Alternatives Conference 2017
Save the Date
August 18-21, 2017
The National Empowerment Center, a National Consumer Technical Assistance Center, is pleased to announce that the Alternatives Conference 2017 will be held in Boston, Massachusetts at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday evening, August 18 through Monday, August 21, 2017. Each Alternatives Conference offers in-depth technical assistance on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods.
The Alternatives 2017 Conference Committee, which includes consumer/survivor/peer leaders across the nation, is seeking proposals for presentations and is interested in including diverse perspectives. We invite everyone to consider becoming a presenter. First-time presenters are especially welcome. Learning from each other is a clear example of self-help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action.
Applications to present workshops at Alternatives 2017 are due by March 17, 2017 and can be submitted online or by mail. Detailed information including the categories for presentations is available at: Alternatives 2017 Call for Presentations.
The conference schedule and information on how to make hotel reservations at the Boston Park Plaza are also available at the Alternatives 2017 website
We hope to see you at Alternatives 2017 in Boston!
New at the NEC Store
Heartbeats of Hope:
The Empowerment Way to Recover Your Life
By Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD
Autographed copies available while they last.
Check it out at the NEC Store
Free Webinar - A Future for Early Intervention? Lessons Learned and the Potential Transformation of Specialized Early Psychosis Services
This webinar will explore contemporary practices in specialized early psychosis services with an emphasis on service gaps in the areas of trauma, ethnic/racial disparities/cultural humility, and peer support. The presenters will cover current practice innovations and describe an agenda for increased peer leadership and transformative change within early intervention.
Presenters: Nev Jones, PhD, Dina Tyler, B. Bonner, and F. Asha Passalacqua
Click for more details, or to register.
New study by HHS shows benefits of peer delivered services
Peers in a variety of settings are shown to inspire hope, facilitate empowerment and reduce frequency of hospitalization.
Click to view study by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE] (PDF, 1.24MB, 90 pages)
Toolkit for Evaluating Peer Respites Now Available!
The National Empowerment Center supported Live and Learn and the Human Services Research Institute to develop a Toolkit for Evaluating Peer Respites that is now available on our website by clicking here.
This toolkit can be useful not only for peer respites, but also for anyone who wants to evaluate their organization or program. Click to download the toolkit (PDF, 841KB, 85 pages)
NEC's Technical Assistance Center Director Oryx Cohen quoted in California Health Report article touting Peer-Run Respites
Peer respites for mental health consumers prevent hospitalizations
New study shows that people diagnosed with mental health issues more likely to be the victim of homicide than those with no diagnosis
Click here for a summary from the American Psychiatric Association. Click here to read the full study.
So You Want to Start a Peer-run Warmline? A Guide to Maintaining a Sustainable Warmline
This guide, co-authored by the National Empowerment Center and the Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, draws on the advice and experience of existing warmlines and provides tips on fundraising, marketing/outreach, training, supervision, data collection, evaluation, and much, much more! Click to view/download (PDF, 12.2MB, 29 pages)
New Study: Compulsory Treatment Unjustified, Does not Reduce Hospital Readmission
This study, published in The Lancet (March 2013), concludes: "In well coordinated mental health services the imposition of compulsory supervision does not reduce the rate of readmission of psychotic patients. We found no support in terms of any reduction in overall hospital admission to justify the significant curtailment of patients' personal liberty." Click here to read the full article (PDF, 274KB, 7 pages)
Training and Technical Assistance Opportunities
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).
"Free Your Mind Projects" Radio Show featuring Daniel B. Fisher on Gun Violence, Mental Health, and Emotional CPR
Dr. Fisher discusses his personal story of recovery and Emotional CPR. Click here to listen to the show (streaming audio, 56 minutes). Click here for complete description of the show. (PDF, 88KB, 2 pages)
Daniel B. Fisher Publishes Letter in the Boston Globe: Outpatient Commitment would Harm Patients in Need
NEC Executive Director Daniel B. Fisher writes that making outpatient commitment possible in Massachusetts would be the wrong move. Click here to read the letter.
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
So, What's Wrong with Hearing Voices?
Daniel Hazen and Oryx Cohen Featured on Major Provider Website
Recently Daniel Hazen and Oryx Cohen co-presented on the worldwide Hearing Voices Network at an event in New York City. The Editor-in Chief of Behavioral Healthcare, Dennis Grantham, was in the audience and wrote a fantastic article about what he learned. It is now the lead story of their publication, and you can check it out at: www.behavioral.net/article/so-whats-wrong-hearing-voices
Inner Voices, Inner Strengths
Peer-support approach challenges long-held views of mental illness
GLENS FALLS, N.Y.
Brad Morrow had his first encounter with the mental health system when he was in his late 30s.
In the space of 15 minutes, a psychiatrist he’d never met before told him he had bipolar disorder, gave him some prescriptions and told him to come back in a month.
The diagnosis, so quickly pronounced, became “like a death sentence,” more shattering than the psychic pain for which he was seeking help, Morrow recalled. He’d previously considered himself a “really creative person,” but the diagnosis changed that. Now he had a label -- and a stigma.
“I felt like my life was a complete fraud, and everything I did and all my accomplishments were based on an illness,” Morrow said. [Click to read article at Hill Country Observer]
Peers ‘who have been there’ guide recovery
Article discussing the role of the peer support movement, in Portland OR, and beyond. Click here to read the article.
Mental Health Messages Actually Increase Stigma
The message that “mental illness is just a disease”
isn’t reducing stigma. It’s actually making the stigma worse... Instead of
emphasizing how different people with mental disorders are, especially when the
scientific field has many open questions, messages should acknowledge that
everyone struggles with ups and downs. [Click here to read the full article]
Intervoice Letter to Parents of Children who Hear Voices
Open letter to Oprah Winfrey in response to her program
about “The 7-Year-Old Schizophrenic”
We are writing this letter in response to your program about “The 7-Year-Old
Schizophrenic”. This concerned Jani, a child who hears voices, and was broadcast
on the 6th October 2009.
We do so in the hope we can provide a more hopeful and positive alternative
to the generally pessimistic picture offered by the members of the mental health
community featured in the program, and in the accompanying article on your
website. [Read more...]
Judge in NYC rules that 4300 mental health consumers are unduly segregated
in adult psychiatric homes
New York State discriminated against thousands of mentally ill people in New
York City by leaving them in privately run adult homes, which effectively
replaced state-run psychiatric hospitals more than a generation ago but turned
out to be little more than institutions themselves, a federal judge ruled on
Tuesday. [Click to read full
New Review of 20 studies shows that being labeled with mental illness does
not increase the risk of violence
Click to view - Schizophrenia and Violence: Systematic Review and
Meta-Analysis [PDF, 15 Pages, 944KB]
Psychiatric peer review touted: Care termed a low-cost, effective
People with psychiatric illness get better care from other people with a
psychiatric history than from traditional doctors and psychologists in a
traditional medical setting, according to Daniel B. Fisher. [Click
to read full article]
Consumer-Directed Medicaid Services more Effective than
The above SAMHSA funded study by Ce Shen, Ph.D. and others published in
the November 2008 Psychiatric Services found that self-directed care
works well for persons with mental illnesses. [Read more...]
New research study finds unlocked, mental health consumer-managed, crisis residential program produce better
results than locked, inpatient psychiatric facilities
For adults with severe psychiatric problems, consumer-managed residential
programs may be the way to go, a new study suggests.
Title of Study: A Randomized Trial of a Mental Health
Consumer-Managed Alternative to Civil Commitment for Acute Psychiatric Crisis. [Click
How Consumers STEP UP to Design a Truly Recovery-based Mental Health System
Click to view Dan Fisher's article published in National Council Magazine
Reducing Seclusion and Restraint:
Reducing Seclusion and Restraint in Texas
Six Core Strategies to Reduce Seclusion and Restraint Use
The National Empowerment Center is funded in part by: