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National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 14:31
  • Published on Monday, 07 December 2009 05:43
  • Written by Lydia Richard
For the past three and a half years, the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations (NCMHCSO) has achieved much success in amplifying our collective voice on the state and federal levels to transform mental health systems and change public perception about people diagnosed with mental illness. We are writing to invite you to join us as an individual member and add your voice to ours. 
Our work is making significant inroads. A recent example: this year NCMHCSO and other disability advocates participated in two meetings with the Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to develop collaborative strategies to further expand consumer-driven services and flexible Medicaid waivers that promote self-determined care. 
As a direct result of these meetings, on November 20, CMS released a State Medicaid Director letter clarifying ways persons with psychiatric disabilities can develop their own budget and have wider choices in services, including the purchase of peer-run services. 
Some of our other accomplishments in the past year include (see for a full list): 
  • In March 2009, Congress signed into law $960,000 to increase funding for consumer statewide networks, which allowed 12 additional consumer-run networks to receive $70,000 annual grants for 3 years.
  • Hired Thomas Bryant M.D., J.D., as our Director of Government Relations. Tom comes to us with impeccable credentials including serving in the Carter Administration as the Chairman of the President's Commission on Mental Health and decades of public policy experience.
  • Participated in several White House meetings, briefings, and policy recommendation sessions with senior advisors to the President.
  • Developed Emotional CPR (eCPR), a public health education program that trains laypeople and law enforcement to assist someone through an emotional crisis.
  • Participated in the development of the Justice for All Action Network, a national cross-disability coalition which has greatly enhanced the Coalition's policy and legislative influence in Washington, D.C.
 While we have much to be proud of, there is much that remains to be done. We need your support to continue to strengthen our political power and continue our advocacy work to promote recovery, hope, and full community inclusion for all. We have expanded our “family” to include individual membership and we ask you to please join us now by clicking here: Suggested individual membership dues are $25.00/year, but please give whatever you can afford. With a membership donation, you will receive the National Coalition News (NCN), our monthly e-newsletter (the December issue is below). 
For a contribution of $50, you will become an NCMHCSO member, receive the National Coalition News, plus a special gift: a free copy of The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic, by Darby Penney, Peter Stastny, and Lisa Rinzler, hailed as “a deeply moving testament to the human side of mental illness, and of the narrow margin which so often separates the sane from the mad” by author Oliver Sacks, MD. 
For a contribution of $100.00, you will become an NCMHCSO member, receive the National Coalition News, plus our gift to you: Voices of Hope and Recovery, a 12 CD set of stories told by people who, through darkness, have found wellness and healing, meaning and purpose. With courage and insight, they reveal how to reclaim mental health in a culture that often misunderstands the healing process. 
Your tax deductable contribution will help us to build on our accomplishments and to create further momentum on Capitol Hill, in key federal agencies, and in state legislatures for recovery-oriented mental health policy reform. If you would like more information, please visit our Web site at, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 877-246-9058. 
Thank you for your support and for being a part of our National Coalition. Together, we will ensure that health care reform meets our real needs. Collectively, we will usher in a new era in mental health policy and service delivery, as articulated in the New Freedom Commission’s vision of “a future when everyone with mental illness will recover.”   
Lauren Spiro, Director
Thomas Bryant, Director of Government Relations

Funded In Part By:

Wrendy Hayne Mental Health Fund-Maine Community Foundation


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Pillars of Peer Support Presentation

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