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Support, Sustain & Inform

We network locally, regionally, statewide and nationally; to develop, promote, and support an environment of change in Maine through education, training, and advocacy.


Work & Recovery

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:20
  • Published on Monday, 25 October 2010 14:58
  • Written by Lydia Richard

Most people strive to achieve meaning in life and in their community. Meaningful employment is a valued piece of recovery! It is a sense of belonging and giving back to the communities we choose to call home.

The Work & Recovery Workshop is geared to look at the reasons why employment is an important part of recovery.

Including Understanding:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Ticket To Work
  • Employment Service Networks
  • Career Centers

If you or your group would like to attend a Work & Recovery Workshop please contact The Network at 207-941-0092 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out where a training will be held near you!

The Maine Leadership Academy II

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:15
  • Published on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 10:45
  • Written by Lydia Richard

LA II Application
People participating in Leadership Academy II (LA#II) have several things in common. They are consumer/survivors/ex-patients (CSX) who, since graduating from Leadership Academy I (LA#I), have put into practice the skills learned there. They have been involved in numerous ways in the consumer movement in our state. LA#I graduates are now ready to gain additional education, new skills, sharpen old skills and move as strong leaders throughout Maine.

"Coffee Talk Series"

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:12
  • Published on Monday, 15 March 2010 10:51
  • Written by Lydia Richard

Tools for Wellness & Recovery

1. What do you mean when you say Recovery?

2. Using your ISP for Recovery

3. Helping Your Case Manager Help You

4. Making Medication Management Work for You

5. Consumer Developed Recovery Programs

6. Developing a Crisis Plan

7. Consumer Involvement

Presented in a classroom setting to groups of consumers. If interested in having a "Coffee Talk Series" call The Network at 207-941-0092 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Maine Leadership Academy

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:15
  • Published on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 10:45
  • Written by Lydia Richard

Leadership Academy Application
The Leadership Academy training continues to be the most important training offered through the Network. It is through Leadership Academy that an advocacy network is created and it is through the network that Leadership Academy is delivered.

The Leadership Academy is a research-based, exemplary program designed for consumers who want to work collaboratively to improve their communities and state. The Leadership Academy training is one of the most effective resulting in outcomes of; a better understanding of how systems work; an increase in self-empowerment and networking skills; the development of advocacy skills and the improvement of leadership skills. Both the participants and the mental health system benefit from Leadership Academy.

Who We Are:
The Maine Leadership Academy is a self-help program successfully adapted and implemented by the Advocacy Initiative Network of Maine (The Network).

The Leadership Academy is an exemplary grassroots program, nationally recognized for its empowering activities in community organizing and action planning for adults with psychiatric disabilities and their families. The Leadership Academy provides a foundation for enhancing consumer skills for effective speaking and civic advocacy and is an evidence-based program with significant outcomes.

The training uses overheads and participant manuals to teach nineteen practical lessons about the etiquette of consumer involvement, identification of issues, and advocacy organizations. This excellent skill-building curriculum is followed up with collaborative projects that foster networking and continued learning.

There is a beginning and advanced "Train-the-Trainers" seminar at which Leadership Academy graduates who have demonstrated interest and aptitude are taught to become trainers at future Academies. Nearly all trainers at Maine’s Academies are non-professional LA graduates.

We have held two Leadership Academy Conferences hosting workshops on relevant topics presented by graduates of the program as well as expert guests. It is our goal to seek funding to hold an annual Maine Leadership Academy Conference. The conference would allow graduates to reconnect with individuals they have met through LA and meet others to exchange ideas, strategies, and insights.

The LA project includes collaboration and referrals from WRAP and Leadership Academy facilitators, drop-in centers, social-clubs, self-help groups, peer groups, behavioral health centers, and other related groups across the state.

Workshop Description:
Lesson 1 - defines consumer involvement and explains the different forms it can take: individual, organizational, community, state and national.

Lesson 2 - offers an etiquette course that is important for the ultimate success of any consumer endeavor.

Lesson 3 - describes different types of information that are shared in meetings: issues, announcements, and general discussion topics.

Lesson 4 - describes several sources of information that can be used to identify issues, such as personal observations, board minutes, press releases, etc.

Lesson 5 - helps consumers identify issues that are highly suitable for consumer organizations. Issue types portrayed help organize options for appropriate action.

Lesson 6 - discusses how to select relevant issues to report to the group by considering interest, effect on others, relationship to current activities, etc.

Lesson 7 - tells how to develop goals and clarify suggestions for action by the group for identified issues. The Goal/Response Chart is introduced.

Lesson 8 - gives steps to reporting issues in a way so the interest of a group is stimulated and action is considered.

Lesson 9 - offers ideas and suggestions for organizing groups involved in community advocacy, including recruitment, the first meeting, and promotion.

Lesson 10 - describes how the chairperson and secretary can help in conducting effective meetings as members follow rules for a good discussion.

Lesson 11 - provides instructions for the group secretary on taking the minutes of group meetings, and explains the importance of recording minutes and managing group records.

Lesson 12 - describes how to form an agenda to get the meeting started.

Lessons 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17 - show ways to hold an effective meeting including: opening the meeting (13); leading discussions (14); taking votes (15); planning action projects (16) and closing meetings (17).

Lesson 18 - provides suggestions for working with culturally diverse populations and how to increase culturally sensitivity and understanding within a group.

Lesson 19 - presents some organizational considerations and general information regarding legal responsibilities and standards for advocacy groups.

Maine Leadership Academy Teaches:

  • Self Help - Obtaining skills to improve your quality of life
  • Collective Advocacy - A group of individuals acting together to actively speak out in favor of or against an issue
  • Leadership - An individual taking a proactive role in offering guidance and direction
  • Community Involvement - Taking an active role in exchanging information with a group of people having common interests.
  • Conducting meetings - Ability to effectively lead a group of individuals to accomplish goals or exchange information
  • Issue Awareness - Monitoring for any actions proposed on a subject that is important
  • Action Plan - A method of preparing for a project that involves breaking the project into steps, outlining desired results, resources needed to complete the project, and developing a timeline for completion

Benefits of Maine’s LA:

  • Networking
  • Action Plans
  • Conference Calls
  • Opportunities for advanced training
  • Annual Conference
  • Cost Effectiveness

What To Expect At The Leadership Academy:

  • Enthusiasm: Participants at the Leadership Academy have an opportunity to take part in an exciting curriculum that can be useful with or without prior training in mental health issues, leadership, or advocacy.
  • Preparation: Participants can expect to attend daily training sessions and to learn more about how to use individual skills to better understand group advocacy skills.
  • Responsibility: Participants will create Action Plans to address real needs as selected during course work. Completing the Leadership Academy offers participants a wonderful opportunity to apply individual skills toward group and community involvement and advocacy.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

  • Parent Category: Resources
  • Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:19
  • Published on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 10:58
  • Written by Lydia Richard

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a structured system for monitoring uncomfortable or distressing symptoms, as well as unhealthy habits or behavior patterns. Through planned responses, WRAP is also helpful in reducing, modifying, or eliminating those symptoms and/or creating the life change you want. It also includes instructions on developing advanced directives that instruct others on how to make decisions for you and to take care of and support you when your symptoms have made it impossible for you to do this for yourself.

The creator, Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA is a mental health recovery educator and author. Her focus is on self-help. She has learned the concepts, skills and strategies she teaches from her own personal experience with extreme mood swings and from her ongoing studies with people who experience psychiatric symptoms. Her teachings and writings include topics like getting a sense of hope, Wellness Tools, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, Relapse Prevention, and Crisis Planning to name a few. Her expertise is not related to psychiatric medications, psychiatry, or legal advocacy. She does not provide counseling services. The skills and strategies she teaches are not necessarily a replacement for other kinds of treatment, but complement any other treatment.

WRAP is done in groups from 1-2 ½ hours long for 8-15 sessions by two trained facilitators.  What you will learn: 

 ·         Key concepts in Recovery

·          Developing and keeping a strong support system
·          Issues that need to be addressed
·          Developing a Wellness Toolbox
·          Daily Maintenance Plan
·          Developing Action Plans
·          Crisis Planning
·    Addressing Specific Issues
·       Developing a lifestyle that enhances wellnes

Funded In Part By:

Wrendy Hayne Mental Health Fund-Maine Community Foundation


To apply for membership, please complete this form and mail or fax it back to us.
Application for Membership Application (DOC)
icon Application (PDF)

To apply for a board position, please complete this form and mail or fax it back to us.
Application to the Board of Directors BOD Application (DOC)
Application to the Board of Directors BOD Application (PDF)

Pillars of Peer Support Presentation

We have made available to you the Pillars of Peer Support Presentation from our 2010 Annual Meeting.
Click here for PowerPoint Presentation
Click here for free PowerPoint Viewer