June 2013 Newsletter
From the Director
Spring brought lots of activity for the National Coalition (NC). We led an effort to provide a thoughtful response to recent hearings called by House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Tim Murphy (R-PA). These hearings called for the defunding of SAMHSA-funded peer run programs and the Alternatives conference -- and failed to include the voice of people with lived experience who have benefited from these programs. Please click here for our response to the one-sided views presented at the House hearings last month. We also disseminated a press release in response to these hearings, which you can read here.
Our NC board has several committees that have been active. These include research, incorporation and communication. The research committee is charged with identifying funding opportunities for research, bringing them to the NC board, determining if current opportunities are discriminatory towards CSX researchers, and make recommendations regarding these opportunities. The incorporation committee is developing draft by-laws, and the communication committee is clarifying priorities in this expansive domain, so we will enhance NC communication internally and externally.
Emotional CPR (eCPR) continues to grow. Please check www.emotional-cpr.org/training.htm for frequently updated information about eCPR certification trainings. Also, we have some new resources available at www.emotional-cpr.org.
Please also take some time to review the Draft National Standards of Practice for Peer Recovery Supporters. These materials that are part of the latest draft review process that iNAPS is currently leading in collaboration with a number of national stakeholder groups to establish peer support practice standards across addiction and mental health communities. Suggestions to this document are due June 21, 2013. Click here to add your suggestions.
Finally, I also want to let you know about the work of Berkeley Copwatch an organization concerned by local and national trends in police violence against people experiencing mental distress, as increasingly police respond to these situations using violent techniques (spit hoods, hog-ties, the "Wrap"). They are working with mental health groups to discuss alternatives like eCPR, safe houses, and various possibilities to think together about community safety and care through grassroots initiatives. For more information, see: www.berkeleycopwatch.org.
These times – they are exciting. The stakes are high. The need for unity in our message has never been greater. Many people are afraid and truly do not understand what we need to recover. They don’t get that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are for all and not just for the undiagnosed!!! Share your outcomes. We must come together like never before and let our light shine.
By Raymond L. Bridge, Director of Public Policy
Budget Battle Threatens Recovery Programs
The continuing budget battle in Washington threatens Federal funding for consumer statewide network grants and consumer technical assistance centers.
While the White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate want to roll back the sequester cuts and maintain domestic spending, The Republican-controlled House approved the Ryan budget blueprint that drastically cuts domestic spending and entitlements.
Staffers on Capitol Hill tell us that cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services will be made behind closed doors, with no spending bill seeing the light of day. Our strategy this year will be to seek the support of friendly members of the House appropriations committee, and educate them about the importance of maintaining our programs.
In March the Obama Administration released the President’s budget for fiscal year 2014. (FY 2014 starts on October 1, 2013.) To find money for the President’s mental health initiative (such as money to train peer professionals), the budget would make cuts to established SAMHSA grant programs, including statewide consumer network grants.
This summer the Senate and House appropriations committees will come up with their own versions of the FY14 budget. They will prepare spending bills for domestic agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, which houses SAMHSA. Appropriators in the Senate are very supportive of our programs and will do what they can to protect them. They also want to roll back the sequester, which cut this year’s spending by 6 percent.
Meanwhile, Representative Hal Rogers (KY), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, plans to keep the sequester and cut spending for domestic agencies an additional 18 percent. With all the focus on mental health, even Republicans might be reluctant to cut SAMHSA’s budget too much. However, they could target programs they don’t consider essential, including statewide network grants and mental health technical assistance centers.
The National Coalition will be asking our members to reach out to members of the House of Representatives in the near future.
Alternatives 2013 to Be Held in Austin, Texas; Call for Presentations Now Available!
Alternatives 2013, the oldest national conference organized by and for individuals active in the mental health consumer/survivor/peer recovery movement, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas, from Wednesday, December 4, through Saturday, December 7, 2013. The theme of the conference is “Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice.”
Workshop and institute proposals are due June 28, 2013.
Open Paradigm Project – Video Testimonials
These stories starkly unveil the failure of, and harm done by, the prevailing model of mental health care. Many reflect on years lost to "illnesses" they came to realize did not have a medical basis, and discuss the myriad supports which enabled them to embrace their experiences, and integrate them into their lives. These hopeful perspectives carry great significance in light of the controversies surrounding the newest edition of the DSM, as international public and professional communities openly question the biomedical standard of care. Click here to visit the Open Paradigm Project YouTube Channel.
New Madness Radio Shows Available
David Oaks Interview on Blog Talk Radio
David Oaks, co-founder of MindFreedom International, and his brother Tony talk about David's narrow escape from death and his struggle to survive his long journey back to recovery from breaking his neck on December 1st last year. David will also talk about the future of the revolution in the mental health system. Click here for the interview. For more about David Oaks, see his web site: www.supportdavidoaks.org
Susan Rogers Receives Clifford W. Beers Award at Mental Health America’s 2013 Annual Conference
Susan Rogers was honored for her leadership and Service on June 7. Rogers is director of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is Director of Special Projects of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP). Click here to read a press release about Susan and the Clifford W. Beers Award.
Optum Health Video Project
Optum Health is making available a DVD entitled “From Despair to Hope: Recovery is the Key” along with 80 plus individuals videos from consumer participants that were part of a project that Optum Health conducted last year. These videos, when viewed by individuals new to recovery, offer hope that things can be different and that they too can see the light to the path of recovery. Click here to view the videos.
Events - Upcoming
August 27-28, 2013 - Anaheim, CA
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