Formally recognized in June 2008 (and currently designated as), Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the US. Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.
in the last newsletter highlighting Steve Greene on his retirement from his official CASRA duties, there was an error in the printing one of his responses to the 5 questions. Here is his correct response:
What have you enjoyed most about your work?
I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. I don’t consider this work. If I could live without income, I would do this for free. I am always being told that my program is a great one and doing great work. It is a team effort, I’m more like the conductor with my staff being the musicians, doing the work.
Thanks again, Steve for all your work.
Who We Are
CASRA is a statewide organization of private, not-for-profit, public benefit corporations that serve clients of the California public mental health system.
Member agencies provide a variety of services that are designed to enhance the quality of life and community participation of youth, adults and older adults living with challenging mental health issues.
Member Agency Employment Opportunities and Information
Our member agencies are continually looking for new employees or volunteers to join their workforce.
To see current openings and find out additional information about CASRA Member Agencies, please click below.
CASRA Agency Trainings
A benefit of membership in CASRA is receiving 4 hours of training for your staff. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Mental Health Issues from Historical Trauma Plague Native Americans
From Native Hope.org
By Trisha Burke, May 16 2021
People claim to “be there” for the 1 in 5 who suffer from mental health issues. However, those who suffer, particularly from multiple layers of trauma, feel alone a majority of their days. The reality is “there isn’t a light switch that can be just turned on and off. Even after visiting with those I care about, I still go home to my thoughts—it just doesn’t stop,” explains Dennis.
He suffers from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and as a Native American—most likely, historical trauma. For many, like Dennis, healing from childhood trauma in adulthood is a major hurdle: “I grew up thinking the abuse was normal.” According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness [NAMI], “46.6 million people experience some form of mental illness.” Read More
When Things Feel Unreal, Is That a Delusion or an Insight?
From Scientific American
By John Hogan, June 14, 2022
Have you ever been gripped by the suspicion that nothing is real? A student at Stevens Institute of Technology, where I teach, has endured feelings of unreality since childhood. She recently made a film about this syndrome for her senior thesis, for which she interviewed herself and others, including me. “It feels like there’s a glass wall between me and everything else in the world,” Camille says in her film, which she calls Depersonalized; Derealized; Deconstructed
Derealization and depersonalization refer to feelings that the external world and your own self, respectively, are unreal. Lumping the terms together, psychiatrists define depersonalization/derealization disorder as “persistent or recurrent … experiences of unreality, detachment, or being an outside observer with respect to one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, body, or actions,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. For simplicity, I’ll refer to both syndromes as derealization. Read More
Dream Big: Improving Sleep on a Mental Health Ward
When Jacob Clark was working as a Clinical Psychologist in the Community Mental Health Team at East London NHS Foundation Trust, he noticed that a lot of the inpatients on the Lea Ward weren’t sleeping well and many of them slept a lot during the day. Jacob and his team came up with some simple but effective solutions to the ward’s sleep issues.
Lea Ward treats patients with a range of mental health difficulties, including high levels of anxiety and psychosis. Staff members are required to make regular night-time checks on patients, shining a torch on them to assess they are safe. Jacob’s Health and Wellbeing group discovered that many patients found these checks difficult to sleep through, and in some cases quite unnerving. Read More
My O.C.D. Diagnosis Was a Blessing, Until It Became Too Central to My Identity
From the NYTimes
By Brad Stulberg, July 3, 2022
Five years ago, seemingly out of nowhere, my brain fell into an abyss of unrelenting intrusive thoughts — What if I harm myself? What if I harm others? What if I’m crazy? — each of which was accompanied by electric shocks of anxiety and full-on sensations of dread. It was, by far, the most terrifying, vexing and isolating period of my life. My first moment of relief came four weeks later, when I finally got in to see a psychiatrist.
“You aren’t suicidally depressed or experiencing psychosis,” he told me. “You’ve got a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
At first, the label was helpful. I went from drowning in a bottomless and unexplainable sea of terror to “having O.C.D.” The label helped me make sense of my reality, pointed the way to a specific type of treatment (something called “exposure and response prevention”) and made me feel less alone. During those first few months, dealing with my O.C.D. dominated my life, and for good reason. Read More
Once Reluctant, Now He Uses His Full Name to Talk about Mental Illness
From the Washington Post
By Petula Dvorak, June 30, 2022
He was known as “Mike” in his father’s book about mental illness and the hellish journey it was to access care in a dysfunctional system.
“Mike” was wrestled to the ground and Tasered.
“Mike” was receiving encrypted messages from an Oliver Stone movie.
“Mike” broke into someone’s home and took a bath.
“Mike” has “an incurable disease. He will never get better,” a doctor told Mike’s father, best-selling author (and former Washington Post reporter) Pete Earley.
He told the story of the devastating news in the documentary: “It’s unlikely he will ever be able to hold a job, he’ll ever marry, have kids. And there’s a high chance he’ll have an encounter with police, be arrested, may become homeless.”
But at the White House last week and on screens across America, he’s using his full name — Kevin Mike Earley. And he has a graduate degree, a job and a full, artistic life.
“If we’re going to say there’s no shame in having a mental illness,” Kevin Earley, 43, said, “how am I going to go around, using my middle name?”
Earley is one of more than a dozen Americans profiled in the latest Ken Burns documentary, “Hiding in Plain Sight,” a two-parter about the arresting mental health crisis gripping our nation’s youth. Read More
Starting in the Fall, CASRA will be presenting a series of workshops that are designed to further the mission of improving services and social conditions for people with psychiattric disbilities by promoting their recovery, rehabilitation and rights.
The monthly learning opportunties will introduce new new staff, refresh existing staff, and remind all staff of the values, principles and practices of Recovery and Psychosocial Rehabilitation.
More information and registration information to follow.
If you are a CASRA member agency and would like to advertise your learning opportunity, training or event for the benefit of other CASRA member agencies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a few guidelines:
You are a CASRA Member Agency
Your event is free of charge
and, as a reminder the Newsletter is published on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month