Invest in Us! Invest in Recovery and Resilience through Peer Inclusion!
We need your help! For too long, the publicly funded system aimed at helping people with mental health challenges in our state has had too little input by people who are the intended beneficiaries of this system or who themselves understand what helps or what hurts a person who wants to recover! For years, people have volunteered in Raleigh to ensure that a consumer perspective be present in discussions, but this is difficult to sustain. There has been no infrastructure to ensure strong, steady systems advocacy by consumers or peers. And now, NC CANSO has learned that there is currently no funding dedicated to the support of a state-wide consumer-operated organization that can 1) do vital systems advocacy, 2) educate and empower people toward recovery of wellness, or 3) assist with individual advocacy for people with specific needs in a growing system that often feels difficult to engage.
Yet the valued, engaged consumer role has never been more necessary in light of the industrialization of mental health care during a time where the aim of treatment is moving toward a recovery focus in our country and others! Who can best ensure that quality is measured in practical, real-life terms but consumers? And if the public dollar is not purchasing value, North Carolina is off the mark! We need organized consumer engagement in our state if we are to have a sustainable system!.
Please, if you are a "consumer" (peer) or a certified peer support specialist or a friend of mental health recovery, sign this petition and let leaders in Raleigh know that our state NEEDS and DESERVES:
1) Funding for a state-wide, recovery and resilience-supporting peer (consumer) networking organization
2) Policy changes that promote and welcome peer operated services and more peer support in existing service settings, including youth and young adult settings
3) Community based, peer-operated mutual support/self-help centers which can complement local provider and area hospital services while reducing recidivism and promoting recovery and individual resilience for young and other adults
Consumers and ex-patients have so much to offer their communities! Yet North Carolina lags behind many states in having an independent, vocal, empowered consumer (including young adults) constituency shaping policy. We have barriers to the utilization of peer support within our communities for adults and youths in transition. And we have only a handful of small but effective consumer-offered peer support centers in this state—but none with steady funding so they are limited in the numbers of peers they can serve.
“Nothing About Us Without Us!” is not just a social justice mantra. It is also a quality improvement and business value in human services. Tell North Carolina officials that this state needs a strong Consumer Voice if it wants to succeed in reforms! It is time for North Carolina to invest in recovery and resilience and to include us in the process! Please sign our petition!
Thank you sincerely,
Laurie Coker, Director of NC CANSO and the Board of Directors
Invest in Recovery and Resilience through Consumer Inclusion!
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