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.
Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. People who have been through the training consistently report that the skills they learned have helped them communicate better in all their relationships. They tell us that eCPR is a way of life. Presenters used real life stories to explore how eCPR is healing communities, including:
How eCPR is being incorporated into diverse cultures and communities across the U.S. and overseas
How eCPR is being used to heal trauma and intergenerational violence
How eCPR is an effective suicide prevention approach
How eCPR is useful for law enforcement/public safety personnel
Spiro presents at Annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism
Lauren Spiro and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism
held at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia September 10-11, 2012.
Lauren Spiro presented at the Symposium on lessons learned on her journey of recovery, as well as the National Coalition’s 2012 policy priorities and their Emotional CPR project. "It was an honor to be part of Carter Center’s effort to educate journalists about more accurately and positively portraying mental health in the media," said Spiro.
Several hundred people participated in the first Emotional CPR webinar on Feb. 16, 2012
NCMHR Members and Friends Rally for Real Medicaid Reform
On September 21, 2011 NCMHR and Washington, DC-area advocates participated in the Rally for Real Medicaid Reform, sponsored by a variety of cross-disability, aging, and civil rights groups. "It was an important opportunity to make our voices heard and stand up for a health care system that meets our real needs," said Lauren Spiro, NCMHR Director.
Health Care Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for Behavioral Health Care
Daniel Fisher and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
25th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy
held at The Carter Center in Atlanta Nov. 5-6, 2009.
More than 150 mental health advocates, policy-makers, practitioners,
educators, and researchers convened at the symposium to discuss “Health Care
Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for Behavioral Health Care Reform.” Dr.
Fisher presented on the topic of comparative effectiveness research in mental
health. He drew on personal lived experience as well as research carried out at
the NEC. He pointed out the importance of integrating persons' lived experience
into any research into recovery and wellbeing. He emphasized that participatory,
qualitative, action research is best suited to gathering evidence as to the most
effective means of assisting people to recover. For more information on the
symposium, please visit www.cartercenter.org.
Campaign for Mental Health Reform
At the Campaign for Mental Health Reform dinner, March 18, 2009 were: (L to R)
Dan Fisher, First Lady of Massachusetts Diane Patrick, Lauren Spiro, and First
Lady of Colorado Jeannie Lewis Ritter
On March18, 2009, the Campaign for Mental Health Reform held its annual dinner in
Washington, DC, to present awards to Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Representative
Pete Stark (D-CA) and the First Lady of Massachusetts, Diane Patrick, who has
been very honest about her battle to overcome depression. Many grateful words
and warm wishes for a speedy recovery were given to mental health and healthcare
champion Senator Edward Kennedy, who was receiving medical treatment in Florida
on this celebratory evening.
Speaking Up and Speaking Out for Mental Health in the Washington, DC
Metropolitan Region: A Call to Action
On September 16, 2008, NCMHCSO brought together 150 consumer/survivors,
advocates, providers, and administrators from Washington, DC, Maryland, and
Virginia whose collective knowledge and experience resulted in a report that
highlights 6 goals with recommendations to transform mental health care in the
DC Metropolitan region.
"It was inspiring to see so many people giving their voices towards transforming
not only mental health services but society itself." — Conference participant
Senator Tom Harkin, of Iowa, shares a special time
with Dan Fisher, Rachel Freund, and Lauren Spiro at the Presidential Forum in
Columbus Ohio, July 26, 2008.
This Forum featured the 2008 Presidential Candidates. John McCain and Senator
Harkin, who served as the surrogate for Barak Obama who was in the middle east,
presented their visions for the future of disability policy in America followed
by questions by Judy Woodruff (news anchor and journalist for "The News Hour
with Jim Lehrer". [Click here
to view the archived webcast of this historic event]
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Lauren Spiro (National Coalition Policy Director)
NATIONAL FORUM ON EQUALITY, OPPORTUNITY & ACCESS
On November 2, 2007, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, along with more than 20 other national disability rights organizations, co-hosted the Presidential Candidates’ Forum: A National Forum on Equality, Opportunity and Access, in Manchester, New Hampshire. This historic, day-long event featured presidential candidates speaking on disability issues and answering questions from the audience.
“You could feel the excitement in the auditorium on this historic day that brought together unprecedented numbers of cross-disability groups with most of the presidential candidates,” said Lauren Spiro, the National Coalition’s policy director.
“Ted Kennedy Jr. said, ‘We must end social and political isolation. It is not the disability but society’s perception that is the most disabling condition.’ ” The event was covered by television and was Webcast live.
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery endorse the March for Mental Health and Dignity
We of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery endorse the March for Mental Health and Dignity, a peaceful social justice movement that is the culmination of decades of fighting for an end to prejudice and discrimination against people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. By proclaiming May 4 National Mental Health & Dignity Day, the goal of this movement is to achieve equality under the law, the right of all individuals to choose their own paths to wellness and recovery, and the right to be the architects of their own destinies. We stand with this movement for social justice, on the shoulders of giants, in the struggle to end all civil rights violations. We join with them in their efforts to help create a different future for individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses, and pay homage to the millions who have gone before. On May 4th, groups in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia will hold events in their communities to celebrate wellness and recovery, and to raise their voices and demand that all individuals are treated as equal members of society." Together, we are strong.
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).
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.
Mental Health Advocates Decry Forced Treatment Provision in “Doc Fix” Bill
WASHINGTON (3/28/14) – The bill rushed through the House of Representatives by voice vote yesterday to patch Medicare regulations includes a highly controversial provision that has nothing to do with Medicare, and that would subject people in crisis to forced treatment. Studies have shown that such force causes trauma and drives people away from treatment, mental health advocates warned.
New Introduction to Emotional CPR Training Video is now available
A Public Health Education Program
This DVD uses a combination of discussion and scenarios taken from real life to illustrate the values and practice of Emotional CPR (eCPR), an exciting and innovative public health education program designed to teach people how to support others through emotional crisis/distress and into recovery.
Nelson Mandela was a giant, the likes of which we may not see again in our life time. He was an extraordinary advocate for human rights and defender of our shared humanity, He embodied peace making, and worked tirelessly for reconciliation and dignity for all. Click here for some inspiring quotes, in his own words.
ACTION ALERT: Mental Health Recovery Programs, Protection and Advocacy in Jeopardy, Action Needed
SAMHSA grants for statewide mental health consumer networks and the five mental health consumer/supporter technical assistance centers are in danger of steep cuts or elimination. Fundiing for protection and advocacy agencies could be slashed. Immediate action is needed. Click here to read more.
Mental Health Advocates Blast Rep. Tim Murphy's Bill as a Costly Step Backward, to the Days When a Mental Illness Diagnosis Was a Life Sentence
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Tim Murphy introduced legislation that, if passed, would reverse some of the advances of the last 30 years in mental health services and supports. It would exchange low-cost services that have good outcomes for higher-cost yet ineffective interventions, according to the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition of 32 statewide organizations and others representing individuals with mental illnesses; the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the non-profit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities; and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization. Click here to read the entire press release.
National Mental Health Coalition Calls “Today Show” Electroshock Segment One-Sided
Coalition Recommends Balanced Coverage of Controversial Intervention
WASHINGTON, DC (8/22/13) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) urges “The Today Show” to provide balanced coverage of the risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which grand mal seizures are electrically induced, usually to treat severe depression. The NCMHR is responding to a one-sided segment about ECT that “Today” ran on August 20, 2013.
“We are disappointed, especially because two NBC producers had sought out ECT survivors who could attest to the disabling effects of this controversial treatment,” says NCMHR director Lauren Spiro, who was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. “The producers were given contact information for five willing individuals, but chose not to include them.” The producers later called this an editorial decision.
NCMHR Responds to Torrey/Jaffe Article Attacking SAMHSA, Promoting Involuntary Treatment
We are writing to respond to an article in the National Review online (August 15, 2013) by E. Fuller Torrey and D.J. Jaffe. Dr. Torrey heads the Treatment Advocacy Center, whose mission is to expand the use of involuntary outpatient commitment (also called Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or AOT) throughout the country.
Dr. Torrey does not believe that individuals with mental health diagnoses – such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression – can recover. He is wrong. We – members of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (a coalition of 32 statewide organizations representing individuals with mental health conditions) – are among the millions of individuals who have recovered despite the fact that we have been diagnosed with such disorders. Click here to read the full 8-page rebuttal (PDF, 143KB, 8 pages).
Letter to President Obama
On July 2, 2013 the National Coalition sent a letter to President Obama with copies to selected others regarding our recommendations for including people with the lived experience of mental health recovery in dialogues, meetings and pertinent opportunities to discuss mental health in America. Click to view letter (PDF, 162KB, 4 pages)
Community treatment orders 'don't reduce psychiatric readmissions'
This study of community treatment orders (CTOs) in patients with psychosis is reported as being the largest of its kind. Its findings support those of two previous trials, which also found no benefit from CTOs in reducing readmissions. Click here to read a summary of the study.
eCPR (Emotional CPR):
A Tool & a Process of Peacemaking
Lauren Spiro | April 4, 2013
A few months ago I had the great honor of speaking with Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, after a talk he had given locally here in Washington, DC. We spoke about eCPR and there was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “We are in the same line of work. We are peacemakers.” It was a profound statement that inspired me to think more about eCPR as a tool of peacemaking. Click to read the full article at the Mad In America blog
I GOT BETTER Campaign - Executive Summary of Findings
The I GOT BETTER Campaign seeks to understand the factors contributing to individual recovery. Survey results clearly show that many individuals (even those with so-called severe mental illness) can and do achieve stable, medication-free wellness. And 97% of Follow-up Survey respondents with a psychiatric diagnosis affirmed they had “experienced at least some recovery from mental or emotional problems.” Click here to read the full report.
NC has been very busy strategizing about our next legislative steps
Daniel B. Fisher, Lauren Spiro, and Ray Bridge (from L to R): met recently
staff of Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow to discuss how new mental
health legislation can
support peer-delivered training programs, peer-run
programs and use of peer specialists.
Obama administration to launch mental health dialogue
The Obama administration is planning a national campaign to encourage the discussion of mental health issues in light of recent mass shootings.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will lead the effort, which will begin within weeks, Sebelius said Tuesday.
"There is no question that the recent tragedy in Newtown broke the hearts of the nation," Sebelius told a medical conference in Washington, D.C. "But it also gives us an opportunity to address some important issues that have gone unaddressed for too long."
The administration called for the dialogue in its January recommendations on preventing gun violence. Four of President Obama's 23 executive actions on the issue addressed mental health.
The Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) Team can assist you in your work through free training opportunities, telephone consultations, email resources, peer learning, webcasts, distance learning, and knowledge products. The BRSS TACS Team is a consortium, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), dedicated to promoting wide-scale adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from substance use and/or mental health conditions. Click here to access the TA Request Form (Word Doc, 2 pages).
CARF International Endorses Emotional CPR
CARF International recommends eCPR as “a holistic, empowering approach to assisting persons served to cope with emotional crisis”. In their 2013 Behavioral Healthcare standards manual, it is included as an example under the training requirement for direct service providers. CARF is the largest behavioral healthcare accrediting organization in the world.
International Association of Chiefs of Police Recommends eCPR
eCPR was recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). According to a recent report, “Law enforcement personnel who learn eCPR will be better equipped to efficiently and effectively resolve a crisis call involving people in emotional distress, thereby reducing potential escalation, harm, or injury. eCPR is recommended by the IACP as a way to enrich CIT curricula.”
"Free Your Mind Projects" Radio Show featuring Daniel B. Fisher on Gun Violence, Mental Health, and Emotional CPR
National Coalition Representing Individuals with Psychiatric Diagnoses Lauds President Obama’s Recommendations to Contain Gun Violence
WASHINGTON (1-17-2013) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition of 32 statewide organizations representing individuals with mental health conditions, joins with other Americans to thank President Obama for taking bold and decisive action against the shocking escalation of gun violence in America.
NCMHR supports the President's statement that people labeled with mental illnesses are far more frequently the targets than the perpetrators of violence. “However,” said Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., a founder of NCMHR and himself diagnosed with schizophrenia, “we are concerned that several of the recommendations will increase the fear of, and discrimination against, individuals with mental health conditions. For example, expanded reporting of potential violence by mental health professionals to local authorities will inevitably result in people concealing information from their service providers, and deter people from voluntarily seeking mental health services." Click here to read the rest of the press release.
National Empowerment Center (NEC) Calls for Peer-delivered Community Services Instead of More Forced Treatment
"The best means to help people recover from mental health issues is by funding more voluntary, community-based services delivered by people who have ourselves recovered: people who relate mutually or peers. Peers uniquely connect with persons in distress in a non-stigmatizing, egalitarian manner because we have been through similar experiences. Peers operate respite centers, which are alternatives to more traumatic hospitalization, and work as wellness coaches in health centers to help integrate mental health and medical care. Peers also teach the public how to help each other through emotional distress by a peer-developed program called emotionalCPR (eCPR). Also peers are learning community-based, voluntary Open Dialogue treatment from Finland." Click to view Press Release
NCMHR Mourns the Newtown School Shooting, Calls for De-Linking Violence and Mental Health Issues
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) wishes to express deep sympathy for all the families of the victims of this unconscionable tragedy. Words cannot convey the horror of the senseless loss of so many innocent young lives. There is an understandable national outcry for answers, and demands for policy changes to prevent more of these kinds of violent outbreaks in our society. Yet simplistic calls for more “mental health” treatment for individuals ignore the complexity of the problems we face as a nation.
There is no evidence of increased violence among those with mental health issues. Rather, these tragedies are an outgrowth of a culture of violence in which guns are glorified in media and entertainment, and weapons are accessed with ease. In addition, we view these acts as inextricably linked to the unraveling of our social fabric and the disintegration of communities and families. We believe that social and health policy should be aimed at community-based, peer-run programs supporting providers, families, and communities to address trauma and to promote connected communities of support, tolerance, and understanding.
Please see the links below for more critical perspectives on the Newtown school shootings.
HHS announces formation of the new Administration for Community Living
All Americans – including people with disabilities and seniors – should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions. To help meet these needs, HHS created a new organization, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) with the goal of increasing access to community supports and full participation, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities. More at www.hhs.gov/acl
Occupy the APA Is a Success!
By Susan Rogers, National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, more than 200 dedicated human rights activists, most of whom had firsthand experience with the mental health system, gathered inside Friends Center in Philadelphia to rally before marching to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. At the Convention Center, many activists ripped up their psychiatric labels while, inside, thousands of psychiatrists attended the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, where a key topic was the controversial proposed new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the DSM-5 – due to be published in May 2013. Click here to read the entire article.
Coalition of Individuals with Psychiatric Labels Supports Protestors’ Efforts to “Occupy” the American Psychiatric Association Convention
WASHINGTON, DC (5/3/12) – The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition comprising 32 statewide organizations of individuals in recovery from mental health conditions, supports an upcoming peaceful protest of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), the controversial “bible” of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). On Saturday, May 5, 2012, as thousands of psychiatrists congregate in Philadelphia for the APA Annual Meeting, individuals with psychiatric labels and others will converge in a global campaign to oppose the APA’s proposed new edition, the DSM-5, scheduled for publication in May 2013. [ Read Press Release ]
Nationwide Survey of Peer-Run Organizations and Consumer-Operated Services is Underway
This study, being conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, will contribute to information on the role peer-run organizations and consumer-operated services are playing in the mental health system and in our communities. The study will provide data for planning, reimbursement, and sustainability, and will be important for diffusing the peer-run model, and educating the government, the organizations, and advocates. It will also allow us to understand the challenges faced by peer-run organizations as the system changes and reforms are implemented. Participation by organizations in all states is necessary. Results will be shared with peers, advocates, and government agencies that support mental health. www.peersri.org/projects.html
NCMHR Accepting Nominations for At-Large Board Members
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is accepting nominations until June 27 4pm EDT 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 (Word doc, 46KB, 4 pages).
Farewell to Carole Ann Glover
Advocates across the country are saddened by the sudden passing of the hurricane of hope, Carole Ann Glover, Executive Director of Meaningful Minds of Lousiana, and original NCMHR board member. Click to view words of praise (PDF, 220KB, 3 pages)
National Mental Health Coalition Calls
"Dr. Oz" Electroshock Show One-Sided
Coalition Recommends Balanced Coverage of Controversial Intervention
WASHINGTON, DC (1/26/12) - The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) calls 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.
National Coalition to work with SAMHSA on BRSS TACS
The National Coalition is pleased to be part of a large SAMHSA contract to support wide-spread adoption of recovery, recovery supports, recovery support services, and recovery-oriented systems of care across the United States". Click here to read more about this new TA Center (PDF, 398KB, 2 pages).
Forced Treatment Doesn’t Work
Here is an excerpt from the USA Today OpEd written by Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse:
Studies have shown that what works is not force but access to effective services. We don't need to change the laws to make it easier to lock people up; existing laws provide for that when warranted. Instead, we need to create and fund effective community-based mental health services and supports that would make it attractive for people to come in and receive care, and that would support them in their recovery. We also must end the discrimination that discourages people from seeking help. [Click here to access the USA Today OpEd] [Click here for a version with complete references]
Susan Rogers Receives the 2011 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award
Sally Zinman gave Susan Rogers the award at the 2011 National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery annual open meeting in Orlando, FL. The Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award recognizes Judi's lifetime of joyful dedication to bringing hope into the lives of individuals labeled with mental illnesses around the world.
Summaries of Alternatives 2011 Wellness Workshops Now Online
National Coalition member organization P.E.E.R.S. has created summaries of some of the 2011 wellness-related workshops, as well as a synopsis of SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde's presentation.
NCMHR to Partner in New Technical Assistance Center
NCMHR will provide consumer input to the Center for Social Innovation, who was awarded the contract for the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS)." The purpose of this project is to provide policy and practice analysis, as well as training and technical assistance, to States, providers, and systems to increase the adoption and implementation of recovery supports (e.g., peer-operated services, shared decision making, supported employment) for people with behavioral health problems. This project furthers efforts to address the needs of individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. For more information, click here.
Alternative Care for Psychosis: Preventing Schizophrenia
Open Dialogue has achieved remarkable success helping people through extreme states labeled 'psychosis' and 'schizophrenia' while relying much less on medication and hospitalization.
National Coalition Mourns the Death of Senator
Edward M. Kennedy
Dan Fisher shares with Senator Kennedy how grateful the mental health community
was that the Senator has helped the recovery of consumers through his work on health care reform and parity.
They were at the Campaign for Mental Health Reform's Gala Dinner in Washington,
April 16, 2008.
WASHINGTON (8/26/09) – The National Coalition for Mental Health
Recovery (NCMHR) deeply mourns the death of Senator
Edward M. Kennedy, an ardent and lifelong champion of the rights of people with
disabilities and of all Americans.
Sen. Kennedy understood to his very core the importance of involving all
Americans – including people who are homeless, people living in poverty, people
with physical and/or psychiatric disabilities, [Click
to view press release...]
The Coalition received start-up funding from the Washington-based Public
The Coalition office is located at 2759 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE Suite 201, Washington, D. C. 20032
For additional information, contact: Lauren Spiro, 877-246-9058 (Toll Free),
or send email via our contact form.