giving and stigma-busting.Singapore, for example, has decided to spread it across the entire country and we will do more trainings there is 2013. Please visit www.emotional-cpr.org/training.htm for a list of upcoming workshops and trainings.

Country road in the fall

These are just a few of our accomplishments for 2012 as we successfully expand our circles of influence and strengthen our voice and impact federal policy. We will have quarterly member meetings for our statewide and associate members to better ensure bi-directional communication from the grassroots to Washington, DC and back to the grassroots. We look forward to another great year in 2013.

We wish you, your family, your co-workers and everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday season.


Lauren Spiro

Lauren Spiro

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Policy Matters

By Raymond L. Bridge, Director of Public Policy

The election on November 6 was historic in many ways, and I hope each of you were able to cast your vote. This election had a profound impact on people in recovery because it protected federal agencies and programs important to our community. With the re-election of Barack Obama, we can expect continuity in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Mental Health Services, where, Paolo del Vecchio and Wilma Townsend continue to make great strides at the federal level, strengthening the voice and values of people with the lived experience of mental recovery.

The Democrats increased their majority in the Senate, which means that they, and the President’s veto powers, will thwart the intentions of the Republican-led House of Representatives to pursue the draconian “Ryan” budget, turn Medicaid from a federal entitlement into a block grant to states, and change Medicare into a voucher program.

The election also effectively ended efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (health care reform). Health care reform is here to stay. How health reform is implemented—both by the federal government and by your state--will shape your future health care choices and your mental health system. To read the complete column, click here.


Will Hall Receives the 2012 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award

Every year, NCMHR chooses an outstanding leader to receive the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award. Will Hall, MA, DiplPW, was chosen for his numerous contributions to the mental health recovery movement, including directing Portland Hearing Voices, six years of hosting Madness Radio, and his advocacy with the international Hearing Voices movement. Click here for the video and audio of his acceptance speech. To read our recent press release about the award, click here.

Iowa Letter Regarding Medicaid Expansion

This document is an admirable effort to implement Olmstead in the state of Iowa. Feel free to use this letter for inspiration in your own statewide advocacy efforts around Medicaid. Click here to access the letter.

New Madness Radio Shows Available!

Check out www.madnessradio.net for the latest episodes of Madness Radio. These include: “Multiple Worlds” with Anusuya StarBear, “Madness and Renewal” with Michael Cornwall, and “Coming off Psych Meds” with Laura Delano.

On Our Own by Judi Chamberlin Available on Kindle

This groundbreaking work critiquing the mental health system and advocating for peer-run alternatives is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1977. Get your copy today for download on your Kindle device. And the hard copy makes a great holiday gift!

Milestones in the C/S/X Movement – Document Available!

The purpose of The ADA Legacy Project is to focus on the ADA as it has unfolded - and continues to unfold - over time. It is a celebration of the efforts that led up to the signing of the ADA on July 26th, 1990, highlighting its implementation and the changes that have occurred since, and considering how the spirit of the law will improve the future. The Project will be organizing celebrations for 2014, the 25th Anniversary year of the ADA. Click here to read the document developed by Susan Rogers, Pat Risser, and others.


December 10, 2012
International Human Rights Day Event
Glens Falls, NY

Voices of the Heart, Inc shares in a gathering around "International Human Rights Day." On this day, people around the world unite to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please join VOH for this event including such topics as “Develop & Speak Your Human Rights Story,” and “Skill Building for advocacy & community organizing.”For more details, click here.


The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse invites you to participate in our monthly national networking teleconferences, which take place the third Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. (If the third Monday is a national holiday, the call will take place the fourth Monday.) The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the call is for consumer/survivor leaders from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” If you would like to suggest agenda items for the call, please e-mail us and put Agenda in the subject line.

Employment Opportunities

There are some great peer employment opportunities currently available. Please click here and here for information on how to apply.