Self-directed mental wellness care
. . .consumers in the driver's seat []
Within our Reach, by Rosalynn Carter
Withinourreach.JPG Rosalynn Carter has been one of this generation's most consistently admired and respected advocates. The grace, compassion and wisdom that Dr. Lisa Dixon describes in her insightful review of Within Our Reach help us understand why. []
Georgia's consumers list their priorities
. . . and get action []
Two books on practicalities of recovery research
Paula Goring and Jijian Voronka, researchers in Canada's At Home project, review two books about the practicalities of recovery research. Read their review []
Taking recovery from ideal to actual (Part 1)
. . .creating the change []
The first conference sponsored by consumer/survivors was held in 1972.
Click here to download a pdf of The History of the Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Movement.... []
Death of Judi Chamberlin, consumer activist and author
Judi Chamberlin, a pioneer for consumer choice, died after a long illness in Boston, Mass. As a result of how she was treated for depression in the 1960s, with voluntary and involuntary hospitalizations, . . . []
First psychotic breaks -- conference topic
Peter Stastny,* MD, writes about an upcoming conference (Nov 23): "Alternative responses to first psychotic breaks: Rethinking psychiatric crisis." After several years, there is a renewed focus on treatment for first psychotic episodes. An emphasis on early intervention and prevention of psychosis, with the goal of shortening the "duration of untreated psychosis" has obscured the view on the actual services that are being offered to individuals in the midst of a first episode. Recently, the National Institute of Mental Health... []
Chronicle narratives: Recovery from Dissociative Identity Disorder
MIWatch received this story about recovery from a reader in Canada. STORMS AND BLESSINGS THE RECOVERY OF LOU, FROM DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER The young, sullen man leaned back in his chair, gazed at me with his moody, dark eyes, and said calmly, "You are hopeless, you have no hope." I sat in the circle, and noted that nobody was contradicting him, even the group leaders. I adjusted my arm, which was in a sling. Underneath the sling, a bandage, wrapping... []
Peer-support groups release medication guide
Will Hall writes that peer-run support groups, Freedom Center and the Icarus Project, recently released a 40-page guide, the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Medications. Hall notes that he wrote the guide, with a 14-member health professional Advisory Board providing research assistance and 24 other collaborators involved in developing and editing. Editorial advisors include David Cohen, Daniel Fisher, Rufus May, and Joanna Moncrieff, MD. You can download and free copy at: ... []
"A Fight To Be," Ronald Bassman, Ph.D.
Reviewed by Paul Pines* Ronald Bassman's book, A Fight To Be, is a daring and insightful portrait of psychosis and the "mental health" system we have put in place to address"chronic and persistent disorders". The book is a weave of three distinct threads: it is a personal memoir, a clinical meditation and, finally, rising from that dialogue, a call to action. The first thread offers the authority of the author's direct experience as one who was diagnosed with and treated... []
Schizophrenia, voices and recovery
Dr. Benjamin Gray, an English mental health professional, didn't truly appreciate what hearing voices meant until after his own hospitalization, one decade into his career. In the on-line Advance Access Schizophrenia Bulletin (subscription required) Gray describes how acceptance of the narrative behind voices plays a role in treating a person's core experiences rather than a diagnostic category. ... []
Economic Security: Key to Recovery and Self-Determination
Cook_Judith_001.sized.jpegby Judith A. Cook

Economic security assists people in recovery. Judith Cook and colleagues discuss how Independent Development Accounts can create an economic safety-net without endangering essential public benefits. []
Diversion programs in San Francisco
Informed police intervention and specialty courts for people with a psychiatric diagnosis are now shaping programs in forty California jurisdictions. KQED radio host Michael Krasny dedicated an hour-long program introducing how these innovations aimed to promote treatment and safety work in San Francisco. His four guests included an advocate, a judge, a police officer, and a consumer who teaches them all about his life including his experience with schizophrenia. Police Officer Greg Sancire, a trained psychologist, described training programs where... []
Psychiatric Advance Directives: A tool for patients and clinicians
Swartz.jpg by Marvin Swartz

More and more people are able to take control of their treatment plans by anticipating how to manage in a crisis. In Psychiatric Advance Directives: A tool for patients and clinicians, Dr. Marvin Swartz, a psychiatrist at Duke University Medical Center, discusses how they work to promote autonomy. []
Access to care: training consumers and case managers
by Jack Carney

jackcarney.jpegIgnoring the side effects of antipsychotic drugs has led to metabolic syndrome and chronic illnesses known to shorten life expectancy. Yet, this can be addressed by helping consumers and case managers learn how to identify the symptoms and to seek medical care This is the guiding principle of a project Jack Carney, program director of a social service agency, describes in "Access to care: training consumers and case managers." []
Consumer activists want voice in Virginia
Psychiatric directives gaining ground
Resources and reasons for psychiatric advance directives are discussed in a (free) article from the Wall Street Journal’s health blog. ... []
Q & A with Anela Ka’iliawa: Wellness in Action
By Sarah A.H. Ho
Sarah Ho speaks with Anela Ka’iliawa about the importance of a Wellness Recovery Action Program (WRAP), and how it has helped her learn about and manage her illness.

. . .from the APHA, Nov. 5-7
by Phyllis Vine
The American Public Health Association annual meeting in Washington, DC, has a number of events discussing a range of issues from Monday's session on empowering consumers in mental health treatments to disaster preparedness, school based reforms. Read summaries of selected sessions, including Dr. Ron Manderscheid's presentation about PTSD and returning vets.

Consumers drive recovery initiative
Seattle Times, July 1, 2007 The Seattle Times reports that Washington is one of eight states receiving federal funds ($14 million) to promote recovery based models of mental illness. Consumers are the driving force, filling key management positions, in Washington's Health Empowerment Network.... []
A Consumer's Voice--Hawai'i's Jail Diversion
by Sally A.M. Ho
Who decides which inmates get mental health treatment? Sally Ho takes us behind the scenes of setting up a jail diversion program in Hawaii in A Consumer's Voice. []
Recovery Focus
A select list of organizations driven by consumers or focused on tools for recovery. []
Issues / Advocacy
Action oriented non-profit groups with a national base promoting recovery, equity and social justice. []
Smoking reduction project
Using peer leaders, and a grant from New York State Department of Health, a New York clubhouse designed a curriculum to change smoking behavior of its 57 members. Elements of the program included eight sessions of instruction about wellness, and access to off-site psychiatrists who prescribed medicine targeted for smoking cessation. People with mental illness smoke at rates considerably higher than the general population, 70% versus 23%, making this an especially grave health risk.... []

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