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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

National Coalition of Mental Health Peer-led Organizations Announces Plans to Advocate for Public Policy Priorities in Washington on July 11-12

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2023)—On July 11 and 12, 2023, mental health advocates from around the U.S. will converge on Washington, D.C., to meet with the staff of U.S. Senators and Representatives of their respective home states. The delegation has been organized and will be led by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), comprising advocates and organizations representative of people with mental health diagnoses.

The advocates—all of whom have psychiatric diagnoses and lived experience of the mental health system—will focus on three priorities, which were chosen by leaders of the mental health advocacy movement from around the country during meetings organized and hosted by NCMHR:

  1. Nothing About Us Without Us: Ensure that people with mental health diagnoses are not only included in decision-making pertaining to mental health at all levels of government and policy, but that our voices and opinions are prioritized.

  2. Promote Racial and Social Justice in our movement for recovery-focused mental health services by protecting the rights of and promoting the inclusion of people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and multiply marginalized people with mental health diagnoses.

  3. Increase Alternatives to Forced and Coercive Treatment by advocating for the funding and development of peer-run programs; promoting appropriately funded accessible, affordable, and safe housing; and addressing the cycle of poverty.

“We are grateful to the legislators who have agreed to meet with us, for generously making time in their busy schedules to see us,” said Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD, a co-founder of NCMHR.

NCMHR Board President Braunwynn Franklin noted the significance of the event to her personally. “I am a Black woman with lived mental health experiences stemming from childhood traumas as they related to racial oppressions, neglect, and various levels of abuse within my family and community,” she said. “It’s true that our movement has made progress in changing hearts and minds at the highest levels of mental health policy-making; one indication of this is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s release of new national model standards for peer support certification, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acknowledged ‘were created to accelerate universal adoption, recognition, and integration of the peer workforce across all elements of the healthcare system.’ But I understand at a visceral level that much more needs to be done.”

Franklin added that NCMHR supports SAMHSA’s Office of Recovery. "The creation of the Office of Recovery implements the central goal of NCMHR of enhancing the voice of persons with lived experience at the national policy level," she said.

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) consists of member organizations in 27 states and the District of Columbia, and proudly joined 16 other disability rights groups run by persons with disabilities as a founding member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance. The mission of NCMHR is to “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.”

NCMHR 2023 Public Policy Priorities - Details (PDF, 7 pages)

Contact: NCMHR Board President Braunwynn Franklin, 202.642.4480 or via our Contact Form