Justin Dart, a parent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), used to say that we persons with disabilities must “fight as if our life depends upon it—because it does.” We need to rekindle the fire that burned in the hearts of our early leaders, such as Judi Chamberlin, Leonard Frank, Howie the Harp, and Rae Unzicker. Many of the freedoms and much of the self-determination we fought for are at risk. What can you do? You can raise your voice! You are a member of the peer recovery/liberation movement and your voice is important!
The second Public Policy and Education Academy will be held in Washington, D.C., July 8-9, 2019 before the Alternatives conference. The Academy will provide an important opportunity for people with lived experience to unite and learn about how to be included in the political process, share resources to support their local activism, strengthen our collective voice, and express our concerns to Congress.
Whether you are able to attend the Academy or not, your input is needed to determine our legislative priorities. Please help choose the top advocacy priorities from those listed below so we can most effectively advocate on Hill Day, July 9, 2019, and for national and state-level advocacy during the coming year. To rank your top priorities, please click here.
Priority 1: Ensure meaningful and quantifiable peer participation in the development of national and state mental health policies.
Priority 2: Educate the general public, mental health service providers, and legislators about the lives, needs, and goals of individuals with psychiatric labels, and about the vital importance of peer supports to help people recover their lives in the community.
Priority 3: Increase funding for peer-run crisis services as alternatives to involuntary treatment, and appropriate funding to support the advancement of the peer workforce.
Priority 4: Fund basic human needs for individuals with mental health conditions, such as housing, employment, and income support.
Priority 5: Protect the human rights of persons labeled with mental health conditions.
Priority 6: Address the devastating impact of untreated trauma.
We need your help and your lived expertise to make the Academy a success. If you have resources to share or if you would like to offer your advocacy expertise as part of a panel or facilitate a breakout group; if you would like to help schedule legislative appointments in advance of the Academy; or if you would like to offer help with Hill Day logistics, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org