Tag: Mental health America
In April of this year, Sera Davidow authored a blog titled “The Downfall of Peer Support: MHA & National Certification.” I do not agree with much of what she says in her blog, and as the vice president of Peer Advocacy, Supports and Services at Mental Health America I'd like to respond.
Mental Health America (MHA) has finally unveiled its new National Peer Specialist Certification over much protest. It is dangerous to what we call ‘peer support’ for MHA to have done this. Even if they did it well. Which, as best as I can tell, they did not.
In the last couple of weeks, I've read two articles in which the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is described as being the “largest organization representing people living with serious mental illness.” Putting aside (for the moment) my issues with the use of blanket ‘mental illness’ terminology; since exactly when did they become a group that represents people who have been so labeled in any genuine sort of way? Until our voices are seen as having equal value and are given equal space, those that do not understand and lack insight into our experiences (whether they possess good intent or not) will continue to be the ones to define our past, present and future in the public eye.
I've figured out there are five types of mental health advocates. We need to respect all five types of motivations and viewpoints in order to support or combat their agendas. The question for us, is how can we each of us maximize our own impact to share awareness of this situation and then impact change? The answer is that each of us has to work from our own passions and interests and talents and skills and motivations.