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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

Mission: The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) will 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.

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June 24, 2016

Oppose HR 2646, the “Murphy Bill”

Call and write Members of the House of Representatives
between now and June 30th.

The House leadership has indicated that they will take up HR 2646 in July. This is the time for every advocate to recruit other advocates and to call their representatives in Congress. To find contact information for your legislators, go to this link: http://www.house.gov/representatives

Call and write Members of the House of Representatives between now and June 30, 2016. Tell them to oppose HR 2646 because it will do more harm than good.

* * * * * * * * * *

The House Energy and Commerce Committee amended and unanimously recommended HR 2646. Though significantly pared down, it is still an objectionable policy solution to the problems with mental health care.

There are 204 cosponsors for HR 2646; 146 Republicans, 58 Democrats. Click here to see if your representative is a cosponsor - https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2646

If your representative is a co-sponsor of HR 2646, you should tell them you are aware of their co-sponsorship. Tell them you strongly oppose the bill, and ask them to reconsider, based on the talking points below.

Here are the talking points:

  1. HR 2646 significantly weakens the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

  2. The bill expands grant funding and the time frames for Assisted Outpatient Treatment. There is no evidence that outpatient commitment is more effective than voluntary care.

  3. The bill is hostile to programs and concepts of recovery.

  4. Nothing about us without us. HR 2646 excludes the voice of people who have lived experience with mental health issues.

For details about the above talking points, please go tohttp://ncmhr.org/supplemental-information.htm

If this is your first time contacting your representative, here are some helpful hints...

#1 - Say "Hello. My name is _____ and I'm calling to ask Representative _____ to oppose HB 2646.”

#2 - Pick out some points from the material talking points above and explain why this matters to you. 

#3 - Restate that you are urging Representative _____ to oppose HB 2646.  

#4 - Don't hang up the phone without a commitment from staff members. If it's your own representative's office, ask the staff member to have the representative send you a written response on their position. If it's a person who is not your Representative, ask the staff member to please share why this is so important with the representative. 

#5 - Practice what you will say out loud before you actually make the call.   

Please let us know that you’ve called your representative and what their response was. We need to gauge how much impact we have.  Please email us with the following information at info@ncmhr.org

  • Representative’s name
  • Outcome of call
  • Any comments you might have.

NCMHR is a member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance, which consists of
15 national disability groups, is opposed to the Murphy bill HR 2646


Dear Reps. Upton, Whitfield, Pallone, Burgess, Barton and Shimkus: Our alliance of 15 national disability organizations, all run by persons with disabilities remain opposed to Rep. Murphy' s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis proposed bill, HR 2646, while we support HR 4435, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform and Recovery Act, sponsored by Reps. Green, DeGette, Matsui, Tonko, Loebsack , and Kennedy.

NDLA is a coalition of 15 national grassroots organizations run by persons with disabilities. We value the opportunity to make meaningful choices about our lives, to live and work in the communities of our choice, to have a full voice in all of the policies that affect our lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect for our civil and human rights. Click to read the letter (PDF, 558KB, 3 pages)

National Disability Leadership Alliance as well as the following of its individual members:

Autistic Self-Advocates Network
APRIL (Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living)
Little People of America
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Council of Independent Living
National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
Not Dead Yet
United Spinal Association



Dorothy Dundas Receives 2014 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award

Dan Fisher presents the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award to Dorothy Dundas

Every year, NCMHR chooses an exceptional leader in mental health advocacy to receive the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award. 

Dorothy Dundas has been a part of the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient (C/S/X) movement since the late 1970's and has been a tireless advocate for civil rights and humane, voluntary, and peer-led services ever since.

Dorothy was one of a few electroshock survivors who testified at the January 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration public hearings on electroconvulsive therapy, leading to the FDA panel’s decision to require rigorous testing of the device used for electroshock.

Her story appears in “Beyond Bedlam,” her op-eds and letters have been published in many newspapers, and her revolutionary poster, “Behind Locked Doors“ is used to educate students and the general public about the abuses that have happened under the guise of mental health “treatment.”

It is with gratitude for her work that NCMHR honors Ms. Dundas with the 2014 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award.

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.

Valerie L. MarshNCMHR Appoints Valerie L. Marsh, MSW as Executive Director

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2016 —The Board of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) announced the appointment of Valerie L. Marsh, MSW as Executive Director.

“I look forward to joining other mental health consumers and survivors dedicated to empowerment, self-determination and access to effective, humane, voluntary services that are peer-run,” said Marsh. View Full Press Release

Stop FDA from Down-Classifying the Shock Device to a Class II Device Stop shock treatment

Please sign this petition to the FDA requesting that ECT machines not be downgraded to Category II and also directly contact the FDA to give testimony that there should be no down grading of the ECT machines

Visit www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment to sign the petition, and to find instructions on how to submit comments.

Recovery Now!

The Recovery Now! Campaign advances innovative strategies to improve the quality of mental health care, promoting recovery for all Americans affected by mental health conditions. Learn more and join the campaign today!


Advocates Launch Campaign to Advance Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care

As House and Senate Democrats and Republicans focus on comprehensive mental health reform, and a recent poll by the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research indicated that 71% of Americans are calling for “significant “ or “radical” changes in the way that mental illnesses and addiction are treated, leading mental health experts and advocacy groups have announced the formation of the Recovery Now! Campaign. The campaign has been created to address the crisis in our mental health service system and the personal crises faced daily by individuals and families in great distress. Click here to read the campaign launch announcement.

2015 Public Policy Priorities

Our 2015 public policy priorities focus on advocating for a recovery-focused mental health system that prevents crisis, protects rights, and promotes wellness, economic empowerment, and social inclusion. Click here to view our public policy priorities.

GAO Report on Health and Human Services Leadership Misleading, Incomplete

In 2014, Representative Tim Murphy (PA-18) engaged the GAO to enumerate the programs the Administration funds to assist persons with severe mental illness, to determine the degree to which these programs are coordinated, and to assess the evaluations done on the programs. The GAO identified over a hundred federal programs, but comes to misleading conclusions in its report. Read the GAO report and our position statement (PDF, 120KB, 1 page).

Editorial: Does the scientific evidence support the recovery model?

One of the most robust findings in schizophrenia research is that a substantial proportion of those with the illness will recover completely and many more will regain good social functioning. Click here to read the entire editorial. (PDF, 74KB, 6 pages)

For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients

New Yale study challenges the notion that biological explanations for mental illness boost compassion for the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from mental-health problems. Click here to read the findings | Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians’ empathy by Matthew S. Lebowitz1 and Woo-kyoung Ahn (PDF, 637KB, 5 pages)

New Research Briefs

NCMHR has compiled lists of references and citations to support legislative advocacy and public education efforts.

To access research and citations on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), click here (PDF, 157KB, 5 pages).

To access research and citations documenting the weak link between mental health diagnoses and violence, click here (PDF, 156KB, 5 pages).

To access research on the evidence base for peer support and recovery-oriented approaches to distress and crisis, click here (PDF, 208KB, 13 pages).

New!Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says

Under Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), a person with a serious mental health condition is mandated by a court to follow a specific treatment plan, usually requiring the person to take medication and sometimes directing where the person can live and what his or her daily activities must include. Proponents of IOC claim that it is effective in reducing violent behavior, incarcerations, and hospitalizations among individuals with serious mental health conditions. However, repeated studies have shown no evidence that mandating outpatient treatment through a court order is effective; to the limited extent that court-ordered outpatient treatment has shown improved outcomes, these outcomes appear to result from the intensive services that have been made available to participants in those clinical trials rather than from the existence of a court order mandating treatment.

Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says (PDF, 152KB, 4 pages)

The Coalition received start-up funding from the Washington-based Public Welfare Foundation. The Coalition office is located at 611 Pennsylvania Ave. SE #133 Washington, D. C. 20003.

For additional information, call 877-246-9058 (Toll Free), or send email via our contact form.