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National Coalition News (NCN)

June 2013 Newsletter

From the Director

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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.

Ray Bridge is spearheading our efforts on Capitol Hill to track new mental health legislation proposed by the President Obama and by the Senate. The President proposed $10 million for training peer professionals—a first—but funding this year is a long shot. Prospects are better for two Senate bills with strong bipartisan support. One (SB 689) would fund education on helping people in crisis, and the other (SB 264) would create “federally qualified behavioral health centers” that provide a number of services, including peer support. Ray will continue having meetings on the Hill and keeping track of which way the legislative wind is blowing.

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.


Lauren Spiro

Lauren Spiro


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Policy Matters

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.
Scholarship applications are due July 22, 2013.
Click here for information.

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

New shows available, featuring “The Politics of Language” with Sera Davidow, and “Queer Poetry InBetweenland” with Jacks McNamara. Visit www.madnessradio.net to listen to these and other shows!

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
The International Association of Peer Supporters (formerly National Association of Peer Specialists) 7th Annual Conference: Cultivating an International Culture of Compassion

For more information, visit www.naops.org.

September 26-28, 2013 - Hartford, CT
The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy 2013 Annual Rights Conference

For 31 years, NARPA has provided an educational conference with inspiring keynoters and outstanding workshops. We learn from each other and come together as a community committed to social justice for people with psychiatric labels.(Click here to reserve your room at the special conference rate) For more information, visit the website at www.narpa.org, contact NARPA at narpa@aol.com or (256) 650-6311.

December 2-3, 2013 – Austin, TX
Two-day eCPR certification, open for registration.


December 4-7, 2013 - Austin, TX
Alternatives 2013: Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice

Visit www.power2u.org/alternatives2013 for updates and registration information.

Our individual and collective wellness is enhanced through creating caring, resilient, and strong communities that honor and embrace diversity. This year’s theme reflects the importance of valuing each individual as we build inclusive communities. Alternatives 2013 will serve as a catalyst for reenergizing our communities by providing opportunities to share skills and information about innovative peer-delivered supports, community-building initiatives, mental health recovery, wellness, and systems change. Proposals to present workshops or institutes at Alternatives are due June 28, 2013. Scholarship applications are due July 22, 2013. Click here for more information.

Events - Ongoing

Monthly National Networking Teleconferences Will Alternate Between Day and Evening!

Because some people have let us know that they would like to participate in the monthly national networking teleconferences of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse but they can’t do so during the workday, we will be alternating daytime (on the third Monday of the month, unless that is a holiday, in which case the call will take place on the fourth Monday of the month) and evening hours (on the third Tuesday of the month) for the teleconferences.

The next teleconference will be held Monday, June 17, at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, 11 a.m. MT and 10 a.m. PT.

The July call will take place on Tuesday, July 16, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT.

The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers srogers@mhasp.org with the word “Agenda” in the subject line. In addition, if you plan to participate, even if you don’t want to suggest an agenda item it would be helpful if you would email Susan Rogers at srogers@mhasp.org; this will make it easier to provide the participants with teleconference minutes. Thanks!

Source: http://www.mhselfhelp.org

Employment Opportunities

There are some great peer employment opportunities currently available. Please click here and here for information on how to apply.

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