NEC Response to COVID-19

In these times of fear, uncertainty and increased isolation, NEC believes our society needs more than ever to connect and feel empowered. Social distancing has been recommended as an important way to slow the spread of COVID-19. We need to distinguish between physical distancing of at least 6 feet and social distancing. Physical distancing is recommended now, but social distancing can be damaging and retraumatizing, especially to vulnerable individuals.  However, even when we are physically distant we can socially connect online.  Those of us with lived experience of severe emotional distress are well prepared for this disaster because we have long known that our healing and resilience are enhanced by our connecting at a heart-to-heart level. So we need not turn physical distancing into social isolation. We have developed Emotional CPR (eCPR) as a way to enhance everyone’s capacity to Connect, emPower, and Revitalize each other through mutual support. To adapt to present life, we have developed an online version of eCPR which we are rolling out now. We are now offering online eCPR certification trainings, support groups, and communities of practice. These efforts are helping to alleviate the trauma of social isolation through physical distancing and lay the foundation for healing.

Email [email protected] if you want to participate in these Emotional CPR offerings and check for updates.

Recording of Our Latest Webinar on Strategic Planning Now Available!

The recording of our latest webinar, “How to Embed Strategic Planning into the Culture of Your Organization,” is now available!

Click here to view the recording. You will need to register first and then the webinar will start playing.

Webinar description:

So you’ve developed a strategic plan…now what? Many organizations work hard to develop a strategic plan and vision for their future, but it unfortunately goes unused and remains on the shelf. In this webinar, participants will not only learn the basic tools and techniques of developing a strategic plan for their peer-run organization, but they will also discover how to incorporate their strategic plan into their organization’s culture and day-to-day operations. This webinar will feature the National Empowerment Center’s work with the Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance as an example of how we can work toward embedding strategic planning into the culture of an organization. The presenters will offer tips, practices, and exercises that organizational leaders can utilize to ensure that their strategic plan is not just a document to be referenced but a practical vision that unites and guides staff, board members, and stakeholders under shared aspirations.

Recent Work

Webinar: Emotional CPR Brings Hope, Life and Community to a Sad World

British Columbia Psychosocial Rehabilitation | Advanced Practice is very pleased to announce a webinar with Dr. Daniel Fisher CEO of The National Empowerment Center, and Shontelle Prokipcak from Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa! Click here for the webinar overview

Recent Interview with NEC’s Dan Fisher on Polish Radio Station

Daniel Fisher was recently interviewed in Katowice,Poland by a TV station. There is an introduction in Polish, but rest of interview is in English with translation into Polish. See below for the interview.

Updated Hearing Voices Curriculum Now Available!

Originally developed by Dr. Pat Deegan, the NEC Hearing Voices Curriculum now includes updates developed by Dr. Dan Fisher, Oryx Cohen, and Digital Eyes Film.  In addition to the original simulation exercises, the updates include a new DVD featuring one of the co-founders of the Hearing Voices Network, Dr. Marius Romme, as well as testimony from voice hearers themselves.  The updated curriculum includes new discussion questions that will help participants better understand how they can support voice hearers after the training.

For more information about the curriculum click here.

Learn more about the updated Hearing Voices Curriculum in the video below.

Veterinarians Find Emotional CPR Helpful

The University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work program is now training students in Emotional CPR. The program sees Emotional CPR as helpful in many ways, both to the veterinarians and their clients. Veterinarians have a high stress and emotionally difficult job as detailed in this recent article that highlights the elevated suicide rates among veterinarians. The bond between pets and owners is like family, and veterinarians have to support not only the pet, but also their owners. Animal lovers themselves, veterinarians see a lot of sickness and death and often end up in the role of grief counselor when pets die. Emotional CPR is not only helping veterinarians connect with their clients’ emotions, but it is also helping them to connect with their own emotions and support each other around this difficult work.

Archive Now Available!
Recovery Dialogues: An Avenue for Culture Change in Psychiatric Hospitals

Also available as a PDF [1.5MB, 33 pages]


Mental health peer leaders are partnering with hospitals through Recovery Dialogues in an attempt to shift the culture and enhance recovery. Specifically, this webinar features the National Empowerment Center’s work with the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health over the past few years.

Participants learn about:

The basics of Recovery Dialogues and how they were implemented at the hospital including challenges, successes, and tips for doing the same in your state. The webinar was interactive and included audience participation, as we would like the webinar to serve as an example of an online Recovery Dialogue in action.

We encouraged both people with lived experience and professionals to register for this important webinar.

Oryx CohenModerator:

Oryx Cohen, COO, National Empowerment Center


Dan Fisher, CEO of the National Empowerment Center

David de Voursney, Chief of the Community Support Programs Branch – CMHS / SAMHSA

Valerie Comerford, Director of Recovery DMH, Central Massachusetts Area

Jacqueline DuCharme, COO, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital

Patrick Whalen, Peer Specialist, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital

Sponsored in part by SAMHSA


Webinar Archive Now Available!
Self-Direction through Personalized Budgeting

This webinar occurred on February 27th.

Webinar Recording [Requires Adobe Connect (free)] PowerPoint Slides (PDF, 36 pages)


Self-direction is a model for organizing supports in which the participant manages an individual budget to purchase for a variety of services and goods used to facilitate their recovery journey.

This webinar starts with an introduction to Self Directed Care (SDC), including a brief history and the places that are testing it out. There are three perspectives shared:

Bevin Croft, MPP, PhD – Research Associate at the Human Services Research Institute. The research that has been done, preliminary results here and in England. Future directions in research and funding for research.

Julie Schnepp – has participated in the Consumer Recovery Investment Fund Self Directed Care Program for the last seven years. During this time she has become a Certified Peer Specialist with additional training in working with youth and young adults, older adults, forensics, LGBTQA+ and more.

Pam Werner – Manager with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.

Resource of the Week

Measuring the Promise: A Compendium of Recovery Measures

One of a series of materials produced by the Evaluation [email protected] This compendium provides a resource of current recovery and recovery-related instruments for adult mental health system stakeholders to use in research and evaluation particularly towards the end of identifying evidence-based practices. [Click to view Measuring the Promise (PDF – 7,917KB, 254 pages)]

Daniel B. Fisher is co-author of Psychiatry Online article on Virtual Support for Recovery

Enhancing Standards and Principles in Digital Mental Health With Recovery-Focused Guidelines for Mobile, Online, and Remote Monitoring Technologies (PDF, 2 pages, 434KB)

NEC Now Hosting Empower! Radio Show

Dan Fisher and Oryx Cohen are now hosting a monthly radio show on Unity Radio, WUTY 102.9 FM, Worcester’s Community Connection! Be sure to check out the latest episode!

Visit EMPOWER! on Unity Radio

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Featured Video

An Introduction to Emotional CPR (eCPR)

Finding Our Voice
Finding Our Voice is a program for training emerging c/s/x leaders in advocacy skills and ways of being. The following video was produced by one our graduates, Miriam Israel using the skills that she learned in our training.

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To carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and extreme states.