National Empowerment Center
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PeerLink Evaluation Report by Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health
The last decade has experienced a substantial increase in the development of peer-provided services for adults with serious mental illness, yet empirical evidence supporting these interventions unfortunately lags behind their rapid proliferation. The following report contains findings from a multi-pronged naturalistic evaluation of the PeerLink Pilot project, which focused particularly on individuals with a history of recurrent hospitalizations in Wisconsin and Tennessee from December 2009 through August 2010. The aims of the evaluation were to measure the outcomes of the pilot program and its impact on the lives of people with mental illness, as well as to gain a further understanding of the experiences of both peers and clinical staff involved in this process.
Click to view/download the PeerLink Evaluation Report (PDF, 368KB, 50 pages)
Mad Maps Guide
Check out this great new guide from the Icarus Project! THE FIRST MAD MAPS GUIDE IS HERE! Madness & Oppression: Paths to Personal Transformation and Collective Liberation. Download for free or purchase through AK Press by clicking here.
Webinar: Healing from Trauma by Centering Health and Wellness in Social Justice Movements
Note: This is the second of two webinars led by trans and gender non-conforming communities of color. We apologize that the webcams did not get recorded. However, the audio works just fine. Enjoy.
Webinar: Examining Root Causes of Trauma and the Way State Sanctioned Violence Disproportionately Impacts Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Communities of Color
Click here for the PowerPoint (2.6MB)
Peer Support Resources Website
This website was created as a way to share resources with those interested in understanding, implementing or working in peer-to-peer support roles (particularly those that exist within mental health services and/or that are intended for individuals who are or have experienced trauma, emotional distress, psychiatric diagnosis and other significant life challenges). We hope that this site will keep growing over time and we look to YOU to help us do that with your questions, suggestions and any tools and resources you may want to offer.
Website - www.psresources.info
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:
From the Ground Up: How to Build your own Peer-to-Peer Recovery Center
This guide on how to build a recovery center was developed by the addictions community but can apply to peer-to-peer mental health communities as well. The guide includes a letter to the mental health community written by the National Empowerment Center's Oryx Cohen. Click here to access the guide directly.
Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook
This guide was created by the National Center on Trauma-Informed Care as a technical assistance document to help make trauma-informed peer support available to women who receive or have received services in behavioral health or other human service systems. It is designed as a resource for peer supporters in these or other settings who want to learn how to integrate trauma-informed principles into their relationships with the women they support or into the peer support groups of which they are members. The goal is to provide peer supporters both male and female with the understanding, tools, and resources needed to engage in culturally responsive, trauma-informed peer support relationships with women. To download the entire guide, click here (PDF, 9.61MB, 96 pages). To access individual chapters, click here.
Study by a team led by Dr. Nancy Andreason shows significant loss of brain tissue as a result of antipsychotic medication.
Long-term Antipsychotic Treatment and Brain Volumes | A Longitudinal Study of First-Episode Schizophrenia
"Antipsychotics are effective medications for reducing some of the target clinical symptoms of schizophrenia: psychotic symptoms. In medicine we are aware of many instances in which improving target symptoms worsens other symptoms. Hormone therapy relieves menopausal symptoms but increases stroke risk. Nonsteroid alti-inflammatory drugs relieve pain but increase the likelihood of duodenal ulcers and gastro intestinal tract bleeding. It is possible that, although antipsychotics relieve psychosis and its attendant suffering, these drugs may not arrest the pathophysiologic processes underlying schizophrenia and may even aggravate progressive brain tissue volume reductions." Click here to read full article (PDF, 184KB, 10 pages, from ARCH GEN PSYCHIATRY/VOL68 (NO.2), FEB 2011)
Critiques of the "Broken Brain" Model of Mental Health Conditions
Dr. Richard Bentall's critique of biological psychiatry (April 2013)
There is little evidence that the biological approach to psychiatry is benefiting patients. Outcomes for patients suffering from ‘schizophrenia’ have not improved since the Victorian age and an increasing number of people are disabled by psychiatric conditions. This is precisely the opposite to what has happened in physical medicine, where genuine advances have led to improved outcomes and reduced disability. Click to read the critique (PDF, 127KB, 5 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)
I GOT BETTER Campaign - Executive Summary of Findings
The I GOT BETTER Campaign seeks to understand the factors contributing to individual recovery. Survey results clearly show that many individuals (even those with so-called severe mental illness) can and do achieve stable, medication-free wellness. And 97% of Follow-up Survey respondents with a psychiatric diagnosis affirmed they had “experienced at least some recovery from mental or emotional problems.” Click here to read the full report.
Report on the FDA hearing Jan. 2011 on whether ECT devices should remain as a category III device
The United States government is taking a closer look at electroshock treatment, long a controversial treatment for severe depression and other psychiatric disorders, to determine if the therapy should be subject to more stringent oversight or reclassified as lower-risk. Click to read article at the Canadian Medicial Association Journal
Enhancing the Delivery of Healthcare: Eliminating Health Disparities through a Culturally and Linguistically Centered Integrated Health Care Approach
Research shows that treating behavioral health conditions as early as possible, holistically, close to a person’s home and community, and in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner leads to the best health outcomes. Integrated behavioral and physical health care is gaining significant momentum across the nation as a preferred approach to providing optimal care for behavioral health conditions. This approach is more accessible and less stigmatizing than referral to specialty behavioral health care settings. Click here to download (PDF, 318KB, 28 pages)
Free Podcasts and Slides from Self-Determination Summit Available
Learn more about self-determination in a time of economic uncertainty, with an emphasis on person-directed recovery, peer-run services, economic security, and transparency and accountability in behavioral health care. Featuring presentations from Debbie Whittle, NEC TAC Director and NEC Executive Director Daniel Fisher. To access the podcasts and slide presentations, click here.
Voice and Community Dialogue Training Program
Michigan, July 2012
Coming off Psychiatric Drugs
Housing Resources and Policies in Support of Olmstead Implementation
These two recently issued documents describe available housing resources and policies in support of Olmstead implementation efforts, which are the result of ongoing collaborative efforts between Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
National Disability Leadership Alliance - Principles to Ensure Consumer-Driven Managed Care
The National Disability Leadership Alliance has developed the following principles and urges that they be applied fully by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and individual state Medicaid programs as they examine ways to broaden the application of managed care to beneficiaries with significant disabilities in the interest of containing spiraling health care costs. The National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a coalition of 14 leading national disability organizations led by individuals living with significant disabilities themselves and supported by grassroots constituencies living with disabilities in all states and the District of Columbia. Click here to read the document (PDF, 239KB, 6 pages).
Emotional CPR Webinar - An Introduction to Assisting Others Through Emotional Crisis
Open Dialogue and Dialogical Principles
Inner and outer voices in the present moment of family and network therapy, by Jaakko Seikkula
Becoming Dialogical: Psychotherapy or a way of life? - by Jaakko Seikkula
Emotional CPR (eCPR)
Emotional CPR (eCPR) is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing.
New Organizational Sustainability Training Available
The CAFÉ TA Center has created a two-part training on organizational sustainability. Organizational Sustainability, Part 1 is an overview of current trends in the nonprofit arena and the impact these could have on consumer run organizations. The presentation also builds a base of understanding for organizational leaders and partners that will enable them to effectively begin a sustainability process to build the capacity and longevity of their organization.
New Online Training: Getting a Degree through Supported Education
Too often, individuals with mental health challenges have difficulty succeeding in a post-secondary educational environment. With the onset of psychiatric symptoms often occurring in late adolescence and early adulthood, many people find their education interrupted, and consumers often have a desire to return to their higher education later in life. Supported education offers a means for consumers to share in the professional success and sense of empowerment that comes with educational achievement. You can view Getting a Degree through Supported Education on the CAFE TAC website by following this link.
Organizational Sustainability, Part Two is a compliment to Part One, and provides detailed guidance on developing a functional sustainability plan for your organization. The training features a targeted focus on four key areas; Accountability, Financial Security, Organizational Management, and Relationships. Along with this training, you will also find an Organizational Sustainability Screening and a template for Organizational Longevity Planning, along with guidance on how to use them with your organization. You can also download the Nonprofit Development and Sustainability Resource Sheet to assist you in locating additional sustainability technical assistance.
SAMHSA Consumer-Operated Services Evidence-Based Practice KIT now available from SAMHSA
Visit the SAMHSA website for more information - http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Consumer-Operated-Services-Evidence-Based-Practices-EBP-Kit/SMA11-4633CD-DVD.
This guide has been created to help individuals living with disabilities, and their family members, in the process of buying a home of their own.
New Guide on Supported Education Available
This guide, produced by the Cafe TA Center, provides some
Online Training: Consumers with Lived Experience: Critical Partners in the Mental Health System of Care
By the Cafe TA Center: www.cafetacenter.net
This training explores the trends, approaches, and opportunities in workforce development involving hiring consumers of mental health services as Peer Specialists or Consumer Supporters. Please check it out here!
Cultural Competency in Mental Health Peer-Run Programs and Self-Help Groups: A Tool to Assess and Enhance Your Services
Cultural Competency in Peer-Run Programs: Results of a Web Survey and Implications for Future Practice
Violence and Mental Illness: A Review by Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD, Executive Director, National Empowerment Center
The recent tragedy in Arizona has prompted the media to once again falsely equate mental illness with violence. The following review of carefully conducted studies shows that persons with mental illness are no more likely than the general public to commit a violent crime. Click here to read the review.
HHS has developed a new series of brochures to help Americans understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and how it is improving consumer protections, lowering costs and increasing coverage.
You can find the overview brochure at www.healthcare.gov/center/brochures/for_you.pdf (PDF, 2.79MB, 4 pages). HHS also is developing brochures for specific audiences which HHS will continue to produce. These can be downloaded at www.HealthCare.gov/center/brochuress
There is a lot of disability information in general at these links as well as in some of the brochures. Keep checking for more specific information as more brochures are developed.
Building Bridges: Law Enforcement and the Mental Health Advocacy Community
This report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police highlights the importance of focusing on recovery rather than symptom management. Key recommendations include: avoiding the use of restraint and other control mechanisms unless absolutely necessary for public safety; emphasizing involvement of consumers, family members, and other advocates in Crisis Intervention Training and related training; and promoting interagency collaboration to ensure community integration of persons with mental health issues. [For the full report, click here]
Funding the Movement
A guide to social justice fundraising by Ellen Osborne and Heather Peck, VOCAL - VA [Click here to download (PDF, 3.84MB, 74 pages)]
Pillars of Peer Support: Transforming Systems of Care through Peer Support Services
What Recovery Means in Acute Care, Conducted by Recovery to Practice Project - Resource Center for Behavioral Health Professionals, Sept. 16, 2010
The California Network of Mental Health Clients (CNMHC) voted to create a QIC manual as a step-by-step guide for clients to participate knowledgeably and effectively on the Quality Improvement Committees. This manual will explain how performance improvement begins. It will explain State-to-County QIC policy & guidelines; help diminish the vagueness associated with the function of QIC; explain and simplify complicated and confusing data; and explain the importance of collecting data that is accurate, appropriate, and which reflects the entire process. It can serve as a handbook and be used universally as a teaching aid. [Click to view the Quality Improvement Committee Manual (PDF, 505KB, 59 pages)]
New fact sheets available from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Shared Decision Making in Mental Health
An archive of the January 21, 2010 Webinar, Shared Decision Making in Mental Health: Panel on Consumer Perspectives and Experiences, is now available on the SAMHSA Shared Decision Making website at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/consumersurvivor/shared.asp.
Currently, Americans who have major mental illnesses die an average of twenty-five 25 years earlier than the general population (NASMHPD, 2006 and other sources). They experience the largest health disparity in the United States. Sixty percent of premature deaths are due to medical conditions such as cardiovascular, pulmonary and infectious diseases which are frequently caused or worsened by controllable lifestyle factors (physical activity, smoking, access to adequate healthcare and prevention services, diet and nutrition, and substance abuse as well as others). In responses to these alarming statistics, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services which supports the annual Alternatives Conference to provides a forum for peers from all over the nation to meet, to exchange information and ideas, and therefore choose to offer effective proactive strategies through a health and wellness screening service. The screening was conducted on October 20-30, 2009 and was planned, coordinated and managed by peer provider staff from the Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives at Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey. The event was staffed by peers with nursing and health care backgrounds. [Click here to read the full report] (PDF, 56KB, 6 pages)
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. A recent American Journal of Community Psychology study compared the effectiveness of an unlocked, mental health consumer-managed, crisis residential program (CRP) to a locked, inpatient psychiatric facility (LIPF) for adults for severe psychiatric problems. Participants in the CRP experienced significantly greater improvement on interviewer-rated and self-reported psychopathology than did participants in the LIPF condition; service satisfaction was dramatically higher in the CRP condition.Title of Study: A Randomized Trial of a Mental Health Consumer-Managed Alternative to Civil Commitment for Acute Psychiatric Crisis. Greenfield, TK, Stoneking, BC, Humphreys, K, Sundby, E, and Bond, J (2008). American Journal of Community Psychology 42 (1/2):135-144.
Practice Guidelines: Core Elements in Responding to Mental Health Crises
Individuals experiencing mental health crises may encounter an array of professionals and nonprofessionals trying to intervene and help: family members, peers, health care personnel, police, advocates, clergy, educators, and others. Their approaches in assisting those in crises often vary widely, contributing to the potential for ineffectual responses. Developed by a diverse expert panel that included individuals with mental illnesses, providers, public officials, and advocates, the guidelines presented here define appropriate responses to mental health crises across various situations and environments. [Click to view Practice Guidelines (PDF, 384KB, 26 pages)]
New Guidebook from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Texas Crisis Alternatives Project
Cost Effectiveness of Nine Crisis Residential Modalities, 1996 (Executive Summary, PDF, 12 pages, 68KB)
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. This study examined the effectiveness of the Cash and Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation program for those with a diagnosis of mental illness.
Adults with mental illnesses in the program compared to those receiving usual Medicaid services were found to be more satisfied with their paid caregivers reliability, schedule, performance, relationship, overall care arrangement and with their quality of life in general, had fewer unmet needs in terms of household activities, transportation and routine health care at home, had no more injuries or other adverse health outcomes, and were able to manage the cash option to hire caregivers and purchase care-related services and goods.
The study abstract can be found at web site http://www.bazelon.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=OZlEirtDYx4%3D&tabid=104 (.
EEOC Issues Q&A Guide On Disabilities/Employment
Carrie Mason-Draffen Newsday September 4, 2008
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued what it calls a comprehensive question and answer guide on the rights of workers with disabilities.
The guides looks at how the Americans With Disabilities Act, which the EEOC enforces, applies, or doesn't, to a wide range of performance and conduct issues.
The topics discussed include performance and conduct standards, attendance, dress codes, drug and alcohol use and the circumstances in which employers can ask questions about employees' disabilities.
"The EEOC continues to receive numerous questions on these topics from employers and from individuals with disabilities, indicating that there is still a high level of uncertainty about how the ADA affects these fundamental personnel issues," said commission chair Naomi C. Earp.
To view the guide go to: www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html
Best Practices in Supportive Housing and Employment: The Employer's Perspective
Third in a series of webinars sponsored by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Enterprise Community Partners
To truly be successful, an employment program for tenants of supportive housing must learn to cultivate positive relationships with employers. Yet making the business case for hiring individuals with many (perceived or actual) barriers to employment—including criminal records, mental illness, substance abuse issues, and/or a limited work history—can be difficult and intimidating. However, there is a strong business case to be made for why employers should hire your residents – and it really works.
Hear from an acclaimed employment placement agency that works with employers to find jobs for ”hard to place” individuals. Click to view an archived recording.
In the Driver's Seat: Guide to Self-Direction in Mental Health
The Bazelon Center and the UPENN Collaborative on Community Integration have produced a guide to help consumers and other advocates obtain policies that give consumers a primary role in their recovery planning and greater control over how resources are spent to meet their needs. Titled In the Driver’s Seat, the 40-page document includes advocacy strategies and examples of existing programs’ approaches to self-directed care. Fact sheets summarize important aspects such as financing. [Click for additional information and PDF download]
National Warmlines for Mental Health Support
In the aftermath of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, people need someone to talk with. There are not nearly enough counselors to provide these services face-to-face. So NEC has compiled a list of warmlines to partly meet this need. [Click to visit Warmlines with National 800 Numbers]
The Florida Self-Directed Care Program - A Practical Path to Self-Determination (PDF 181KB - 10 pages)
Information on New Medicare coverage of Medications
Connectedness and Citizenship: Redefining Social Integration by Norma Ware et al (pdf- 81 kb, 6 pages)
Assessing the Promise
An Evaluation of the Work of the Consumer and Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers including the National Empowerment Center, 2002 Report [Click to view Assessing the Promise (PDF 1,623KB, 63 pages)]
ROSI (Recovery Oriented Systems Indicators)
Excerpted from the ROSI Research Team’s 2005 handout entitled Piloting the Recovery Oriented System Indicators (ROSI) Administrative Data Profile and Consumer Self-Report Survey. Please note additional use guidelines in the ROSI instrument description section [Click to view ROSI (PDF - 320.41KB, 17 pages)]
Measuring the Promise: A Compendium of Recovery Measures, Volume II
An Evaluation of Peer-Delivered Mental Health Disaster Relief Services in New York City - By Hardiman, et al. May 2005.
This is an evaluation of the impact of peer delivered mental health services as part of Project Liberty following 9/11 [Click to view An Evaluation of Peer-Delivered Mental Health Disaster Relief Services in New York City (PDF - 965.83KB, 79 pages)]
Self-help Clearinghouse Newsletter on Role of Peers in Disaster Relief (PDF - 575KB, 4 pages, published June, 2006)
From Relief to Recovery
Peer Support by Consumers Relieves the Traumas of Disasters and Facilitates Recovery from Mental Illness. By Daniel Fisher, National Empowerment Center (NEC), with assistance from Kay Rote, Oklahoma; LaVerne Miller, New York; David Romprey, Oregon; and Beth Filson, Georgia [Click to view From Relief to Recovery (PDF - 432KB, 15 pages, published September, 2006)]
Voices of Transformation: Developing Recovery-Based Statewide Consumer/Survivor Organizations
By the National Empowerment Center (NEC) and the Recovery Consortium, published October 2006. Please note: This is a very large file. For additional information go to the Recovery Consortium page. [Click to view Voices of Transformation (PDF 2MB, 104 pages)]
Empowerment from Participation in Consumer-run Organizations
Effects of participation in consumer-operated service programs on both personal and organizationally mediated empowerment: Results of multisite study by E. Sally Rogers, ScD; Gregory B. Teague, PhD; Carolyn Lichenstein, PhD; Jean Campbell, PhD; Asya Lyass, MA; Ren Chen, MS; Steven Banks, PhD. [Click to view Empowerment from Participation in Consumer-run Organizations (PDF, 15 pages, 233KB)]
For Trauma-Informed materials & trainers, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supportive Housing for People with Mental Illness: Regaining a Life in the Community.
Bazelon Offers Model Policy for Addressing Student Mental Health
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a model policy to help colleges and universities develop a non-discriminatory, non-punitive approach to students in crisis because of mental health problems. It is available as a free download at www.bazelon.org/pdf/SupportingStudents.pdf (518 kb, 10 pages)
Guide on Seclusion and Restraint
Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery
SAMHSA Issues Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery - 2/16/06 (pdf, 142KB, 2 pages)
SAMHSA released its plan to implement the New Freedom Mental Health Commission Report
Federal Action Agenda: First Steps, 7/22/05
Dan Fisher's Presentations on Recovery
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