Destination Dignity Summit 16 | The Carter Center | Monday, August 15

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The Carter Center, Atlanta August 12, 2016


Destination Dignity Inaugural Summit: August 15, 2016 The Carter Center – Atlanta, Georgia #DDSummit16; Call in * Dial 1-866-398-2885 (USA Toll Free) Enter Code: 851-630-6835#


(A) To convene leadership across stakeholder groups into dialogue to clarify and galvanize a collective national agenda for change grounded on social justice, dignity and recovery, and

(B) to advance/ refine directions for a national stigma/discrimination reduction program that supports such directions. Summit


1. Consolidate Destination Dignity collective action framework

2. Identify functional intersections between prevention, health equity, public & institutional stigma

3. Create draft domains and indicators for a US national Mental/Behavioral health strategy 4. Envision, refine, expand Destination Dignity Theory of Change

Program for the Day 9:00 Gather & Networking (Coffee and snacks provided)

9:30 Welcome: Destination Dignity Strategy Circle (10) Why And Why Now; Rebecca Palpant-Shimkets (10) Charge for the day: Collective Mind Map Framework (Vega) (15) Flash Introductions; Debbie Plotnick (20) Flipping the Script to Recovery– The Destination Dignity! Project: Eduardo Vega

10:30 Seeing the Big Picture: National Strategies, Rights & Recovery, Health Equity and Social Justice Devorah Kestel; Glenda Wrenn; Mark Salzer; Michael Pietrus

11:25 Break/Transition to Workgroups

11:35 Work Session A: Neuroplasticity – What will it look like when we get there?

12:50-1:30 Break and Working Lunch: Feedback from Work Group Session I

1:30 Afternoon Session Convene and Focus

1:40 The Fulcrum of Change: Structural Stigma, Cultural Variability and National SDR Programs Palpant Shimkets, Pietrus, Bernice Pescosolido, Ginger Lerner-Wren, Larry Yang 2:40 Break -Transition to Workgroups

2:50 Work Session B: Spreading Activation: an SDR Theory of Change for America

4:05 Lever and Fulcrum: Consolidating goals and commitments 4:25 Appreciation and Close

4:30 Adjourn Special thanks to the Carter Center Mental Health Program and to Summit Sponsors:


US Peers Present the Case for Peer Support | Services on Capitol Hill

Dr. Ron ManderscheidAlan Doederlein, President of National Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Lisa Goodale, DBSA Vice President and Director of Training and Texan Veterans Administration Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Olga Wuerz, and Dr. Larry Davidson, from Yale, presented the research evidence.

For more information, see the Behavioral Healthcare, April 30, 2015 article, “US Peers Present the Case for Peer Support, Services on Capitol Hill” by Dr. Ron Manderscheid.

The Need for Health Activism in the Criminal Justice System – Huffington Post 3-31-15

It has been said, “The social power to define and categorize another person’s experience is not a power to be ignored.” The health activation movement is alive and well at the 2015 College for Behavioral Health Leadership Conference. Last week, I had the privilege of presenting about health activation with Adam Slosberg, peer specialist and managing director, Beyond Today International. Declaring 2014 the year of the peer health activation has taken center stage for peer training and professional enhancement, in behavioral health and in the criminal justice system.

According to The National Council for Behavioral Health, Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) training is a peer-led intervention to activate whole health self-management in community mental health centers, federally qualified health homes and Veteran Administration programs. Designed by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Center for Integrated Health Solutions, this initiative will assist and intervene with those persons working to activate their health and recovery from mental illness and co-occurring addictive and other medical disorders.

For the full article, “The Need for Health Activism in the Criminal Justice System” published today by the Huffington Post, go to:

RECOVERY WORKS: National Activists & Organizations Call for Action

Excerpt from

Recovery Works (c) 2015, All Rights Reserved

“Recovery is a process, a way of life, an attitude, and a way of approaching the day’s challenges. It is not a perfectly linear process. At times our course is erratic and we falter, slide back, regroup and start again… The need is to meet the challenge of the disability and to re-establish a new and valued sense of integrity and purpose within and beyond the limits of the disability; the aspiration is to live, work and love in a community in which one makes a significant contribution.”

— Pat Deegan, PhD, person in recovery from serious mental illness

While the term “recovery” was originally applied to substance use conditions, in recent decades, there has been growing recognition that it also applies to mental health. People diagnosed with all mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can and do recover in the community – given the right mix of easily accessible supports and services.

The Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.”

Recovery Works

Promoting Recovery Outcomes

We need to invest in recovery, which means investing in people and holding providers and systems accountable for increasing recovery outcomes, which include:

  • Permanent supportive housing
  • Employment and educational opportunities
  • Access to social support in the community
  • A sense of meaning and purpose in life
  • A sense of empowerment, or control over one’s life and treatment decisions


Advocates Launch Campaign to Advance Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care

a call to action

Campaign Unveiled as Congress Considers Major Mental Health Reforms

CONTACT: David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 917-612-5657

(Washington, DC) – As House and Senate Democrats and Republicans focus on comprehensive mental health reform, and a recent poll by the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research indicated that 71% of Americans are calling for “significant “ or “radical” changes in the way that mental illnesses and addiction are treated, leading mental health experts and advocacy groups have announced the formation of the Recovery Now! Campaign. The campaign has been created to address the crisis in our mental health service system and the personal crises faced daily by individuals and families in great distress.

“Mental health policy reform is rightly a top priority for Congress and the country,” said Bob Bernstein, executive director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “We want to ensure that any reform advances the science of what we know works: accessible, recovery-oriented, community-based treatments and supports.”

The campaign promotes the hope and promise that people can and do recover from even the most serious mental health conditions when they are provided a full array of both treatment and recovery supports.  “The data is clear: approaches that promote stable housing, employment, crisis respite and empathetic connections to others are as critically important as medical services to help individuals move from crisis to recovery,” said Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

“Recovery is real. I’m living proof, and so are thousands of others. Now is the time for major change, so that all Americans living with mental health and substance use conditions have a decent chance at recovery. Together we can shift our current climate of fear and despair to one of hopefulness and possibility,” said Leah Harris, Recovery Now! campaign coordinator and director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.

Added Phyllis Vine, a family activist and author of the book Families in Pain, “All families should advocate for recovery-oriented mental health reform, including peer and family support, which give our loved ones the opportunity to live, work, and thrive in their communities.”

Recovery Now! brings a needed focus on recovery into the national conversation about the mental health care. The campaign will identify and promote proven approaches to end cycles of preventable relapses, hospitalizations, incarceration, and homelessness; advance concrete strategies to prevent and address mental health crisis; and will advocate for greater availability of comprehensive community-based services that promote wellness and recovery through the integration of mental health, addiction and medical care.

Organizations supporting the campaign include the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law,  Mental Health America, the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, and the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

Spokespersons are available for public comment on mental health reform.

straighten up and fly right

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