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National Coalition News (NCN)

December 2009 Newsletter

Director's Welcome

I am filled with pride for what the NC has accomplished in just three and a half short years. We have every reason to be hopeful and inspired for what we will achieve together in the next period of time. We are being heard in Washington, DC and across the nation. I ask you to please consider adding your voice to the Coalition by joining as an individual member. The suggested donation is $25; click here for donation information. Here’s wishing you, your family and community a healthy, safe and happy holiday season - from the National Coalition!

Love & Peace,
Lauren Spiro

NC News

NC Victory in Medicaid Reform!

On November 3, Representatives of the National Coalition, AAPD, NCIL, ADAPT, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Center for Self-Determination and several other advocacy organizations met with Cindy Mann, Director of Center for Medicaid and State Operations, and other Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials to discuss specific ways that CMS could further Olmstead and recovery in mental health. Lauren Spiro and Daniel Fisher presented recommendations for recovery-oriented Medicaid reforms. [Click here to view the recommendations]

As a result of the National Coalition's specific recommendations, CMS sent a letter on Nov. 20, 2009, to State Medicaid Director providing guidance to States to provide individuals with the option to self-direct personal assistance services. Individual budgeting would allow persons with psychiatric disabilities and all disabilities to exercise greater choice of services, including the purchase of peer-run services. All disability advocates appreciate this move by the Obama Administration in support of community integration for all persons with disabilities. [Click here to read the letter]

Judi ChamberlinNC Announces the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award

This award is named in honor of Judi Chamberlin in recognition of her lifetime of joyful dedication to bringing hope into the lives of individuals labeled with mental illnesses around the world. The award was presented to Judi at the National Coalition’s Annual Meeting October 29, 2009 in Omaha, NE, and will be presented on an annual basis starting in 2010.

In Other News

ACT NOW to End Discrimination against People with Psychiatric Service Dogs

The deadline to make a public comment is December 17, 2009.
Please write to the DOT/ACAA about a law that discriminates against people with psychiatric service dogs who use air travel by requiring them to provide documentation of their psychiatric disability 48 hours in advance of travel; this is not required of people with others kinds of disabilities. [Click here to take action now and submit a comment].

ACT NOW to Oppose FDA Declaration of Electroshock Safety

The deadline to submit comments is January 8, 2010.
The FDA plans to reclassify electroshock machines -- and deem them safe in the absence of scientific evidence. [Click here for background information and a template letter]. Submit written comments and information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Include the Docket Number: FDA 2009-N-0392. Submit electronic comments and information by clicking here and then on "Submit Comment."

HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces Senate Confirmation of Pamela Hyde as Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

“Pamela Hyde has worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of New Mexico to expand access to health and human services programs and improve their quality,” said Secretary Sebelius. [To read the full press release, click here].

Upcoming Events

Teleconference to Cover History of Mental Health Consumer Movement

A free teleconference that will explore the history of the self-help and advocacy movement organized by individuals with psychiatric histories will be hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s ADS Center (Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health) on Thursday, December 17, 2009, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Registration will close on December 10, 2009, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. [For more information or to register, click here]. Source: CMHS Consumer Affairs E-News Nov. 19, 2009

SAVE THE DATE - Alternatives 2010.

Wednesday, September 29 - Sunday, October 3, 2010 at the Hyatt Anaheim, California. Each Alternatives conference offers in-depth technical assistance on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods. Beyond the exchange of knowledge and networking, Alternatives offers a rich social, artistic, and healing environment. [Click here for conference information and updates]. Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

Announcements

New Madness Radio Show Available Online!

Recovery and Diagnosis with Lisa Darbyshire
How can a chaotic and oppressive family life lead to trauma and extreme states? Do medications and diagnosis provide help, or can they make things worse? Psychiatric abuse survivor Lisa Darbyshire, Massachusetts organizer with the Freedom Center and the Recovery Learning Community, discusses her personal experiences of hospitalization and recovery, including the struggle with learned helplessness and dependence. [Click here to listen to the show].

For current employment opportunities, please visit the Coalition's jobs board and the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse.

The purpose of the NCN is to share information that is consistent with our mission and values and that is significant for our constituency. We are not endorsing any particular organization.