I am circulating this report a little more widely to let you know that:
Several dozen lists have sprung up since People Who went down January 16. I am trying to keep www.peoplewho.net current. Let me know what to add and change. Our site at www.peoplewho.org will be developed as the portal to People Who activities. I will report out on meetings and conferences I attend by posting the report URL to the iris list. Subscribe to iris by web or by email - message - subscribe iris <your name>.
Western States Decision Support Group, Salt Lake City, April 2000
April 12, 6 AM. The phone is ringing. Delta Airlines is calling to say "Your flight has been cancelled." This is not the best way to wake up!
I was able to re-book and rearrange airport transport and left for Salt Lake City. I was delighted by the pervasive non-smoking environment and dismayed by how much perfume was worn by most local women. Everyone there I encountered was helpful and friendly and I had the sense no one was angry and aggressive in their dealings. I had the pleasure of attending a rehearsal, free, in the Tabernacle, of the Tabernacle Choir.
April 13: We had a general discussion about terminology to use in documents and agreed that the person-first language of the cross-disability movement was good, noted that the NCD uses "person labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis," that the term "user of services" was more accurate than consumer, that some might not like the phrase "psychiatric disability," that it was part of any new movement to reclaim the language, use "crazy" and "mad" in constructive ways, that as well there are translation issues and linguistic competency is important, and that whatever term one decides to use in a document, it would be helpful to footnote the authors awareness of the lack of consensus.
AK has implemented mental health courts. AK services take children into foster care when parent is having a mental health crisis.
CA is having problems staffing mental health jobs.
NV has created a peer counselor job series.
The newly hired first AK Consumer Affairs Administrator is a former NAMI-AK Executive Director who also self-discloses as a user of services. She talked a bit about the various AK mental health groups and characterized it "They circle the wagons and shoot in." AMI-Juneau is the Juneau mental health provider. There is an AK Mental Health Consumers Association that has a drop-in.
We talked a bit about who is a consumer and I later, electronically, passed this along: Consumers have experienced a range of mental health services that may include inpatient or outpatient commitment, restraints, seclusion, electro_convulsive therapy, peer_support services (as a recipient or a provider), public and private mental health services, physical or sexual abuse, other trauma, VA services, dual mental health/developmental disabilities, dual mental health and substance abuse histories, homelessness, SSI/SSDI or VA benefits, onset after the age of 55, co_occurring physical disability, incarceration by the criminal justice system, consumer and parent of a child with mental health needs, consumer and the adult child of a parent with dementia. (This list is excerpted from the Call for Nominations to the Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council Subcommittee on Consumer/Survivor Issues.)
There was an inconclusive discussion about input and outcomes and what should be measured.
UT is primarily a rural state, a combination of frontier and urban. UTs Consumer Program Coordinator told a bit of the story of her disease and how she has coped with her brain disease. UT will be holding a consumer conference/vacation over Labor Day. UT has enacted Advance Directives statewide; a clinician can override if "in the best interest of the consumer." Alliance House, Salt Lake City, UT, is a model Clubhouse (http://www.ucn.homestead.com/) that is used as a training base for other Clubhouses ( http://www.fountainhouse.org ). Clubhouses are implementing their MEMPHIS database program; members may update their own records; staff must approve the entry; outcomes are tracked throughout the clubhouse system. A member said members and staff are equal and "staff, theyre the boss." UT has a Consumer Council. One of the Councils projects was a Leadership Institute.
Each Western State is encouraged to develop consumer participation by holding a Leadership Academy.
CAs ConRep program for offenders may be like Mental Health Courts.
The next four WSDSG meetings are tentatively scheduled for WY, CA, AK, MT. There will be soon be a call for applicants to serve as the other consumer representative. My term will expire in December, 2001.
From left, clockwise: UT Bill Bryant; Rick Pierce, Chair, Utah Consumer Council & Consumer Specialist; Marily Mitchell, UT Consumer Council & Governance Program Coordinator; Marilyn Mitchell, UT Consumer Program Coordinator. ... Back of the head of Yvonne Jacobson, AK Consumer Administrator
From left: Clubhouse presentation: Dell Woodland, member; Trachy Sorenson, staff; Carolyn Pierce; member; Sue Hanson, staff