Operator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in a listen–only mode until the question and answer session. Today’s conference is being recorded, if you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I would now like to turn the call over to Mary Pat King thank you, you may begin.
Mary Pat King: Hello and welcome to Social Inclusion and Action: Innovative Community Programs. Today’s teleconference is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion, also known as the ADS Center. SAMHSA is the lead federal agency on mental health and substance abuse and is located in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Please consider joining the ADS Center listserv to learn more about social inclusion, including upcoming teleconferences, new resources and events. This training teleconference will be recorded.
The presentation, audio recording and a written transcript will be posted to SAMHSA’s AD Center Web site at promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov in June. The views expressed in this teleconference do not necessarily represent the views, policies and positions of the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Our presentation today will take place during the first hour and will be followed by a 30 minute question and answer session at which time you may press star one to ask a question, you will enter a queue and you will be able to ask your question in the order in which it was received. Upon hearing the conference operator announce your first name, please proceed with your question. Due to limited time we may not be able to get to all questions.
Today we are pleased to learn from three leaders of innovative community programs who will share promising practices for improving lives, changing communities and transforming systems through social inclusion practices. These programs are recipients of the 2010 Campaign for Social Inclusion Award. You may be wondering what does she mean by social inclusion. To answer that question we’ve asked one of our experts working with the ADS Center to join us. Please welcome Lauren Spiro.
As a teenager Lauren was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. For over 30 years she has worked to reform mental health treatment and educate about the many diverse paths to wellness. Lauren is currently Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and Communications Manager for the Education for Social Inclusion Initiative of SAMHSA. Lauren, please help us understand more about social inclusion.
Lauren Spiro: Thank you Mary Pat. What you have on your screen is Slide 5 is just a very slightly shortened version of SAMHSA’s consensus definition of mental health recovery and it talks about recovery being an individual journey of healing and transformation to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve maximum human potential. So that definition is a good stepping–off point to talk about social inclusion and I want to invite you to imagine a world that’s completely inclusive. What would it look like and how do we get there?
Social inclusion is a complex and multi–dimensional process that affects both the quality of life and the equity and cohesion of society as a whole. To achieve social inclusion we need policies that ensure individuals and entire communities of people have access to life opportunities and resources that are available to all members, really of American society and our key to community integration and those include functions such as housing, employment, education, healthcare, social and civic engagement, democratic participation, that is the right to vote and access to vote as well as due process, the right to a fair hearing for trial.
So mental health challenges need to be understood less in terms of an individual issue and more in terms of a response to social and economic inequity and social injustice which erode the emotional, spiritual and intellectual resources essential to psychological well–being. So on the next slide that’s social determinants of mental health slide, it’s a long list and I’ll go ahead and go through it for folks who don’t have this in front of them, but there are many determinants, you know, of mental health and these are quite a few of them actually.
Income and inequity as I just mentioned, food security, you know, do you know you’re going to have a meal on the table. Helping quality, social status, violence, political marginalization, physical environment. Many of us, in fact, 31.7% of people with a major mental health challenge live below the poverty line and that certainly affects where we live type of environment. Education and literacy, employment status, working conditions, 72% of people with major mental health challenges are unemployed, discrimination certainly affects the quality of life and quality of mental health, physical isolation, social exclusion – our healthcare system and our acceptability to healthcare certainly is a major determinant and of course we know today that that’s changing quite rapidly. Cultural norms and values and other public service systems all are social determinants of mental health.
So to achieve social inclusion, there are many things we need and many systems involved but certainly economic prosperity is important, quality housing and transportation, so these need to be accessible to all of us, good health and wellness, again is essential to social achievements, excuse me, to achieving social inclusion. We need to build social capital, we need excellence in education, we need our rights to be protected and all of these that I’ve just listed are really essential throughout the lifespan, so from a very young person into our entire life and these need to be accessible for all people, all individuals and all groups of people.
The role of spirituality is very important, that is connections within and beyond ourselves and building public support so that everyone understands why it’s important that people with mental health challenges and all people, all currently margin life communities need to be included. Thank you.
Mary Pat King: Thank you Lauren for that very informative presentation. Now we get to see social inclusion in action through some of the innovative community programs. Our first presenter Corinna West is a spoken word poet, motivational speaker and a catalyst for change. She is on the Board of Directors for Kansas State–wide Mental Health Consumer Network and is a Program Manager for Missouri 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 was an Olympic judo team member and has a master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry.
She is also a certified peer specialist and an avid cyclist. Corinna can you share with our audience how the Heartland Consumer Network is changing lives and influencing educational systems through the Poetry for Personal Power initiative.
Corinna West: Hi this is Corinna West and I’m talking about Heartland Consumer Network and we’re a state–wide consumer organization and two of our founders are up there in the upper right hand corner of our slide, Sarah Earll and Helen Mintz and we’re funded by a SAMHSA Capacity Building Grant as well as this campaign for Social Inclusion Grant which pays for the Poetry for Personal Power program and we came up with this program to talk about what people do to overcome adversity in their lives and how people get through tough times.
That’s a picture of me on the bottom left presenting one of the programs and my business logo this program is a partnership with the Heartland Consumer Network and my business Wellness Wordworks as well as the American Jazz Museum, the Mental Health America of the Heartland in Kansas City and Park University. And we bring together a lot of collaborations and that’s what works together to make this program work well and today I’m going to talk about the Poetry for Personal Power program and in the presentation I’m going to talk about new media and going to talk about using the internet to harness different kinds of information.
This slide shows our logo which is the power the idea that people get power through poetry or through exercise or mindfulness or gardening and that’s our – that’s where we get our logo from and this is four of our featured poets that are doing their performances at the ten university based open mics that we had and the main idea of our program is that everyone has something that helps them get through and it’s not necessary to give someone a diagnosis and a label for life to access wellness tools and the idea is people can move straight to the wellness tools without moving into a diagnosis or thinking that they might never recover like many people in the first generation of the consumer movement were told outright that they would be disabled for life and nowadays people, although they’re not told that outright anymore, a lot of times that messages comes apparent with the diagnosis.
So Poetry for Personal Power is an idea that we can skip straight to the wellness tool, straight to what gives us personal power and take charge of our own lives. This is the rolling bicycle based healthford display booth, we had ten – we have ten – we’ve not completed six of them, first Friday events and in Kansas City first Friday is one of the biggest art walks in the country with three bands playing, Vesuvius fire tribes juggling in the dark, the roller derby ladies risking knees in the parking lot and there’s fifty galleries that have art openings and an art walk so the Poetry for Personal Power rolling bicycle based health service display booths surprises people on the streets and gathers they’re stories and says what helps you get through tough times.
And then we upload those videos to YouTube and this is our booth talking to the 816 Bike Collector which is a group of young people in Kansas City that helps teach low income people to fix their own bikes and earn a bicycle for low cost transportation and I’m not going to spend too much time on the rolling bicycle booth because it’s actually going to be tough to replicate the five foot banner takes a lot of skill to ride around with on a bike.
But we found recovery stories from people outside the consumer movement and people who aren’t accessing traditional mental health support and people who have been previously diagnosed they are no longer in the system at all. And it’s just really surprising to have somebody walk right up on a bicycle and say do you know about personal power, what gives you personal power and so we’ve gotten a lot of really neat outcomes from using this interaction device and one of the best ones is when we race the Dead Girl Derby and the Dead Girl Derby is a group of ladies who dress up in skirts and do roller derby which is kind of like professional wrestling or kind of like a wheel contest where people – I can’t describe roller derby but these ladies have videos up there and our second most watched YouTube video on our account is us racing the Dead Girl Derby, this rolling bicycle based health fair display booth racing the Dead Girl Derby.
And then we have open mics and this is one of the biggest open mics we had, this is the other half of the Poetry for Personal Power program where we go to ten universities across Missouri and this is our biggest one, NU and Moberly it’s a combination between two – one university and one two–year college, Moberly in Columbia, we had 113 people there and there was a lot of young adult hip–hop performers and people who work together to make this show possible and there was some people that came and blew the audience away and there was one person who came up on stage and said I’ve never read poetry out loud before but I wanted to share these poems about breast cancer and she talked about like day one was finding about the diagnosis and then day five was different medicines and she talked about all the different aspects of having a breast cancer diagnosis from surviving that and she was one of our surprise winners where no one expected her to win and she beat out these really experienced hip–hop type performers and was able to be one of our winners.
This is another one of our open mics at, Parkville University, Park University in Parkville, Missouri and afterwards they told me I think every single English major in our college came to that and one of the poets came up and said I’d never even wanted to enter but I heard the theme and I thought I should talk about this and he talked about a trauma experience in his youth and actually child abuse and how he survived that and how he got through that and his poem won first place and it was a surprise to have someone again who had never won an open mic before and hadn’t even thought about entering until he heard the theme and a lot of our poems talked about adversity in our open mics and some of the successes is that we had winners that we weren’t expecting and we had first–time entrants and people really liked our theme and people really liked the name, the name Poetry for Personal Power really sold a lot of people.
It was surprising what people thought of as adversity because at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis a lot of the young people talked about how being a young black person and being taken seriously then being someone that was looked at as ambitious and could be successful that that lack of respect is one of the basic things – basic sources of adversity for them and we had three different students who talked on that theme and won great prizes and their videos are now up on YouTube and I’m working on getting all of the poets who wanted their videos on YouTube which is about 70 poems uploaded to YouTube.
And this program – this part of the program is a great program for replication and its very simple – the idea is you just go to a University and ask them if they want to host an open mic and it helps if you have some funding for the prizes so that they don’t have to come up with that funding and the prizes also help bring students in.
And my name Poetry for Personal Power is copyrighted but if you want to use the name our license it out for a low rate and also give you a lot of additional program elements along with that licensing and one really important factor (sound fades out).
Mary Pat King: Corinna it is hard to hear you, this is Mary Pat.
Corinna West: Okay. It’s a good thing you told me that after I’d already booked eight universities and I kept booking universities and kept keeping track of all the universities that I’d contacted and having follow–up and making sure that I was flexible and able to change my plans. And another really important element to replicating this program is the ability to learn social media and social media is one way to really promote revolution in the mental health system because they’re incremental change and there’s big change like what happened in Egypt and like David Oakes from MindFreedom or independent consumer movement, he spoke out on one of these SAMHSA conferences about a month–and–a–half ago and said we need an Egypt moment in the mental health system and its social media and viral marketing that’s going to get us our Egypt moment and there was a speaker, Bill McKibben, from 350.org an environmental organization and he said we need young people and black people and brown people and Asian people in our movement because that’s what the world was made up of now a days, there’s not very many white people in the world this world is changing rapidly and it’s time to include everybody in our movements and social media’s a great leveling device and a great way to contact young people.
And this is a good book, The Dragonfly Effect and it’s important to include a lot of images and stories and to build excitement and passion and to connect with phone messages and emotional messages and messages that help people and Web 2.0 means that the internet is now interactive, you can comment on people’s blogs, you can comment on Facebook, you can comment on Twitter, and the internet is now interactive and its important to interact with your audiences. State Web sites that get put up and left for two years are no longer what’s happening on the internet.
And it’s really important to connect with the new economy and its time to build your own economy and these new sources of internet and connection are where the new jobs are coming from as well so it’s important to connect as many of our consumer movement members with the new economy as possible and social media is the way to do that.
This is ways to contact me and I have national level presentations available, my Web site is corinnawest.com and Poetry for Personal Power has its own Web site and we’re on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter, we’re also on Flicker, every picture taken from all of our events is up on Flicker and it can be seen and if you’d like to contact me for more information I would love to talk to you about replicating our program. Thank you.
Mary Pat King: Corinna thank you so much, you’re work is inspiring, so inspiring in fact that we’ve already heard from someone who wants to make this happen in their home town who will be in touch with you. Thank you again.
Now we’re going to hear from Lloyd Hale of Charleston, South Carolina who is the lead presenter for the Dream Team project, which has reached thousands of young people throughout South Carolina, through partnerships with government, state and community leaders. In addition to his leadership on the Dream Team project, Lloyd has worked for seven years as a certified peer support specialist and client affairs coordinator with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
In this position he facilitates a number of groups, provides support for people in recovery and shares his own recovery story to spread hope for people, families and communities affected by mental health and substance abuse problems. Lloyd please tell us more about the Dream Team.
Lloyd Hale: Good afternoon and I will gladly tell you more about the Dream Team. I’d like to start by introducing myself, I’m Lloyd Hale as I was just greatly introduced, and I’d like to really acknowledge South Carolina SHARE, because the Dream Team falls under the guideline of South Carolina SHARE, it falls under the umbrella of South Carolina SHARE.
And South Carolina SHARE is the – it’s an acronym and stands for Self Help Association Regarding Emotions and that’s what SHARE stands for. And it’s been educating the recovery community since 1985. South Carolina SHARE started off really small but as the needs grew for South Carolina, so did South Carolina SHARE. It’s the only state–wide consumer run non–profit organization of its kind.
The reason why it’s considered the only one of its kind is because it’s in the position to train the trainer so certified peer support specialists in South Carolina can be trained to do their job better, trained to facilitate groups like Recovery for Life 1 and 2, the Recovery Planner, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan which was created by Patricia Deegan, Journaling Through Recovery – these are just workshops that they have that are used as recovery tools that South Carolina SHARE trains people to train others in South Carolina.
And one unique thing about South Carolina SHARE is they are the developer of the Recovery for Life project. Recovery for Life – it’s a project that focuses on roles, understanding what you’re roles are, roles that you once had in your life that you would like to rekindle, it’s talks about values, what’s your value in life and how those values are driving the goals that you have. It talks about changing the way you think about yourself, it talks about roadblocks that you may have in life for personal recovery, stretch and strong emotions.
And at the end of Recovery for Life what I love is it teaches you how to put it all together so that’s one of the big things that South Carolina SHARE does and as I’d said before, it offers certification trainings for the peer support for certified peer support specialists and one unique thing also is that South Carolina SHARE pays consumers after they’re taught how to use the Recovery for Life material they’re actually paid to go out and teach others like in the State hospitals, the substance abuse clinics, they actually pay people to go out and train others on how to use the materials, so I think it’s really unique in that way as well.
Okay moving onto the Dream Team, moving on to some more of what we do. Okay, I’m having some problems advancing but I’ll work it out, there we go. Okay the Dream Team’s mission, we promote the power of healthy decision making. Now the Dream Team uses our personal recovery stories, whether it be recovery from addiction, recovery from mental illness, recovery from a life of poverty, we use those to highlight different decisions we had to make at different places in our lives.
And highlighting that we lead people to resources and people in their community where they can make better decisions but I’ll get more into that in a little bit. We instill hope in rural communities, what you’ll see along the process of me presenting today is that we use people from the communities to help build the community, first it’s people coming from the outside in trying to, you know, change some things. We use people from the natural community to help rebuild that community, so that’s really cool, a really cool part of the project.
We connect youth with their community. Okay so let’s move on just a little bit more, it gets really, really interesting. And what we are is a team of African–American men ages 26 to 61. The reason for this variety is because we want to highlight the fact that we make decisions at different places in our lives, we learn things in different parts of our lives. And sometimes we make the same mistakes at different parts of our lives. And that’s why the range of presenters is so great because we want people to know that even once you get on the right track and even once you highlight the things that you need in life, you’re still going to have some bumps in the road but there’s still hope to can change from there.
We facilitate youth rallies in schools, in community centers and churches. One big reason for this is that the schools, community centers and churches they’re already connected with the youth, but they’re not connected with the kids, they’re connected with the family members or the parents or the uncles or the aunts, and it’s there that we get a good sense of what the kids need in that community. We have a good advantage in pulling all of the kids together at the same time because we’re involved with those people who are involved with them.
We share strength through our personal recovery stories, which I already said, and we discuss healthy characteristics, such as boundaries and rebuilding a personal value system. We have borrowed a lot of information from the Recovery for Life, which then turned into a program called Ready for Life. We borrowed a lot of that information, all generated from South Carolina SHARE, we borrowed a lot of that information just to share with you in a more friendly way.
Sometimes when we talk recovery and all of those things it can be a little scary to kids. One person once asked, they said well have you ever considered what are the kids recovering from. And you know thinking about the idea sometimes kids don’t even know a healthy lifestyle so they don’t consider themselves recovering to actually just preparing for a healthier lifestyle.
So, you know, we just kind of tweak some of the wording and stuff but we will use a lot of the material from Recovery for Life and Ready for Life. Moving on. The Team rose from the Ready for Life project. Now when I was – we had a project for the Dream Team called Ready for Life and this was when I went out and I spoke to different communities in South Carolina. Along the way I met people who wanted to speak to their community but just didn’t have a platform to do so, so we kind of – we kind of – it was like that snowball effect where as we got rolling we kind of picked up steam along the way but what we do is we start conversations about issues in African–American community, we usually sweep under the rug, so issues like mental illness and recovery, poverty and opportunity, drugs, health and support, we talk about the drop–out rate and the importance of education, broken homes and how to use what you have.
Now the reason why we have the issue and the alternative is because we don’t like to just go into communities and highlight the bad stuff, we don’t want to go and just point the finger at people, we want to be able to say we had these issues too and these are the solutions we found. Sometimes people think that a solution is no longer in their community or its not available to them, but what we like to do is we like to highlight how it is available to them or how the community does care but we want to kind of bring that community together to provide that support or to provide that conversation.
Okay so this is a lot of what we talk about here. The Team uses staff contacts to further identify needs for the youth. So we’ve met people along the way from the Recovery for Life project, we’ve meet people like Dr. A. V. Strong, who is the CEO of Gangout which is a huge organization here in South Carolina. We’ve met with this guy named – with the Mayor of Nashville, South Carolina named Talbot Owens he’s in South Carolina and he’s awesome. I remember going out to that community in the projects and he wound round up all the people from the projects and we would have this big rally out there in the middle of the projects and it was just awesome just because we were using those contacts just to say, you know, we’re here, we want to provide this service, we have a lot of good information and Mr. Talbot Owens used his own contacts so we were kind of like borrowing from his contact base in his community.
And the speakers come from those communities. One guy on the Dream Team is called Steven Frasier he’s a Christian rapper and one of the things that happened was I was doing the Recovery for Life project – Ready for Life project, excuse me, he was sitting there and if you don’t mind can I had a couple of minutes to speak to my community. We were out in Hampton, South Carolina and he said can I just have a few minutes of your time just to share with my community my struggles and some of the things that I want to do for my community and how I want to help and since then he’s been a really close partner of ours and we’ve also added him to the Dream Team.
And, you know, it’s just one thing that I’ve learned about being successful with the Dream Team project and Ready for Life project is to keep in contact with people even when you’re not there. It’s so important to do that and we have a young lady on our staff, her name is Naomi Brown and she is awesome at contacting people just to say hello, do you have anything going on, what’s going on in your community, can we help, things like that, so that’s one thing that we really, really add to the agenda.
The Dream Team impact individually speaking. The team signs up those who want to receive a daily motivation text message e–mail or Facebook message. What we do is at each rally we leave a sign–up list. At that sign–up list they say my name is Lloyd Hale, my number is such and such, I would like to receive the daily motivation. And what I do, Lloyd Hale, I send out that daily motivation message every day to people who are interested and it’s really good.
What we do with the messages we like to connect or we like to remind people of some of the things that we highlighted in the rally, so it’s just kind of a reminder of some healthy things that we should be thinking about throughout the day. It’s like a cup of coffee if you will. These messages encourage healthy decision making and provide a positive focus as the day begins. And this is just some examples of some of the messages that were sent out.
One of the messages that I sent out was “Greetings, relationships are best when communication is open, one sure way to suffocate a relationship is to cut off this exchange, one sure way to revive a relationship is to breathe the living words of communication, peace.” It’s just an example of what the motivation looks like and the second is as well.
It says “Greetings, the first healthy relationship you establish should be the relationship that you have with yourself. You make changes with yourself instead of insisting that others change. At this point you can trust yourself and begin to trust others.”
And what I do in the daily motivation what I do is I usually high – if it’s not my personal quote, I’ll highlight who wrote that or whatever, the second quote in that one is from the Recovery for Life 2 workshop. So I give credit where credit is due on that. More individually speaking, during rally’s we engage youth in discussions at times with family members. One awesome thing that we’ve seen happen is that mothers and daughters have connected on different levels because there were issues, like I said before that were being swept under the rug and afraid to talk about or shied away from talking about so we kind of get that conversation started and say it’s okay to have this going on, or it’s okay to have that going on but be understanding that you can grow from that, people have to talk one–on–one after the rally which is awesome.
One young guy pulled me to the side one day he had gotten into a lot of trouble out there and he said man you know it’s good to see someone – who’s a young African–American man, and he said it’s good to see someone that looks like me who’s made it out of the struggle, you know, he was just talking about a lot of the stress and the pain that comes from being in the community. Youth tap into vital areas of discussions through rally and daily messages, so we try to – it’s almost like opening up a sore, you know, you open that sore and then you kind of doctor it, you put a little medication on it and stuff like that so we kind of constantly engage through the daily messages.
Values are restored with the reconnection to loved ones. So just as I said before, when family members start talking, those values are restored. The Dream Team impact community based, the rally focuses in community inclusion. The mindfulness about healthy and unhealthy behaviors, relationships and options to change. We don’t recognize the process to making sound decisions. In inclusion, the inclusion of community leaders demonstrate their support.
Now one thing that I would like to highlight is we invite people from the community to come and set–up. Whether it be people from the local clinics, banks, people to come and say we support you. I mean they set–up with information and they speak for two or three minutes about what they have going on but we invite that, we encourage that because it’s so important for the community, for the young people to know that the community has our backs versus the community’s pointing that negative finger all the time.
We like to highlight how some unhealthy behaviors in that community may seem normal although they’re not normal or they’re not healthy even though they seem normal. Mindfulness helps promote better decision making, the decision making on the basis for good leadership, is the basis for good leadership, excuse me. Community leaders offers resources and talk with and not at you.
What I find out–what I find out is that as–as time progresses youth want to have a really positive exchange with outside people versus always pointing the finger or negative idea. The Dream Team at the community base continues it says team encourages global digging, now we don’t necessarily discourage the youth from thinking abroad, thinking outside of the United States, but we also like to get people to start locally and we maintain relationships with these people so it’s easy to contact them in their communities. We maintain relationships through, like I said before, with Naomi Brown contacting people, Pastor Levesta Brown is also good at contacting people for us.
And most of those contacts come from recovery – I mean Ready for Life back in the day. So it’s just really a kind of a taking care of people and people taking care of you type of deal. We always hold rallies in Florence at the Civic Center Youth Summit, which was awesome. We went to the Orangeburg Mental Health Center which was awesome. Bamberg Job Corps where we talked to the kids in the Job Corps there. All of this stuff was really good for us.
The Dream Team has rallied to approximately 1,215 individuals in rural areas and that’s not to include some of the rallies that we just did. Like we just went to Denmark Technical College and we had an awesome time there as well. We send over 100 daily motivations every day, we send that every day out, I try to get it out before 10:00 in the morning because like I said it’s like a cup of coffee.
And we have more that 460 followers and friends on Facebook so it’s even though the numbers looks big, it seems though if you look at the 1200 people that we’ve spoken to and then you look at the 400 people on – a little less than 500 people on Facebook, it’s less than half of the people that we’ve been speaking to so it’s still a rather small number.
And then just some information to go, if you would like to follow–up with South Carolina SHARE and more what they’re about www.southcarolinashare.com, we’re on Facebook, the Dream Team is and that’s at www.facebook.com/dream.team.truth or you can find our personal Web site which we’re still growing in, and that’s thedreamteam.org so if you want to just kind of follow–up with us ask us some questions or, you know, get to know us that’s information for you there.
And this is the Dream Team, this is who we are. So, that’s just a dose of what we have going on down this way and I hope that it was enough information for you, but as you can see we have a different range of personalities and a different range of ages and all of that good stuff, so thanks for listening and I hope it helped a little.
Mary Pat King: Lloyd this is great, this is Mary Pat, you’re the person down in the bottom in the middle, correct?
Lloyd Hale: No actually I’m the person in the middle standing up.
Mary Pat King: Okay good, so that’s Lloyd, thank you so much for the tremendous initiative and we really – please express our gratitude to the other Dream Team members.
Lloyd Hale: Okay will do, thank you.
Mary Pat King: Lloyd this is great, this is Mary Pat, you’re the person down in the bottom in the middle, correct?
Mary Pat King: No actually I’m the person in the middle standing up.
Mary Pat King: Great. Now we are delighted to welcome Dr. Karen Kangas, Executive Director of Advocacy Unlimited Inc. in Connecticut. Karen also serves as the project manager for Shining Stars Young Adults in Recovery. Previously, Karen was Director of Community Education and Communications at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and she served as a member of the Commissioner’s Executive Group. Karen’s strong advocacy for people with mental health and substance use problems has resulted in numerous awards, including the Clifford Beers Award for Mental Health America and the Roger Sherman Award an annual Connecticut human rights award. Karen please tell us more about Shining Stars and Young Adults in Recovery.
Karen are you on mute by any chance? Karen?
Dr. Karen Kangas: Yes.
Mary Pat King: Okay great, the floor is yours.
Dr. Karen Kangas: Okay thank you, I’m so glad, okay. Go ahead to the next one. Oh, we can’t move the slide down? Can’t move the slide, okay. Advocacy Unlimited is a consumer run state wide organization in Connecticut. We actually work with people that have co–occuring disorders; it was established in 1994 by individuals in recovery. All of our staff and 90% of our Board are people in recovery and we promote hope and full inclusion in the community – in the community of their choice.
Next. Advocacy Unlimited is actually really, really proud of our educational programs. One of the ones that’s actually getting a lot of coverage right now is our program called Recovery University; it’s a certification training program for jobs in behavioral health. In fact, we’ve certified over 200 people and four out of the shining stars that are going to be featured in the video that we’re going to talk about in a few minutes in this presentation are recovering university graduates.
And we’re pleased with this program. We get new applications that come in everyday because it gives people in recovery a chance to look at the job field. Our advocacy education training programs that we’ve had around for like ten years are programs that teach people self and systems advocacy skills, they prepare consumers to testify at legislative hearings, we’ve actually gone to legislative hearings we’re we’ve filled a couple of rooms full of testimonies where we’ve really convinced legislators that we need the kinds of resources that will promote people to be able to live in the community and to receive the services that they need, the transportation services, the housing resources, and we’ve really made friends of legislatures I would say.
Our courses are offered in both Spanish and English; we have a Web site that is in English and a Web site that’s done in Spanish. We have on–line courses, they’re also available. In fact I just talked to our Web master and – over the weekend, and I don’t know, I think he said something like 50 new on–line courses, people just came in with their courses and they come from all over the country and so then he has to have them corrected and he sends them certificates so they’re actually really popular.
Our young adults super advocate program, and they decided that they needed to be super advocates, I can understand why, because they’re young and they want to be better than I think that’s extremely important that they’re better than, these are young adults that are 18 to 25, they’re program is a program that provides tools to reintegrate into the community and some of the things that they do is certainly look at support and education in each individual community where the programs are held, they look at the resources that are available to the – available to them. They bring into people – they bring into the community and into the program the people that work in the community so they get to know the local people that they would actually interact with.
They teach–they teach, the program teaches them about recovery and how to stay in recovery, they connect with peers with similar recovery experiences and the peers come in and talk with them and then at the end of the program they have a graduation which is a really wonderful experience and for some of the young adults graduating, it’s the first time they’ve graduated.
Unfortunately some of them have not been able to attend their high school graduations and so it’s – almost tearfully, well, it is tearful to see their parents coming with flowers and they’re so proud of them when they come to see them graduate and get their diploma from the program, the Super Advocate Program.
And the program draws friends and families and community leaders and mental health officials and legislators, we always have legislators because we think it’s important that they understand that the money that provides to the mental health community is really put to good use.
They also produce a short video and the videos are produced and shown at the graduation. And they are actually done by the young adults. They decide. They design them. They write them. And then they produce them. And they’re five minutes of unbelievably inspirational kinds of works of art I would say. And every time we show them people are just like, oh my goodness. They’re recovery stories but they’re recovery stories in the eyes of 18 to 25 year olds. And actually, they are the ones that got us the idea of writing this project to make a longer documentary.
We also continue to say to graduates you have to give back your recovery if you’re going to keep it and so we continue to do that in terms of promoting our programs.
Our young adults are eager to share personal stories to inspire others and show recovery if possible. And this is something that to me was just having been in recovery for so long myself thinking that would somebody that’s 18 to 25, would they be so eager with all the discrimination that’s out there, would they be so eager to want to be in a documentary that might be seen, I don’t know, all over the country.
And they were – absolutely raised their hand. And they were thrilled to be selected, thrilled to be nominated, thrilled to be even thought of, and I thought, gee. They wanted to tell all and I thought, that’s incredible to me.
They said, you know, it’s time to do that. And I just really admire their courage. So they were able to talk about the things that some of us just couldn’t talk about for a long time.
So the challenges that they overcome include hospitalizations and the people that were selected have had hospitalizations that ran from 18 months to seven months to a year, homelessness, lots of trauma, family alcohol and substance use disorder, lack of family support. Some of them had had a lot of out–of–state placement with the Department of Children and Families. Many of them had lived in shelters. They’ve had a lot of experiences that you’d think they’d want to not talk about again but they wanted to share it.
Their personal victories included furthering their education. They all talked about, I want to go on, I want to do something with my life. I’m going to have a life and I’m going to do it back in the community, and I’m going to give back to my community and I’m going to do something with it. They want to have employment. They don’t think about not working. And they want to reunite with their family. And we had some real success stories with people who did in fact reunite with their families.
And they actually want to achieve independence and I’ll talk to you about somebody later on. There’s a picture – somebody that just had not – was not living with her family and is now just shoveling her parent’s driveway this winter. And so, you know, you see that and you see the bonding that goes back together and it’s wonderful.
The documentary that we’re doing was – is culturally sensitive. We made sure, but the young people really made sure it was. They wanted to make sure that the language was sensitive–the language was sensitive, everything. They–they read it over. They looked at it. And of course, they produced it.
The five young adult Shining Stars were selected by their peers. They were nominated and thought of from peers throughout the state and then a group of peers that had been working with us kind of got together and looked at them and looked at, you know, where they were and what kind of things they were going to offer. And there was a selection and they kind of talked with them.
And, you know, we certainly said, you know, think about, you know, are they willing to travel and are they willing to have us come because one of the things we wanted to do was to film them in their homes because we really wanted to go back into the community and see the kinds of things that they were doing. And they were all interested. So it was really hard to select five people but they were willing to do that. So we certainly went by their selection.
Their tremendous courage and ability to overcome personal barriers, I think I just said this, but to recovery inspired the documentary. Documents of the success of young people not ashamed to share stories and identities. This documentary will really demonstrate this whole thing of not being ashamed. Now in recovery, they use their experiences to inform their work with others. They positively speak and – they positively impact their communities and influence systems.
And now we’re going to talk a little bit about the young adults and you’re going to see them. First one, and this is – I think there’s one missing but we didn’t get his picture yet. This is (Brandon). And (Brandon) is in the middle and he’s actually teaching another group of young Super Advocates. He’s standing in the middle. And when you see the documentary you’ll see very clear pictures of him.
We actually went into his house and took great pictures of him showing lots of different things that he does. He – some of his story, and there’s much more of it that he talks about, he was placed in residential care due to the early loss of his mother. He actually saw his mother slice her wrists, which is a very painful experience, and he talks about that. And saw her die at a very early age.
And then he was institutionalized in a state hospital for seven months. And he talks about that with pain, of course. And he talked about his father using substances and his father still is around but doesn’t see him very often. But his – that’s part of it.
Then all of a sudden he just talks about all the success that he’s doing. He’s now a poet and he’s a magazine publisher. He has three books that are published by Amazon.com, which are really neat. He has a web game and – actually more than one, which – they’re recovery games, that are really, really neat.
One – and you have to get to recovery to win and I – he was just showing me when we were in his house and we have a close picture of it. Everybody gets to recovery so no one is a loser actually, which is kind of a neat thing about the game.
He designs postcards and he sells them at a local store. And he’s just a really neat person. He also produces a monthly newsletter that is circulated around the state. It’s called Psych Magazine, which I think is kind of a neat title maybe. No, I think it is. And he asks clients and or staff to ask them for articles and then he, you know, certainly prints them and sends them out. And he uses anybody that wants to send in an article. He says, you know, I do prefer the clients but I’m more than willing to accept articles from staff.
He teaches Super Advocates course. He’s employed as a peer specialist at a community mental health center. He’s also a recovery university graduate. And he is currently in a healthy relationship. And his person that he is in a healthy relationship with, which I think is a really neat story, I – he met her at the state hospital and they’ve been friends and then they got together. And I think that’s kind of a neat thing.
Okay, I’ve got move quickly here. Next person is Jonathan and Jonathan you can see is very athletic. He’s – he writes rap and poetry and he was traumatized as a young person but he’s just full of trophies and basketball and football. He’s also training to be an emergency medical technician, an EMT. And he drives on the EMT. And he’s just very positive and very future–oriented and a great person.
So next, Lizzy, Lizzy is a great, great person and she’s the person that was emancipated at age 15 due to difficulties with her family, began using substances, and is now back living in her own place but is back with her family and was just – is working now as a co–teacher and is working back as an inpatient unit where she was hospitalized for 18 months. And the same staff is there and they’re, like, looking at her and saying, oh my goodness, it’s Lizzy, and here she is, now she’s the staff. And it’s quite an – quite impressive and they were quite shocked to see her.
Next is Alicia. Alicia is really happy to be where she is. She was with DCF – and that’s – Alicia’s in the middle. Alicia was under – was with DCF, the Department of Children and Families, and was moved from state to state.
And now she’s in a very nice relationship and those are her partner’s three kids. And we asked her what makes her a star, and she said, these three kids, they want me want to get up everyday and they make me want to smile and laugh. And she’s very excited. And she’s a graduate of recovery university. And she’s also looking for a full–time job although she works also right now.
And the next thing, real quickly, the kind of questions that we’re asking, I think you can see those. We were asking them – some of their earlier memories, what, when and where was your first typical experience. And one of the things that I think was a real important question is what would you share with someone who is just starting your journey of recovery? What wonderful things that they had to say.
And together we asked them – and together we were talking about what are some of our key partnerships in this project and we had the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. We have somebody that does all of our in–kind technical support. He’s the cameraman. He’s the producer. And he’s somebody that I’ve worked with for a long, long time, wonderful film person, so we’re going to have a tremendous DVD.
And we have state and local legislators who are really going to come out, including the Governor. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won’t be at our local event. And we’re going to have a web tool – web–based tool that will allow people – we’ll have our Shining Stars that will come and they’ll be on our web discussion board and they’ll be able to talk with people around the country.
We’re going to hold a public screening at the LLB which is our legislative office building. And I’m going to go on one more time because there’s our – kind of our informal first draft of our invitation that says come to the Shining Stars premier at the LLB, which is going to be held on June 17.
And they’ll see the Shining Stars and the Shining Stars are going to know they’re going to be done in the front of the LLB and people are all going to look at – and they’re going to be able to answer questions. And they’ll be just the Shining Stars that they are and they’ll be able to talk about what it’s like to be in recovery and how important they are.
And we’re excited. We’re really very excited about this whole project. And then after that we will certainly make the DVD available to people around the country. We’re also going to publish a study guide. And we will provide education and ongoing support. And I think I talked fast enough. Did I finish? Okay. And finally are the email and the – all of that is there, right?
Mary Pat King: Yes.
Dr. Karen Kangas: Thank you very much.
Mary Pat King: Karen, thank you so much. It is clear that the Staring Stars and all of your Super Advocates are poised to make a tremendous impact for people with mental health and substance use problems thanks to all of your efforts.
Now in a moment we’re going to start taking questions. Before we do Ruth Montag, the Director of SAMHSA ADS Center, will share with us more about how to become a recipient of 2011 Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards. Ruth has a masters degree in social work and about 25 years experience working in mental health, housing, and community development. She served as Director for a HUD funded, national technical assistance center as well as the National Resource Center for Mental Health America. Ruth?
Ruth Montag: Thank you, Mary Pat, and good afternoon everyone. Since the 2011 Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards grants competition opened on Friday, May 6 we thought it would be a great opportunity to give a brief overview of the awards for any of you who might be considering applying for these grants.
The grants fund selected state–wide peer–run organizations across the United States to promote social inclusion on the state and local levels and to counter the negative perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs associated with mental health and or substance use problems. Proposed activities must target 18 to 25 year olds and provide a detailed plan to increase awareness of behavioral health issues and of mental health and addictions recovery among young adults, especially those from diverse, multicultural communities.
Proposals are also encouraged that address young adults who have experienced trauma. These awards support SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives of public awareness and support, trauma and justice, and recovery support.
The basic eligibility criteria are that your organization must be a peer–run, nonprofit organization whose board is comprised of a minimum 51% consumers/people in recovery, and that your proposed project must have a state–wide focus and incorporate campaign materials into project activities.
Six $20,000 grants will be awarded and applications are due 5:00 pm Eastern Time on June 6, 2011. A complete project guide that fully describes the project focus, eligibility requirements, application requirements, and other important information is available on the SAMHSA ADS Center website at the link displayed on your screen.
For those of you who aren’t online you can find this information on Slide 54 in the PowerPoint presentation. You can also access the information directly from the ADS Center website homepage by clicking on Campaign for Social Inclusion on the left–hand navigation bar, then clicking on awards. The ADS Center website is www.PromoteAcceptance – that’s all one word, .SAMHSA.gov.
All of you just heard about three innovated programs funded through these awards. We hope these presentations will spark ideas and that some of you will consider applying for this year’s grants.
Mary Pat King: Thanks a lot, Ruth. We really do hope that many of you on the call take advantage of this incredible opportunity to further promote social inclusion in your communities and across the state.
We’ll now take questions from callers. To ask a question please dial star–1 on your telephone keypad to be placed in the queue. Give the operator your name. If you do not wish your full name to be announced then please only state your first name. Because time is limited please limit yourself to only one question so our presenters can get to even more questions.
After the conference operator announces your name please ask your question. Once you’ve asked your question your line will be muted so the presenters may respond. Operator, the first question please?
Operator: Thank you, our first question comes from Dr. Daniel Fee. Your line is open
Dr. Daniel Fee: Hi, first please allow me to thank the three presenters. You’re so inspirational. I’m awed by what you’re doing and how well it’s working. As I listened a couple of questions came to mind, which I think are sort of implicit in the PowerPoint materials but I just want to really get it out on the table to make sure I’m not barking up the wrong tree in my brainstorming.
It seems me like above the multicultural emphasis, the mental health emphasis, the recovery from substance abuse emphasis, and the trauma informed recovery emphasis would potentially be open to having a youth LBGTQ, what we call gay youth emphasis.
And then in particular, I started thinking about folks who may be from that community overlap with what we might call a trauma affected sort of ex–gay, ex–ex gay thing or whatever. And I’m wondering if any one of the three presenters would be willing to speak about whether they think there are materials or processes or dynamics in their models that might address one or both of these communities?
Corinna West: This is Corinna and I’ll take that question. In fact, one of our winning poets from our – first–prize winning poet from Kirksville, Missouri had a poem about the moment he came out and realized he was gay and tried to talk to his parents about it and the experience of living with that. And I’ll have that up on my website, the Poetry for Personal Power website. It will be on the Kirksville page once I get all those videos uploaded.
Mary Pat King: Thank you, Corinna. Does anyone else have anything to add?
Operator: We have additional questions.
Mary Pat King: Great, thank you.
Operator: Thank you, our next question comes from Ken Gregorman. Your line is open.
Ken Gregorman: Thank you, Corinna, what does an Egypt–moment look like? How can we bring it about? And what comes after the Egypt–moment is successful?
Corinna West: This is Corinna and in my home state of Missouri, for instance, there’s $43,000 available for ten consumer operated programs so that’s theoretically $400,000 promoting recovery yet there’s $1.5 million in Missouri spent on Medicaid providing anti–psychotics to children under seven years old.
So right now 1% of the mental health system funding is spent on consumer provided programs or recovery, 99% of the mental health funding is spent on helping people with disability payments or helping people with existing maintenance therapies that don’t move people forward. So the Egypt moment is when we say, if we’re spending the 99% and outcomes is lower than people in the developing world then maybe we ought to spend more money on recovery and less money on systems that don’t work
Mary Pat King: Thank you so much, Corinna. One of the questions that we received online, what results are you getting for your efforts? We hear a lot of activity leading to good feelings but how are these initiatives helping people to maintain progress on specific goals? Karen, would you like to take a first stab at this one?
Okay, Karen, did we lose you? Lloyd, are you able to take – answer this question?
Lloyd Hale: Yea, I can take it. I know one of the big things that we’ve noticed is that – we notice it immediately and that is the connection with family. I think that’s kind of self explanatory but when families are starting to talk again and are starting to do things again and spend that time, I think, sometimes families have values and what not that aren’t really communicated to the kids.
So when that communication door opens back up those values are shared. When those values are shared, you know, you see – you know, you just see an impact in the person altogether, which is going – at some point affect the community. But that’s been the biggest piece that I’ve seen, just that reconnection with loved ones. They’re so important in the community that it’s being lost somewhere in the shuffle.
Mary Pat King: Thanks, Corinna, do you have anything to add?
Corinna West: Not at this time.
Mary Pat King: Okay, great. Next question, Operator?
Operator: Thank you, our next question comes from Beau Stubblefield–Tave.
Beau Stubblefield–Tave: Hello again, thank you for the presentations.
Mary Pat King: Hi, sir, could you speak up?
Beau Stubblefield–Tave: Yes, I can. I’ve worked in the general health care industry as well as behavioral health. In fact, was the leader of the section for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services at the AHA and I’m very interested to know if any of these programs, your graduates or your staff, are going between the general health care system as opposed to the behavioral health care system? I think it’s very important to see the modeling and the connection around all forms of health and wellness.
Mary Pat King: Great, yes, that’s really what Social Inclusion is all about. Thank you. Is there a specific question for any particular speaker?
Beau Stubblefield–Tave: I’m interested in whether participants in any of the programs are, for example, working in a community health center, working in a hospital, as opposed to working in the behavioral health industry itself?
Mary Pat King: Karen, are you on this call? Karen, that would be a good question for Karen.
Woman: All right, do you want Dr. Kangas?
Mary Pat King: Yes, please.
Woman: One moment.
Dr. Karen Kangas: Well‚ preventing homelessness around college students; I know that colleges have looked at the dropout rate with regards to first year students‚ the potential of which don’t come back the second year.
Mary Pat King: A non–behavioral healthcare facility.
Dr. Karen Kangas: No, no.
Mary Pat King: No?
Dr. Karen Kangas: No.
Mary Pat King: Does anyone else – I mean Lloyd, you work with faith–based organizations and non–healthcare providers.
Lloyd Hale: Correct, I work–I work with people all across the board. I work closely with 211, a lot of the churches and communities and things like that, so I work really, really closely with just about anyone, the police department, you know, everyone who’s involved in the community. They contact us in some shape, form, or fashion.
Beau Stubblefield–Tave: Do your graduates wind up working for any of them?
Lloyd Hale: Now that I’m not sure. Being that we work all throughout South Carolina, it’s kind of hard to measure that piece because we go from county to county to county to county and we just kind of get the ball rolling. So we still have some contact with the people through text message and Facebooking but we haven’t gotten any feedback about that.
Beau Stubblefield–Tave: Thank you.
Mary Pat King: Thank you so much. Operator, is there another call?
Operator: Yes, our next question comes from Dr. Rines. Your line is open.
Dr. Rines: Yes, there is a tremendous pathology – I’m African American and the African American community and the mental disabled are locked in a cycle of despondency and poverty. It’s a vicious cycle. How can you, gentleman, my gentleman, my African American friend who’s in the community, what rehabilitative tools can we apply to break this vicious cycle of poverty which causes mental disabilities in the black community?
Lloyd Hale: Is that for the Dream Team?
Dr. Rines: Yes, I guess it’s for you. Yes, brother Dream Team.
Lloyd Hale: Okay, now, what we – like I was mentioning earlier, we talk about building skills, something that’s going on right now in our communities is that there’s a lack of teaching going on I think whether it’s out of fear or out of oversight I’m not sure but some of the things that we really – we borrow from the Recovery for Life manual. We talk about looking at the things that you value. We talk about building – rebuilding self from the inside out.
We don’t necessarily try to change everything around us. We talk about rebuilding ourselves. We talk about looking at what kind of goals we have for ourselves. What are we doing for those goals? We look at what makes me feel a certain way? Why am I dating all of these girls? You know, why am I hanging out with this group?
We look at what’s the motive behind these behaviors. We look at those things and we try to touch it from that place there. Once we touch that we try to connect those people with the people in the community that care. There’s a disconnect there because you have people with an issue. Then you have people that have a solution in the community but there’s no connect.
So we help identify the issue and we connect them with those people in the community. And I hope that that answers your question but we look at unhealthy boundaries and we look at your boundaries being your personal system of yes's and no's that keep you safe. We look at what’s stopping you from getting to where you want to be. We identify things but we also identify the means to overcome those things.
Dr. Rines: And let me push you a little further here. Ovesey in The Mark of Oppression said that the tools that the health community brings to the community are not being utilized by the oppressed in the community. There needs to be some type of motivation piece.
The tools are good but if you don’t motivate the people to reach out and reach up to the tools and the programs that you’re implementing they will not work. They key here is how do you motivate, move, uplift, empower black people to reach out to hopefully pick themselves up by their bootstraps and give them the tools, give them a hand to do that?
Lloyd Hale: The best piece that we have – like I said before, being that we skip from county to county we kind of plant the seeds and we hope that it will grow based on the connections. Now once we have these rallies and we provide this information and we plant these seeds we have the community leaders there with us. We have the people from the different facilities, the job opportunities. We have these people there, community leaders, political figures. We have them there.
Now once we bring the two together there’s not really – it’s not as if we can make it happen. We can present it. We can use our story of hope and talk about how we’ve used similar programs, used similar figures, but we really can’t force anything. All we can do is motivate with our recovery, with our testimonies, and also link the people in the community but that’s as far as we go with it.
Dr. Rines: As the old saying goes, you can bring a horse to the water but you can’t make them drink.
Lloyd Hale: Yes, sir.
Dr. Rines: That that adage is as old, ancient, and as classical application to the black community predicament as you want to get.
Mary Pat King: Thank you so much for such thoughtful insights.
Dr. Rines: Thank you.
Mary Pat King: Thank you, okay. Now Operator, do we have another call?
Operator: Yes, Chris Manning, your line is open.
Mary Pat King: Excellent, thanks.
Chris Manning: Hi, we were just discussing amongst our group here that most of the programs that have been discussed today, they’re for – we’re in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and they’re all in different states. So do any of these programs extend to other states or would we need to initiate something, you know, individually for our state?
Mary Pat King: This is Mary Pat and I’ll take the initiative to respond to that. That is what we wanted to show to you is these great things that are happening across states and in states across the country and that were funded by SAMHSA’s ADS Center by the Campaign for Social Inclusion.
The award process is now open. May 6 is the day that it launched last week. And this is hopefully going to seed a lot of ideas in your brains in your state to determine how you might be able to apply for these grants. Ruth or Lauren, do you have anything to add?
Ruth Montag: No, that’s basically the idea. We wanted to show what some folks have done this past year and the amazing work that they’ve been doing in hopes of stimulating thinking in others out there about what could be done in their communities.
And the speakers who’ve talked with us today, their contact information is in the presentation so that if you wanted to follow up with them, talk with them about how you might bring something like this to your area, or use it as a jumping off point, as a touchstone for coming up with ideas of your own, that’s really what we’re hoping will come out of this.
Chris Manning: Okay, and just briefly, sadly, our computer screen kept returning to the Windows sign so when we would get information it would be certain times and what we saw was that the awards go to – is it 18 to 25 or is that a completely different thing than the $20,000/six grant offer that was shown today?
Ruth Montag: Yes, the Campaign for Social Inclusion Award, the six $20,000 grants, the three presenters who presented today, each of them received one of the six $20,000 grants that were awarded for the 2010 award cycle. Now we just opened up the grants competition for the 2011 award and applications are due June 6.
Chris Manning: Right.
Mary Pat King: Great, thank you.
Chris Manning: Now is that only for the 18 to 25 year old range that was listed?
Ruth Montag: Well, the proposed activities have to target 18 to 25 year olds, yes.
Chris Manning: Okay, the activities need to target that age. Okay, I misunderstood. I thought they were only eligible to participate.
Ruth Montag: No, no.
Chris Manning: Okay.
Ruth Montag: And I’m glad you asked that question, no. No, your organization doesn’t have to consist of 18 to 25 year old. It’s that the project needs to focus on reaching 18 to 25 year olds.
Chris Manning: Okay, thank you very much.
Ruth Montag: Sure.
Mary Pat King: Thank you so much. Operator, last question.
Operator: Thank you, our final question comes from Carol King. Your line is open.
Carol King: Lloyd, I’m going to talk to you. The doctor that called in and was talking about poverty being a big contributor to mental illness, I really have to agree with that, however, I do not believe it is limited to African Americans. I would say that the motivation factor would alter depending on the culture and ethnicity that you’re working with.
In my own life I lived for many, many years on $1,000 a month and I know that my mental illness was raging at that time even with all of the medications and medical care I was getting. My father died and left me some money and just knowing that I had a roof over my head and that I had money to pay for utilities and buy food changed my life drastically.
Now I’m still mentally ill but I function at a much higher level but I really do think poverty is a key issue and I wanted to share that. Would you comment on that?
Lloyd Hale: Sure, I think in the – a lot of the communities that we go into poverty is a huge issue but what we find is that people who are in poverty – in communities with no money they don’t necessarily know that they are living rough or it’s hard. So I think the Dream Team kind of shares the opportunities that are there. It shares opportunity for funding. It shares opportunities for banking and global thinking and things like that. So I completely agree, completely agree. And everybody on the Dream Team comes from similar communities.
However, now the Dream Team is for African – it’s not necessarily for African Americans, it’s specially for African Americans but it’s not excluded to African Americans.
Carol King: No, no, no. And I didn’t say – I didn’t mean it that way. The doctor that called in specifically addressing the African American community and I was trying to say that you ain’t the only ones.
Lloyd Hale: Right, I completely understand, completely understand.
Carol King: And I would like to suggest something. Two or three weeks ago SAMHSA did one of these telecasts on adverse childhood affects, I think it was.
Mary Pat King: Yes.
Carol King: And I cannot recommend enough, Lloyd, that you look at that training. And I believe it would fit right in with what you’re doing. And of course, I believe it applies to about everything and everybody’s life but I just found that so profound. We are dealing with a world of people who have been traumatized. And like you just said, don’t even know they’ve been traumatized. And if we can help them at that level I think that maybe some of the getting the horse to drink when he comes to the water.
Lloyd Hale: Yes, ma’am.
Carol King: Thanks for letting me share.
Lloyd Hale: Thank you.
Lauren Spiro: Thank you, that’s an excellent point. This is Lauren. I just wanted to respond to a question earlier very briefly. A gentleman asked about people being employed in the non–behavioral health system and I just wanted to mention that there are about eight peer–run crisis respites in the United States currently, another eight are in the development stage but at least one of those does have staff in the general hospital so that when someone goes they have a choice actually to go to the psych unit or to a peer–run crisis respite.
So I think with healthcare reform we’ll increasingly see opportunities for people in mental health or addictions recovery to have opportunities in the non–behavioral health sector.
And the other thing I just wanted to say is that when people do use a peer–run crisis respite the cost is on average 25% of a psychiatric hospitalization so there’s huge cost savings.
Mary Pat King: Thank you so much for that and thank you Lauren. And thank you to the previous caller also for plugging the impact of trauma on wellness. And if you want to view that teleconference you can go to SAMHSA’s website and go to 10×10. SAMHSA.gov and click on Training teleconference and the archive will be there so that you can view that presentation as well as listen to the archive of it.
That said, our next teleconference that we’ll be featuring in June, stay tuned because it is focused on poverty and the impact of poverty for people with mental health and substance use problems. So that sounds like one that you’ll definitely want to join us for.
I want to thank you all for such thoughtful questions and answers. If we were unable to take your question you can contact the ADS Center at PromoteAcceptance@SAMHSA.HHS.gov. Again, that’s PromoteAcceptance – one word, at SAMHSA – S–A–M–H–S–A.HHS.gov or reach out to the speakers directly. Their contact information is available on Slide 56.
We really value your feedback. Within the next 24-hours you will receive an email request to participate in a short anonymous online survey about today’s training. It will take you about five minutes to complete. Please take the survey and share your feedback with us. Survey information will be used to help determine what resources and topic areas we need to cover in the future.
This conference has been recorded and the audio recording and transcription will be available in June on the SAMHSA ADS Center website. If you enjoyed this training teleconference stay in touch.
We encourage you to join the ADS Center Listserv to receive further information on recovery and social inclusion activities and resources including information about future teleconferences like I just mentioned. Or join the 10x10 Wellness Listserv to learn more about promoting wellness and increasing life expectancy for people with mental health and substance use problems.
Save the date, National Wellness Week is September 19 through 26. We’ve come to the end of our time today. If you have further questions or would like to follow up please contact the SAMHSA ADS Center via phone, fax, or email. For future reference ADS Center contact information is on Slide 63.
On behalf of Ruth, Lauren, and all of us at SAMHSA’s ADS Center I want to extend our sincere appreciation to Corinna, Lloyd, and Karen for sharing with us all the great work you are doing in your states. Also, thanks to all of you, our listeners, for taking time out of your afternoon to learn more about these innovative community programs.
Don’t forget, the Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards is open as of May 6 and the deadline is June 6. If you have questions contact Ruth Montag who’s contact information is in the project guide. We look forward to receiving your applications. And thanks in advance for completing in advance our survey. Have a good night. Bye.
Operator: Thank you for joining today’s conference. That does conclude the call at this time. All participants may disconnect.