Report from Organization Dialogue Session
August 23-26, 2001
Ed Knight opened the discussion by informing the
attendees that the Center for Mental Health Services had requested that the
original name of the session ("Organizing") be changed to "Organization."
Although he could not confirm this, he thought that the word "organizing" may
have been perceived as political.
||Session 1, August 23, 2001|
Ed Knight did not facilitate the group. Instead, he turned the responsibility
for facilitation over to a participant.
The group discussed the following topics, and offered the following
What stops the consumer movement from moving forward?Sometimes consumers don't want to change.
Too much of an "us against them" mentality.
Too many factions and personal agendas.
Focusing too much on "language."
What will move the consumer movement forward?
Inclusive seat in Washington.
Focus on organization.
How do we become inclusive instead of fractious?
Unified and inclusive voice.
Build platforms to integrate and focus on issues.
Rights and expectations.
Peer cross-training potential.
Praise all successes to build
Practice spirituality, goodness and
kindness toward others.
Understand oppression to instigate change
Why are we here (in the Organization session)?
To learn what everyone is doing and to gather strength from others to bring
back to our own community.
To make groups stronger, get people involved.
To help grassroots consumers become united because we are losing ground.
To have a national voice on the national level.
To respect people's differences.
Because of inspirational dissatisfaction.
Because the mental health population is increasing.
Do we have a common theme and, if so, what is it?
Yes, and it
To make a conscious effort to lift stigmas
Being together to support each other to achieve a common goal
To know who we are
List of issues to organize around and how to attack them:Concrete
Americans with Disabilities Act
Review existing materials
Right to have a voice and speak out without fear of retribution
Right to fair wages (instead of a stipend)
Adequate housing, transportation and health care
Parity in treatment and mental health care (health care to include mental
Inability to integrate with mainstream
Olmstead decision cannot segregate from jail, prisons, treatment facilities,
Stigma: internal and external
System created to foster illness and dependency
System that is punitive toward mental health
Self-limitation: giving up homes and dreams
Current practices: psychosocial compliance
Select/elect one or two persons from each state
to represent their state
The following "Vision Statement" was developed by the Organization
Dialogue Session at Alternatives 2001:
Mental Health consumers throughout the country face injustice in all areas of
life. Examples of this include treatment, access to education, housing and
employment and discrimination. These structures prevent us from living full and
independent lives. That is why we are committed to transforming social
attitudes, laws and services. We want to enjoy the same freedoms as all
A motion was made to ask the general assembly (conference attendees) at the
plenary session whether or not they want a National Organization; the motion was
seconded; consensus was reached. (purpose: to show support fort a national
A motion was made to ask the general assembly (conference attendees) to have
a national meeting exclusively around "organization"; the motion was seconded
and a vote was taken: 9 in favor, 2 opposed. The motion passed.
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