National Empowerment Center
Mission: To carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing
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Alternatives 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee
October 14th through 18th, 2015
Belief in recovery changes lives! The Alternatives Conference has offered the newest and best information about peer recovery approaches for almost thirty years. This year, we focus on the power of believing in ourselves, our cultures, and each other. Belief in the promise of peer support and recovery, along with the evidence to support it, has transformed the mental health system and helped grow a national and international community of peers and supporters.
Once each year, we gather together to share in a mutual learning process, highlighting our gifts and contributions. The Alternatives Conference reignites our passion and strengthens our commitment to create a world that honors us as full, contributing members of our communities. We are compassionate, and caring leaders who seek to build a better future by learning from each other and moving forward together.
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.
First Report On National Survey Of Peer-Run Organizations
The first report for public dissemination on the National Survey of Peer-Run Organizations is now available for download here. This report briefly describes the survey methods used and sheds light on organizational operations of 380 peer-run programs which participated in the study. More information about the project can be found here.
Reports on Medicaid reimbursement and participation in health homes will be available in the near future.
Asheville event focuses on mental health
'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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