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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

National Coalition News (NCN)

April 2012 Newsletter

From the Director

A busy spring is blossoming for us at the Coalition!

We are excited to announce the recent addition of Raymond L. Bridge to the Coalition team. Ray serves as Director of Public Policy as well as Director of Education and Training. Ray is a person in recovery  who became an advocate because of his own experiences and those of his family members. He has a long history with the mental health consumer movement in Virginia and is passionate about empowerment and justice. Ray comes to NCMHR from Mental Health America, where he was a writer and consumer advocate. He spent a career in government communications.

I'd also like to warmly welcome Ronda Ames and Dave Sanders to our Board of Directors. RondaShe is the Executive Director of KEY Consumer Organization Inc., an Indiana-based education and advocacy organization for people with mental health and addiction issues. Ronda advocates and speaks locally and nationally on recovery. David (Dave) Sanders has spent the last decade of his career working for the West Virginia Mental Health Consumers Association doing systemic community and public policy advocacy at the state and local level, and recently joined the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities in the Office of Consumer Affairs and Community Outreach. Dave is in recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues, and enjoys sharing the story of his recovery journey with others, as well as mental health public policy analysis and advocacy.

In other news, we are now accepting nominations until May 4, 2012 for at-large members of our board of directors. At-large board seats are designated to encourage board representation of a constituency that goes across the NCMHR six federal networking regions. Click here for more information and the nomination form. Nominations are due by May 4, 2012.

Emotional CPR (eCPR) update:
Exciting news! eCPR, our public health education program designed to teach people to assist others experiencing emotional crisis, is unfolding around the world. Upcoming trainings will take place in Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Australia, and Singapore! Click here for a complete list of our upcoming talks, workshops, and trainings. Check back at this page for further updates in the coming weeks and months.

If you missed our “Introduction to eCPR” webinar that took place in February, that is now available online in several accessible formats – video, audio, and written transcript. Click here to access the archives of this webinar.

As a partner in SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy, the Coalition worked actively with the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) to develop awards to be given to peer-run organizations for the purpose of health care reform. Recently, CSI announced awards of $25,000 each to eight peer-run/recovery community organizations.  These eight organizations will work within their states to increase public awareness about behavioral health services available through the Affordable Care Act. For more information, click here.

All the best,

Lauren Spiro

Lauren Spiro

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Policy Corner

Health Care Reform Hangs in the Balance

By Raymond L. Bridge, Director of Public Policy

The classical image of Justice is a blindfolded woman with a sword in her left hand and balance scales in her right hand. The future of Health Care Reform, enacted by Congress in 2010, now hangs precariously in the hands of nine Supreme Court Justices who are neither blind nor impartial. Their decision is due in June. Before the Court heard three days of arguments, even conservative analysts expected the Court to find health care reform constitutional. But according to Rebecca Farley of the National Council for Community Behavioral Health Care, who briefed the Mental Health Liaison Group, many Justices took extremely conservative positions. Farley was pessimistic, but argued it’s just not possible to predict where the Court will ultimately come out. You can follow the action on the National Council’s blog.

According the blog, the Court will rule on four issues: Is the coverage mandate constitutional? Opponents of the ACA argue that Congress overstepped its bounds in requiring Americans to have health insurance coverage. Is the coverage mandate equivalent to a tax? If so, the Court cannot decide on the constitutionality of the mandate until its financial penalties are first assessed in 2015. Can the coverage mandate be “severed” from the rest of the law? If not, the entire ACA must be struck down if the mandate is found unconstitutional. Is the Medicaid expansion constitutional? Opponents say that Congress is coercing states into covering new populations as a condition of getting any federal Medicaid funding. (Despite the fact that the Federal government will pick up the full cost.)

What’s at stake for us? Whatever the outcome, coalition goals of making health care more humane, recovery focused and person-directed, and including peer-run and peer-delivered services, will not change. If health care reform survives the Supreme Court (and the political movement to repeal it), I expect the health care “system” to grow bigger and more complicated, making our advocacy more challenging than it is already.    


Statewide Consumer Networking Grant Applications Due May 18, 2012

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2012 Statewide Consumer Network grants. The purpose of this program is to enhance statewide consumer-run organizations to promote service system capacity and infrastructure development that is recovery-focused and resiliency-oriented. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, this program seeks to address the needs of underserved and under-represented consumers, such as veterans; those with histories of trauma; those from ethnic, racial, or cultural minority groups; and those who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

The Statewide Consumer Network program also seeks to promote activities related to partnership development with peers in recovery from addictions; peer support, and service needs related to gender; training and skills development; trauma-informed peer support; legacy planning; wellness; and/or economic empowerment as part of the recovery process for consumers.

Download Complete RFA Announcement in PDF format (269KB)
Download Complete RFA Announcement in DOC format (303KB)

NCMHR Issues Press Release on “Dr Oz” Show on Electroshock

Coalition Recommends Balanced Coverage of Controversial Intervention

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) called upon the producers of "The Dr. Oz Show" to provide balanced and truthful coverage of the risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which grand mal seizures are electrically induced, usually to treat severe depression. "We are surprised that Dr. Oz would air such a one-sided show," says NCMHR director Lauren Spiro, "as ECT remains one of the most controversial psychiatric practices."

"Shock survivors" and many other mental health advocates assert that ECT's disabling effects - including permanent memory loss and cognitive deficits - outweigh possible benefits, and call for potential ECT recipients to be told the risks so they can make an informed choice. Click here to read the full press release.

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.

New Episodes of Madness Radio Online!

Check out www.madnessradio.net for the latest episodes of Madness Radio. These include “Bipolar Children” with Sharna Olfman, “Amazonian Healing” with Francois Demange, and “Chemical Crucifixion” with Grainne Humphrys.

CAFÉ TAC Offers Online Training on Reaching Out to Youth

The CAFE TA Center is pleased to announce the release of its latest on-demand online training, Bridging the Gap: Reaching Out to Emerging Adults. This training examines the obstacles that must be overcome as individuals with behavioral health needs transition from systems of care created for children, to those created for adults. It also explores the essential role that adult consumer organizations can play in welcoming young consumers, involving them in meaningful ways and helping them grow to become the next generation of consumer leaders. If you are a youth that wants to learn how to become involved in the adult mental health world, or an adult consumer that wants to connect with youth and emerging adults, please check out this training today! You can view this training by clicking here.

National Council on Disability Welcomes Newest Council Member, Stephanie Orlando

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Council on Disability (NCD) -- an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on the policies and programs that affect the lives of people with disabilities -- is honored to welcome Stephanie Orlando to the agency. Stephanie Orlando is the Director of YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in New York State, a state advocacy network comprised of young people with disabilities with experience in state child-serving systems.  After receiving children's mental health, special education and residential services herself, Ms. Orlando has become a strong advocate for youth with disabilities on county, state and national levels.  To read the full press release, click here.

The CAFÉ TA Center Presents: Focus 12: Board Development

The CAFÉ TA Center is pleased to announce the publication of the latest edition of the Focus newsletter! This issue examines the challenges that organizations face in recruiting and maintaining an effective, involved Board of Directors. Most consumer organizations aspire to become 501c3 non-profits. To qualify for that status, a Board of Directors must be in place. Once the Board is in place, it has many responsibilities that it must addressed to be considered healthy. So what are the basic responsibilities of a Board of Directors? And how do you know if your Board is healthy, and working the way it is supposed to? Check out Focus 12 for the answers!

ADAPT Video: “My Medicaid Matters” 

Here is a short beginning of what ADAPT is calling a “Visual Quilt.” We want to add footage from your groups of real people saying “My Medicaid Matters.” This short piece was done at an ADAPT of Texas meeting. All it took was a video camera and a bunch of Andy Warhol wannabees!! It is simple but the intent is to convey the diversity of people that rely on Medicaid programs. You will be amazed at the ending!!! Click here to watch the video.

National Effort to Recover Dignity of Forgotten Psychiatric Patients

The Gardens at Saint Elizabeths: A National Memorial of Recovered Dignity

The Gardens at Saint Elizabeths is a national memorial to remember once forgotten psychiatric patients. In addition to remembrance, it will also be a place of recovery offering dignity and hope to anyone living with mental illness.

Out of Silence: A Voice
It’s happening all over the country: 25,000 nameless graves discovered in Georgia; 5,000 canisters of remains found on storage shelves in Oregon; and 600 remains stored in cardboard boxes in Hawaii. These are just a few shameful stories of “unknown humans” whose remains were neglected on the grounds of state psychiatric hospitals.

Stories like these have inspired advocates across the country. Volunteers are working to restore cemeteries on the grounds of psychiatric hospitals, returning dignity to those who were segregated, died and forgotten.

Find out about the plans for a National Memorial, its history, its recent news, a traveling exhibit, and how you can help.


April 24-26, 2012

Human Rights Advocacy & Organizing" presented by International Human Rights Expert Tina Minkowitz

The Training will take a hands-on approach using exercises to explore what it means to "do human rights". Thematic issues will be addressed according to the interests of participants: 
(Prison and Mental Systems, legal capacity, reparations for psychiatric torture, poverty, right to work, and/or implications of the Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities for mental health policy.) Application and registration visit www.voicesoftheheart.net or click here for pdf.

Friday April 27, 2012

Expanding our Vision: Positive Outcomes from around the World
One-day conference (with other adjunct activities)

Location: Denver, Colorado
Presenters include Elizabeth Kenny, Joanne Greenberg, Robert Whitaker, Daniel Mackler, and Ron Bassman. For complete information click here. To register, click here.

May 5, 2012

Occupy the APA: Boycott Normal! Occupy the American Psychiatric Industry
Sponsored by MindFreedom International

MFI calls on mental health consumers, psychiatric survivors and allies to Boycott Normal in response to the American Psychiatric Association's preparation for a fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM-5 would be the latest edition of what is widely known as psychiatry's “label bible,” used to determine if people can be diagnosed with mental 'disorders' or 'illness.' Be part of peaceful protest of the American Psychiatric Association, everywhere, especially Philadelphia, on 5 May 2012. Click here for more information.

September 19-21, 2012

25th Anniversary Intervoice & World Hearing Voices Congress Working to Recovery, Asylum Associates and Hearing Voices Network

Cymru in conjunction with Intervoice Presents The Hearing Voices Network 25 Years On: Learning from the PAST, Practicing in the PRESENT, Visioning the FUTURE, 19th, 20th & 21st September 2012 in Cardiff, Wales, UK. For more information please visit www.intervoiceonline.org. Please click here for the call for papers (PDF, 109KB, 3 pages)

October 10-14, 2012

Alternatives 2012 - Honoring Our History, Building Our Future

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center announces the 26th annual Alternatives Conference, the oldest national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors, to be held at: Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront,1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201 www.alternatives2012.us


Monthly national networking teleconferences - National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse

When: 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 send an e-mail to srogers@mhasp.org and put Agenda in the subject line. The next call will take place on Monday, April 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

Employment Opportunities

There are some great peer employment opportunities currently available. For information on how to apply please check out our job listings page, and listings at the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse.