Obituary: Ethel “Effie” Smith, Founder of Consumer Action Network (CAN)


From The Washington Post: “Over the last two decades, Effie was a powerful force for collaboration and change, offering her expertise and insights to the DC Department of Behavioral Health in multiple ways to improve mental health services. . . . In 2002, Effie worked with her collaborators, Mary Blake and Mary Hathaway, to launch a new peer-run not-for-profit called Consumer Action Network (CAN). Incorporated in 2003, CAN serves as a vehicle through which individuals receiving mental health services and their families can be heard and engage in self-advocacy, employment, and self-directed, person-centered care. After its launch, the organization became a major force in bringing the concepts of recovery, empowerment, and self-directed care to consumers, family members, service providers, and policymakers across DC.”

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