Online Program

History, politics, and practice of independent peer-run organizations: A national view of the field

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD, National Empowerment Center, Lawrence, MA
Peer support is based on principles of mutuality, shared responsibility, and respect for individual experiences. Peer-run organizations are a necessary part of a continuum of care that provides people with non-coercive choice and alternatives that promote recovery. This presentation will discuss why peer-run organizations are so important in a continuum of behavioral health services, and the development and role of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). Peer support has a long history in the consumer/survivor community, and the development and strengthening of this practice in independent organizations has been an important part of our voice as stakeholders. Hundreds of self-help groups, consumer-run initiatives, and statewide consumer organizations have been formed all over the country. These groups have had some success in influencing policy and practices on the local level. The NCMHR strives to gain recognition and influence on a national level. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid coverage, it is important that we not lose the vision of peer-run organizations as important adjuncts and alternatives to traditional services. NCMHR has amplified the voice of peers in Washington by being a founding member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA). NCMHR and NDLA have worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the White House to expand the definition of medical necessity and other policy changes that would facilitate financial sustainability while preserving the values of mutual support and human rights for people labeled with mental health diagnoses.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of organizing peer-run organizations Identify the role consumer/survivor advocates in mental health policy Describe collaborations between advocates and government around recovery-oriented policy

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Coalition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am presently Executive Director of the National Empowerment Center, as SAMHSA-funded Consumer TA Center, and co-founder of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. I received my Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and M.D. from George Washington University. I regularly conduct workshops, give keynote addresses, teach classes, and organize conferences for consumers/survivors, families, and mental health providers to promote recovery of people labeled with mental illness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.