Alternatives was a beautiful experience. People from all over the nation gathered for this groundbreaking progressive mental health conference in Portland, Oregon and it was a wonderful thing. I had the opportunity to listen to stories throughout the conference and get to know people as we conversed outside. Pretty soon I had a picture of just what this was about. It was about mental health, it was about fighting for our basic human rights, but mostly it was about coming together as one for a greater cause.
The key to recovery from historical trauma lies in restoring a community's "original instructions" and returning to cultural roots, according to Native American mental health leader Elicia Goodsoldier.
Historical trauma — which refers to a collective experience of one group experiencing repeated trauma over time — is neither immediately recognizable nor widely understood.
It's not easy being an organization that works with many cultures, but making and sharing an ongoing commitment to cultural learning is critical to effectively serving and gaining buy-in from consumers, according to Lynn Smith-Stott, Program Manager for Central City Concern.
The Portland-based organization is dedicated to serving people who are homeless and have mental health and/or addiction issues. One of their flagship projects is the Over Representation Program, or ORP, for African Americans.
Dear Sally, Joseph, Gayle, Celia, and all of the other trailblazers,
I have never accepted that another person singlehandedly knows what is best for me.
Maybe it’s because I'm self-aware — or incredibly stubborn — but I honestly can't recall a single time in my life where I did something simply because of social pressures or someone in a position of authority told me to do so.
Masipula Sithole Jr. has lived in societies so different from one another that he is still questioning the definition of normal to this day.
Sithole, a graduate student in international development at Johns Hopkins University, grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe. As a child, he struggled with stuttering and had his first experience with therapy at the age of five, years before ever hearing the phrase "bipolar." Now an adult, Sithole warmly looks back on that experience as fundamental to shaping his views on mental illness.
The Affordable Care Act will give consumers more opportunities than ever to get customized support for their recovery, according to Pam Hyde, Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
In the opening keynote of the 2012 Alternatives conference, Hyde reflected on previous models of care and the new importance of integrating behavioral and primary health care to meet the needs of the whole person.