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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

2021 Policy Priorities

The overarching priority of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery is to advocate for a recovery-focused mental health system that prevents crisis, protects rights, and promotes social justice, wellness, economic empowerment, and social inclusion.

Goal 1: Advocate for the civil and human rights of persons with mental health challenges and trauma histories, especially in periods of protests over racial and social injustice, such as those that are occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Increase the diversity of the NCMHR board and collaborate with groups working for social justice, such as Black Lives Matter, Surviving Race, and the LGBT National Help Center.
  • Call for full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Olmstead decision, and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and work to discharge persons in institutions to reduce their risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Unbundle police involvement in mental health, shifting funding to alternatives such as those listed below.
  • Expand fair and meaningful legal representation for individuals subject to inpatient/outpatient commitment and guardianship hearings.
  • Develop peer advocacy leaders from marginalized groups through mentoring and training
  • Expand funding and membership of NCMHR and support the annual Alternatives Conference.

Goal 2: Increase the availability and accessibility of voluntary supports to prevent crisis and promote recovery and social inclusion.

  • Advocate for the funding and development of peer-run programs, peer-run crisis respites, jail diversion programs, prison discharge teams, hospital diversion programs, and peer-staffed crisis outreach teams.
  • Promote appropriately funded accessible, affordable, and safe housing, such as Housing First, peer-owned housing, and collective ownership models.
  • Encourage the development of peer-led engagement strategies to prevent the need for police involvement and coercive interventions that infringe on civil liberties.
  • Address the cycle of poverty through employment and educational opportunities.
  • Promote holistic approaches to mental health and substance use disorders.

Goal 3: Improve conditions and opportunities for people working in peer roles.

  • Advocate for living wages, improved working conditions, and workforce development opportunities.
  • Promote guidelines for provider organizations hiring peer workers and processes for shifting the culture of providers to support self-direction through dialoguing with peer leaders.
  • Encourage the development of a national charter of practice standards for peer workers.

Goal 4: Sponsor Alternatives Conference/NCMHR Hill Day

  • Plan and manage Alternatives Conferences independent of federal support.