Finding Our Voice

National Empowerment Center

working with

California Network of Mental Health Clients

California Network of Mental Health Clients

        Finding our Voice is a joint project of the California Network of Mental Health Clients and the National Empowerment Center to assist client leaders throughout the state of California to play an active role in policy formation and peer support in their local communities, and to advance mental health systems transformation. These leaders are playing a key role in ensuring that systems are client-driven as emphasized in the New Freedom Commission Report (2003). This website is set up to share resources, information, problem solving ideas, and support as client leaders throughout the state of California work to transform the mental health systems in their local areas.

        This grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago National Research and Training Center is jointly funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The project also seeks to gather evidence for a client-designed and delivered training program.

California Clients Taking the Lead - CA Mental Health Services Act
            PowerPoint Presentation
            PDF file (1294KB, 37 pages)

Finding Our Voice Teleconference Notes 11/13/06.  Including update on each Region's work. (pdf 87KB - 4 pages)

emPowerment Presentation - PDF (3.25 MB, 24 pages)

Get Inspired - Stories of successful consumer-run programs.

Voices of Transformation - PDF (2MB - 104 pages), a history of four successful consumer-run statewide programs (including CNMHC) and a Guide for developing and expanding programs.  To obtain a printed copy, call 800-power2u (800-769-3728) or email via our contact page located at

California Network of Mental Health Clients Website:

Websites and information from each of the Regions in California:

A Resource List for Grant Writing, News and Updates, Not-for-profit Information, Recovery Oriented Information, Technical Assistance, General Resources

Related Articles:

Reclaiming your power during medication appointments with your psychiatrist by Patricia Deegan, Ph.D.

Confessions of a non-compliant patient,  by Judi Chamberlin

Planning Your Advocacy Effort:

Key leadership skills

What Makes a Leader?

Leadership Characteristics and Skills Quiz

Tips for Effective Advocacy

What is Mental Health Advocacy?

Effective Advocacy Happens in Groups

Creating an Advocacy Agenda; Setting Goals

Tactics to Create Change

Persistence in Advocacy

Overview of the Legislative Process with a sample letter, fact sheet, resources

Tips for Successful Advocacy Meetings with Legislators

Tips for Connecting with your Local Media

Tips for Sending Letters/FAXes to Legislators