Curriculum Development, Training and Mentoring

Understanding and Influencing Mental Health Policy and Practice

In the past 20 years, state and local mental health agencies have increasingly been required to include people with psychiatric disabilities in governance and advisory bodies that make public policy decisions. People with psychiatric histories can be at a disadvantage in these situations if they are not familiar with the language used, with the intricacies of public policy development, and with the workings of governmental agencies. While itís crucial that mental health authorities learn how to better listen to the experiential knowledge of people with psychiatric disabilities, itís also important that people whoíve been in the mental health system learn how to navigate the process of serving on advisory or governing bodies to most effectively present their ideas.

Our training team includes people with psychiatric histories who have successfully influenced policy as members of boards and committees, and people who have worked as public mental health officials and are also people with psychiatric histories. The training focuses on understanding the workings of government agencies, learning how to frame issues to get them heard, and how to advocate for accommodations to enhance the participation of people with psychiatric disabilities.