In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn, Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. The objective was to pilot an approach to help CAMHPRO evaluate the impact of consumer advocacy in the state and to document the activities that advocates engage in (e.g., legislative testimony, demonstrations, campaigns).
This week Live & Learn launched a research study on the experience of people labeled with mental disorders who have tried to stop taking psychiatric medications. This project -- the Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction (PMDR) Study -- aims to understand the process of coming off psychiatric medications in order to better support those who choose to do so. The study seeks to answer the question: What helps people stop their psychiatric medications? What gets in the way of stopping?
For the last six years we, a group of researchers, social work students, peer experts, and social professionals associated with the Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences, have been studying and facilitating the development of self-managed programs in homelessness and mental health care in the Netherlands. With our research we want to contribute to the development of new and existing programs through critical reflection. With this blog, I hope to share some of our findings, to give back to the respites from which we learned so much.
Those of us who are concerned about the state of the behavioral health service system would agree that voluntary, cost-effective services and supports that preclude the need for coerced or institutional treatment should be widely available. Peer respites may be one component of such a system.
This past Thursday I attended the American Psychiatric Association's Institute for Psychiatric Services in San Francisco, and then a talk by the Bay Area Mandala Project on "Providing Loving Receptivity Can Help People in Extreme States." I would like to thank both groups for the motivation to publish this — particularly as they would seem to be at odds in the reductionist "dialogue" we so often have — but really aren't so different in my mind for reasons discussed herein: Who is not "in crisis" for questioning their identity and fit within dominant paradigms?
The Lived Experience Research Network Issue Briefs series promotes change through multiple perspectives. We recently launched our inaugural Fall 2013 edition of the LERN Issue Briefs series. These two-page briefs highlight issues of importance in the behavioral health and disabilities fields.