National Empowerment Center
Mission: To carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing
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Hope, Healing, and the ADA: A New Perspective on Mental Health
In recognition of the 26th Anniversary of the ADA, join us for ice cream and discussion with Oryx Cohen of the National Empowerment Center and Co-Producer of "Healing Voices" a new documentary.
26 years after the passage of the ADA it is clear that people with mental health and substance use issues are still far from a central concern in considering who has rights and who has responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It might be the right time and place to revitalize attention to integrating people with mental health and substance use conditions into the promise of the ADA.
Please submit accommodation requests by Thursday, August 4th.
Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center announces the 30th national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors
The Alternatives Conference 2016 will be held September 19-23, 2016 - San Diego, California
The call for presentations has been extended to Monday, June 6th!
Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community: Archive Now Available
Please note there are technical difficulties for about the first 20 minutes which get resolved. Click here for PowerPoint Presentation (2.96MB)
Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)
The National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center presents a webinar that includes best practices from both the police and mental health peer perspective. Research, collaboration models, and approaches to building better relationships, as well as tools and strategies for safely collaborating with police, will be offered with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship between mental health peers and police and reducing negative outcomes.
More info at www.power2u.org/events.html
Stop FDA from Down-Classifying the Shock Device to a Class II Device Stop shock treatment
Please sign this petition to the FDA requesting that ECT machines not be downgraded to Category II and also directly contact the FDA to give testimony that there should be no down grading of the ECT machines
Visit www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment to sign the petition, and to find instructions on how to submit comments.
NEC Chief Executive Officer Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. to be the keynote speaker at the 12th Biennial Asia Pacific International Mental Health Conference Oct 24-26, 2016
Another world renowned keynote speaker is Dr Manaan Kar Ray, a UK psychiatrist who is joint lead for PROMISE, a framework transforming the nature of day to day interactions at the frontline. For more info, visit www.aspacmentalhealth16.com.au
Are you a peer respite director or manager? Help us to understand key features of peer respites!
Directors or managers of peer respites in the United States are invited to participate in the 2015 Peer Respite Essential Features (PREF) Survey. A team from Live & Learn, Inc. and the Human Services Research Institute is conducting the survey to gather information about funding, staffing, and policies and inform development and sustainability of new and existing programs. Your participation in the survey will allow us to continue to understand important characteristics of peer respites – including financing, governance, staffing, and policy and procedure. The information you provide will support efforts to open new programs, establish sustainable funding for current programs, and ultimately ensure that there are trauma-informed, person-centered alternatives to traditional crisis services for people experiencing extreme distress throughout the country.
The survey should take approximately 25 minutes to complete; there are about 50 questions. When we report the results of this survey, we will not identify you or your program by name. Whenever possible, your responses will be combined with others’ from your state and across the nation.
Responses are due by February 19, 2016.
Please click on the following link to go to the survey: https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0f8K1dtDoBR65lX
If you have questions, please contact Laysha at Laysha@LiveLearnInc.net or 617-999-4207
NEC's Event Featuring Bruce Levine Now Available!
National Empowerment Center Marches for Dignity
On August 24th, 2015, the National Empowerment Center participated in the March for Dignity and Change in Mental Health in Washington D.C.. Over 300 hundred advocates from around the country made a loud statement that day that the time for change in mental health is now.
Click here for a transcript of Acting Executive Director Oryx Cohen's speech before the march (PDF, 33KB, 1 page).
Webinar: We Are the Evidence: Evaluation of Peer Programs
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 Oryx Cohen was featured along with the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community's Marty Hadge in a SAMHSA sponsored webinar on Hearing Voices on World Mental Health Day (10/12/14). Click here to access the recorded webinar.
For more information on the Hearing Voices Network:
NEC's Technical Assistance Center Director Oryx Cohen quoted in California Health Report article touting Peer-Run Respites
NEC unveils a new video supporting the Alternatives Conference, peer-run programs, and alternatives in general.
Below is a link to a collection of recovery stories filmed at Alternatives 2013 and produced by the Cafe TA Center.
'Psychiatric survivor' says sharing her story put her on path of recovery
Leah Harris, NEC's communications and development director, national peer-support advocate and self-described "psychiatric survivor," said she made a deliberate choice to "live a life worth living" by changing the narrative of her life. Click here for the complete article.
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.
Alternatives to Suicide: Lessons from the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community
Webinar archive now available!
Alternatives to Suicide peer support groups exist because the opportunity to talk about feelings of hopelessness to empathic ears can decrease the inclination to act on suicidal feelings. This webinar, held on April 24, 2013, discussed the need for and development of peer-run support groups for people struggling with suicidal feelings and thoughts. Presenters: Janice Sorensen and Sean Donovan. Click here to access the presentation.
New study shows that people diagnosed with mental health issues more likely to be the victim of homicide than those with no diagnosis
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)
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.
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 and Linda Rosenberg testify before the Biden Task Force on Gun Violence
On January 9, 2013, Daniel B. Fisher and Linda Rosenberg testified before the Biden Task Force on Gun Violence. They agreed on the need for the federal government to sponsor a series of community dialogues on recovery. A related topic was the importance of balancing civil rights of persons labeled with mental health issues, the push for national registry of persons labeled, and the problematic nature of forced treatment. Click here to read Daniel B. Fisher's testimony. (PDF, 190KB, 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
NEW NEC Initiative: Community Recovery Dialogues
Bringing together peers, providers, family members, and others to create community and shift the culture of mental health systems. [ more… ]
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