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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 11/6/2013

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Training Teleconference:
Social Inclusion in Action: Innovative Community Programs

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Teleconference Overview

VISION—A Socially Inclusive America

SAMHSA’s goal is to ensure that people with mental health and substance use problems have a high-quality, self-directed, and satisfying life fully integrated into the community. This full and satisfying life is characterized by good health, a safe and stable home, purpose and meaning in work and activities, and positive engagement in the community—all key elements of social inclusion for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions.

Social inclusion occurs when individuals and entire communities of people have access to rights, opportunities, and resources that are typically available to members of American society. People with mental health and substance use problems are more likely to fully recover and rebuild their lives when they have access not only to care and services, but also to social, economic, educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities that most citizens take for granted.

Social inclusion promotes the necessary supports and opportunities for people in recovery to contribute to their communities as peers, parents, CEOs, entrepreneurs, homeowners, students, volunteers, teachers, and active citizens. A social inclusion approach provides a policy framework to make this vision a reality.

This SAMHSA ADS Center FREE teleconference will share innovative community programs that are fueling a shift toward social inclusion across the country—working with individuals and families, improving communities, and engaging health, economic, education, and social systems to better support people recovering from mental health and substance use problems.

Target Audiences

  • Consumers/survivors/peers
  • Advocates
  • Behavioral health providers
  • Educators (especially secondary and post-secondary)
  • Leaders of community- and faith-based organizations
  • Leaders of cultural or arts organizations
  • State and local government leaders

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the concept of social inclusion and recovery from mental health and substance use problems.
  2. Gain replicable strategies from three innovative community programs to improve lives, change communities, and transform systems for people in recovery from mental health or substance use conditions.
  3. Learn about upcoming funding support in 2011 for statewide community organizations to promote social inclusion activities.


Lloyd J. Hale II, CPSS-CAC

Lloyd J. Hale II of Charleston, SC, originally from Georgetown, SC, is the lead presenter for The Dream Team project. Mr. Hale, who is 30 years old, combines his unique and personal experiences with skills and information to educate America’s youth. His teachings hold that no matter who you are and where you come from, life can be meaningful. Though Mr. Hale had a significant bout with drugs and mental illness, he has bridged the gap from illness to wellness by balancing spirituality, relationships, boundaries, and goals. Mr. Hale and The Dream Team aim to expose America’s youth to healthier skills and characteristics. The Dream Team understands that with access to this information our youth will be better equipped to handle the differences of growing into adulthood.

In addition to his work on The Dream Team project, Mr. Hale has worked full time for 7 years as a Certified Peer Support Specialist and Client Affairs Coordinator with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. In this position he facilitates numbers of groups, provides support for people in recovery, and shares his recovery story to spread hope for people, families, and communities affected by mental illness.

Karen Kangas, Ph.D.
Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.

Dr. Karen Kangas, Executive Director of Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. and Project Manager for the Shining Stars – Young Adults in Recovery project, was very involved in the startup of Advocacy Unlimited, successfully advocating for and obtaining statewide support and funding. Dr. Kangas previously held the position of Director of Community Education and Communications at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and was a member of the Commissioner's Executive Group prior to her retirement from DMHAS in 2006. Dr. Kangas has also been a teacher, school administrator, education consultant, lecturer, and producer of video presentations on mental health which have been distributed throughout the United States. Dr. Kangas' strong advocacy for people with mental health and substance use disorders has made her the recipient of national and local awards including the Clifford Beers Award from Mental Health America and the Roger Sherman Award, an annual Connecticut Human Rights Award. In addition, Dr. Kangas was honored in the National Council of Jewish Women "Dare to Be Different" millennium calendar.

Corinna West, M.S., CPS
Heartland Consumer Network

“We are the walking miracle, and we've got a story to tell. We know our souls have come through fire, and our scars show our friends how to live anew. We use our lives to reform systems bit by bit, we can take change as an increment...” spits Corinna West in her poem “Tallgrass,” about the Midwest recovery revolution. She is a spoken-word poet, motivational speaker, and catalyst for change. She is spreading the word that emotional distress can be a temporary and transformative experience in people's lives. She is on the board of directors for Kansas' statewide mental health consumer network and is a program manager for Missouri's Heartland Consumer Network. Her business, Wellness Wordworks, offers art, peer support, and non-medication wellness techniques to empower people unserved by the mental health system. Corinna West was an Olympic Judo Team Member and has a master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry. She uses her firsthand knowledge of recovery from 12 psychiatric labels to create innovative peer support opportunities that combine friendship, self-support, and emotional knowledge to help people take control of their lives on the other side of a diagnosis.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.