CMHS NAC Subcommittee on Consumer/Survivor Issues
(SOCSI) Anecdotal Report
September 5 - 6
Rockville, MD


Anecdotal, not exhaustive, notes about our meeting.

The SOCSI recommended, and the NAC approved recommendations about TA centers and self-determination

Endorsement of the continuation of grant support, at current funding levels or higher, for a minimum of five national consumer technical assistance centers of which at least three be consumer-operated.  (And in their closed session they refunded the five centers for one year.)

Endorsement of Knowledge, Development and Application (KDA) efforts in the area of mental health consumer-directed self-determination models such as personal care attendants, voucher programs (cash and counseling), individualized budgeting, ... that have been demonstrated successfully with person with people with developmental and other disabilities and older adults.

The New Freedom Initiative "Federal Barriers to Community Living For People With Disabilities: Recommendations for Change": A National Listening Session overlapped SOCSI's first day.  Two SOCSI members testified there as individuals, Jon Brock and Carrie Kaufmann.  Joe Rogers testified.  Randy Hack attended.  Currie later told us: "Mental health was well represented."

Paula Stockdale, TN has been approved by SAMHSA to fill the SOCSI vacancy created by Cindy Hopkins resignation.  Maria Mar has resigned; SOCSI will put forward a name for that seat in the few months.  Latino applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

Chris Marshall (formerly NAMI E News producer) has been selected as a CMHS Consumer Affairs Specialist and starts October 1.

SOCSI members present: Kevin, Jon, Sharon, Carrie, Donna (first day), Juli, Sylvia

12 - 15 guest the first day; 20 the second.  Meetings are open; please come if you are in the DC area.

National Association of Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Administrators (NAC/SMHA) is developing a manual of alternatives to seclusion/restraint.  Karen Kangas, CT, their president, was a guest.

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be the payment player - advocates should develop linkages at the state Medicaid level

A supplement, The Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health: Race, Ethnicity & Culture, was released at the APA in San Francisco last month.  There's a link to it from www.surgeongeneral.gov.  SOCSI members were concencerned about the paucity of c/s input and review.

Laura Van Tosh, Howard Goodman and Neal Brown told us about six "evidence-based" tool kits that are being developed.    "Evidence-based" is a higher standard than "best practices."   Howard assured us that ACT works; ECT works - they have an evidence base.   We were also assured that c/s had been included in developing these evidence-based kits that are about to be disseminated, but the names were not available and none of the presenters remembered who the c/s were.  The SOCSI was again concerned about the ongoing lack of inclusion.   Donna Preston noted, "The more input, the more truth."

The toolkits will cover illness self-management, medication, act: family psycho-education; supported employment; integrating m h and substance abuse treatment, ...

Best practices is the body of professional opinion.  I don't have a note on the definition of what evidence-based means in operation.

SOCSI had two working lunches and continued to put infrastructure in place.  We emphasized several times that our meetings are smoke and fragrance free.

January agenda items will be ECT, CMS.  January dates are 14 - 15.

Elizabeth Edgar, NAMI, noted that well-done outpatient commitment (ACT) is mental health's personal assistant services.

Joe Autry and Charlie Currie stopped by to say hello.

The full SOCSI agenda is on the KEN website, as well as the May minutes.  (ken@mentalhealth.org if you can't find them).   The full NAC agenda is on the SAMHSA website.  See www.samhsa.gov/council

advise-cmhs@topica.com is the place I gather your input for my participation on the SOCSI.

Generally these reports are at www.peoplewho.org/documents.   Though I've moved the domain, I don't plan to republish the site until my DSL is restored in about a month.