National Coalition Representing Individuals with Psychiatric Diagnoses Lauds President Obama's Recommendations to Contain Gun Violence

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR), a coalition of 32 statewide organizations representing individuals with mental health conditions, joins with other Americans to thank President Obama for taking bold and decisive action against the shocking escalation of gun violence in America.

NCMHR supports the President's statement that people labeled with mental illnesses are far more frequently the targets than the perpetrators of violence. "However," said Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., a founder of NCMHR who himself recovered from schizophrenia, "we are concerned that several of the recommendations will increase the fear of, and discrimination against, individuals with mental health conditions. For example, expanded reporting of potential violence by mental health professionals to local authorities will inevitably result in people concealing information from their service providers, and deter people from voluntarily seeking mental health services."   

NCMHR urges including the following in the national dialogue about the development/application of the President's executive actions:

  1. Transforming our mental health system from an illness/maintenance model to a wellness/recovery approach through retraining providers;
  2. Reducing stigma and discrimination by highlighting individuals' inspiring stories of recovery from mental health challenges;
  3. Providing trauma-sensitive, culturally competent trainings and education on helping someone through an emotional crisis – such as Emotional CPR (eCPR), which is recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and CARF International – and making these trainings available to teachers, families and others to help them prevent or de-escalate emotional crises;
  4. Education about effective peer-run approaches that complement the traditional system, such as peer-run respites, which engage isolated persons during times of emotional crisis;
  5. Creating ongoing local community dialogues to discuss these issues and establish networks and action plans so that people feel safe and know where to go for help;
  6. Enabling CMS to issue a letter that facilitates the broader use of peers and provides hope to those who use Medicaid services;
  7. Limiting a national database of persons labeled with mental health diagnoses to those with known histories of violence, as such a database is a violation of civil rights and a barrier to treatment.

"We congratulate the President for calling for a national dialogue on mental health and we look forward to actively participating in this dialogue," Fisher concluded.

Contact: Daniel Fisher, M.D. Ph.D., 1-800-POWER2U, info4@power2u.org

SOURCE National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery



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