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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

National Coalition News (NCN)

April 2010 Newsletter

From the Director

It has been an exciting month. I have had the great fortune to have had three meetings with Pam Hyde, SAMHSA Administrator, in the past 3 weeks. I am impressed with her willingness to listen and to engage consumer/survivors in dialogue and her down-to-earth manner. I told her that we have great hope in her – particularly in furthering self-determination, meaningful choices, and eliminating coercive interventions.

In other news, we have officially changed our name to the  National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), which we believe more accurately reflects our vision, values, and emphasis on recovery. The original idea of changing our name came from our National Advisory Committee. The National Coalition’s Steering Committee decided on this name and put it out for a vote of the state and associate membership. The new name was approved by the vast majority of voting organizations. Please also make a note of our new website: www.ncmhr.org.

Also, I am delighted to announce the launching of Emotional CPR (eCPR) Certification Trainings and our NEW web site www.emotional-cpr.org where we will post upcoming trainings, FREE eCPR down-loadable videos, and other eCPR info.

Lastly, comments on the parity interim final rule are due May 3, 2010. NCMHR members will be invited to comment on our draft recommendations.

The basic premise of parity is to level the playing field – making mental healthcare equal to physical health care. That is, to eliminate the discrimination in financing/affordability and accessing mental health and substance use care. There are many complex issues but we know for certain that the next several years will bring major shifts in mental health care in America. Our advocacy voice must ensure that our rights and our shared values and principles are integrated into the new system. Click here to read the parity rules (PDF, 270KB, 43 pages).

The NCMHR Steering Committee and I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to amplify our collective voice and shared priorities. Have a happy spring.

Lauren Spiro

Lauren Spiro

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National Coalition News

Judi Chamberlin Honored at ACMHA Summit

ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership awarded Judi Chamberlin the Timothy J. Coakley Behavioral Health Leadership Award, which Lauren Spiro accepted on behalf of Judi and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. The award recognizes “consumer and family leaders in the behavioral health field whose work is characterized by the highest degree of integrity and a passion for creative approaches for improving the lives of people with mental health problems.”

Judi Chamberlin, who passed in January 2010, was one of the country’s first and most vocal advocates for the rights of people with mental health conditions. In accepting the award, Lauren showed a short film entitled “Judi Chamberlin: Her Life, Our Movement” which the National Coalition created for this event. It brought tears to many eyes.

The NC has now officially launched a campaign to gain support for a documentary about the history of the consumer/survivor movement.

Click here to watch “Judi Chamberlin: Her Life, Our Movement”
Click here for more information or to make a donation to support the documentary project (PDF, 381KB, 1 page).

ACMHA: Healthcare Reform Domains and Key Action Steps

ACMHA, which met in Santa Fe, NM, convened the first summit of behavioral health leaders since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. No. 111-148). Consensus emerged, including many consumer/survivor voices, around six domains that comprise the ACMHA platform: principles and values, services and systems, consumer and family roles and impacts, financing, partnership and collaboration, and workforce. Click here to read the key action steps proposed by summit participants that the behavioral health field must immediately take to address the present and emerging opportunities offered by health care reform.

ACMHA, and many consumer/survivor leaders, will closely monitor progress made on the proposed action steps as health reform is implemented. Our involvement is needed as the future course of behavioral health is now being charted. Let us make sure the values and policy priorities of the consumer/survivor movement are front and center as we move forward. For more information on ACMHA, click here.

The Human Impact of Seclusion and Restraint

On March 31, 2010, Lauren Spiro gave a talk entitled “The Human Impact of Seclusion and Restraint” at the Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint Recognition Program: Fostering Resilience and Promoting Recovery through Coercion-Free Care at SAMHSA, Rockville, MD. An excerpt of Lauren's talk: "...I could not understand why I was being treated so inhumanely...The internalized oppression says, 'It was not that bad.' The truth is, I almost didn’t survive.” Click here to read the full text of the talk (PDF, 19KB, 3 pages).


Funding Available - Six $20,000 grants will be awarded to consumer-run organizations.

Application Period Opens for 2010 CMHR Awards - Deadline: June 7, 2010

Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery (CMHR) State Awards, which fund selected consumer-run organizations across the United States to promote the CMHR on the State and local levels. These awards provide support for community-based efforts to promote recovery and to counter negative perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs associated with mental health problems. The comprehensive Project Guide, which fully describes the project focus, eligibility requirements, application requirements, and other important information, is available at http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/CMHR/awards/2010awards.aspx.

Alternatives 2010 Call for Presentations Online!
Deadline: May 6, 2010

Please submit your workshop proposals for Alternatives 2010: “Promoting Wellness Through Social Justice/Promoviendo Bienestar por medio de Justicia Social" to be held September 29 – Oct 3 in Anaheim, CA. Click here to download the presentation form.

Celebrating Those Who Make a Difference for Mental Health

The Voice Awards honor film and television writers and producers who incorporate dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of people with mental illnesses into their scripts, programs, and productions. The awards also recognize the accomplishments of consumer leaders who have been instrumental in both raising awareness and understanding of mental health issues and promoting the social inclusion of people with mental health problems. All entertainment industry nominations must be received by 
April 30, 2010.
All mental health consumer nominations must be received by May 14, 2010. Click here for guidelines and to submit a nomination.

Other News

Secretary Sebelius Announces Five New HHS Regional Directors

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the appointment of five new regional directors of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This opens up more avenues for our education and advocacy efforts at the regional level.

  • Christie Hager, Region I - Boston (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)
  • Jaime R. Torres, Region II - New York City (NY NJ, NY, PR, VI)
  • Joanne Grossi, Region III - Philadelphia (PA DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)
  • Marguerite Salazar, Region VIII - Denver (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
  • Herb K. Schultz, Region IX - San Francisco (AZ, CA, HI, NV, Guam, PI, AS)

Click here to read the new directors’ biographies.

NEW Madness Radio Show - Violent Voices with Erica van den Akker

People who hear voices are no more violent than anyone else -- but what about the small number of voice hearers that do actually commit violent crimes? Are medications and locked wards the best way to help those who act on their aggressive "command hallucinations?" Dutch psychologist and Hearing Voices Movement member Erica van den Akker discusses her innovative counseling work with violent offenders in the Netherlands. Click here to listen to the show.

“What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist t
By Donald M. Berwick

A seasoned clinician and expert fears the loss of his humanity if he should become a patient.” Click here to read the full article (PDF, 128KB, 11 pages) and here to read excerpts compiled by Lauren Spiro (PDF, 20KB, 2 pages).

New Blog: Recovery Lifestyle

Ed Daigu Knight’s blog is "about life style issues such as diet, meditation, exercise, mindful living and recovery from extreme states which is an ongoing process." Click here to visit the blogog.

Celebrate Non-Discrimination Win in April

July 26, 2010 will be the twentieth anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Like all anniversaries, it is an opportunity to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. An important piece of disability rights history is the famous "504 sit-in" in 1977, which resulted in the implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on April 28th, 1977. Click here to listen/view NPR's 2002 report on this event.

The purpose of the NCN is to share information that is consistent with our mission and values and that is significant for our constituency. We are not endorsing any particular organization.