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.
In this issue we honor the memory and work of Sally Zinman, a pioneer in the consumer, self-empowerment, community organizing, activism movement, who passed away on August 25th. Rest in peace and power, Sally.
We also have a perspective from the acting California Surgeon General Devika Bhushan, a study from Norway on the value of a model aimed at reducing involuntary psychiatric admissions among adults. And, we have an article that focuses on state-lead mental health reform.
Registration continues for the Core Values Learning Series. There are a few openings left for the first session of An Overview of Recovery, The Values, Principles and Practices of Psychosocial Rehabilition, and Person Centered Language. For more information and to register, click below.
Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!
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 Learning Opportunities
Registation is open now!
Beginning Wednesday, September 14th, 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 opportunities will introduce new staff, refresh existing staff, and remind all staff of the values, principles and practices of Recovery and Psychosocial Rehabilitation.
The series consists of 3 themed sessions containing 3 topics. Each topic is 3 hours in length.
The Core Foundation
Overview of Recovery - 9/14/22
Values, Principles, and Practices of Psychosocial Rehabilitation - 10/12/22
Person Centered Language - 11/9/22
Building Effective Relationships
Active Listening - 1/11/23
Principle Guided Decision Making - 2/8/23
Cultural Humility and Awareness - 3/8/23
Services for Growth
An Overview of Crisis and Our Response to it - 4/12/23
Harm Reduction - 5/10/23
Employment and Other Meaningful Roles - 6/14/23
Registration is no cost, limited to 35 people per session to ehance the learning experience, and open only to employees of CASRA member agencies.
Registration is open. There are some seats available for the Core Foundation Session. For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.
A benefit of membership in CASRA is receiving 4 hours of training for your staff. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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
The California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies
3350 E. 7th Street, #509
Long Beach, CA 90804
"We, all of us, have been soldiers in a march towards transformation, from a system based on chronicity to one of recovery.
From a system that decided everything about us without us, to one in which nothing is about us without us.
From a system that considered people with lived experience as not able to run their own lives, to one that values consumer-run programs and peer support.
From a system based on force to one based on choice and self-determination and freedom.
And, from a world that dehumanized and isolated people with lived experience to one that embraces us as neighbors, friends, family members, business colleagues, and every kind of professional.
I remember my feelings as I left my own incarceration almost 40 years ago, and I can remember them today as I am speaking.
I wanted to do something about it, so that those who followed me would not experience the same inhumane treatment as I had.
This award is for and because of all those who felt the same way, and did and are doing something about it.
I am truly not standing here alone. I am standing here with and because of them."
2016 SAMHSA Choice Awards
In Memory of Sally Zinman
from Betty Dahlquist
How do you describe the 40-plus year career of one of the most influential and persistent consumer/survivor advocates in mere words? With a great deal of respect, love and admiration.
Sally, one of the founders of the California and national consumer/survivor movements, insisted that the public mental health delivery system emphasize choice, self-determination, recovery, inclusion and peer support. She led the effort to establish the first consumer-run drop-in center in California in Berkeley. She was the founding executive director of the first statewide consumer advocacy organization in the nation (CA Network of Mental Health Clients) and was instrumental in achieving a long-held goal to recognize the legitimacy and value of peer support and peer support workers with the establishment (finally) of the Peer Support Specialist certification in California.
A recipient of many awards, her national reputation earned her the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Voice Award for lifetime achievement and the Clifford Beers Award granted by Mental Health America. Read More
Op-Ed: I am California’s acting surgeon general. And I have bipolar disorder
From LA Times
Devika Bhushan, Aug 26, 2022
In 2011 I was a third-year medical student at Harvard Medical School. I was on my psychiatry rotation — and I had a secret.
My attending doctors remarked on how well I supported our patients. I was grateful but felt as though my familiarity with and deep empathy for their symptoms and medication side effects were like a neon sign that at any moment could out me.
Using the words “bipolar disorder” in reference to myself was brand-new to me then. The images I had of people with bipolar disorder just didn’t fit with my sense of who I was.
And I felt strong internalized shame around my diagnosis and the mood-stabilizing medications I had started taking. Read More
Reducing Involuntary Psychiatric Admissions in Norway
An interdisciplinary team in Norway, including individuals with lived experience, co-designed an approach to reduce coercive and forced psychiatric interventions.
From Mad in America
By Julia Lejeune, August 25, 2022
A new study published in BMC Health Services Research describes the collaborative process undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of stakeholders to develop the Reducing Coercion in Norway (ReCoN) intervention, a primary care-based mental health care model aimed at reducing involuntary psychiatric admissions amongst adults.
The development of the ReCON intervention comes in response to growing concerns regarding rising rates of involuntary hospitalizations across the globe, with annual percentage increases as high as 4% in the United Kingdom and 5% in the Netherlands. Consumer-led organizations, national governments, and international organizations, including the United Nations, have called for the ban of forced psychiatric hospitalization, labelling the practice a human rights violation that takes autonomy away from persons with psychiatric disabilities. Research has also shown that when individuals feel coerced during a psychiatric hospitalization, they are more likely to experience long-term negative outcomes, including increased risk for suicide. Read More
State-led mental health reform has failed before. But 2022 is different.
Now we appreciate that mental health is a core part of health, worth investing in.
From The Washington Post
By Phyllis Vine, August 30, 2022
The coronavirus pandemic revealed the many overlapping mental health crises that had simmered beneath the surface in America for years. Drug and alcohol use have skyrocketed since 2020 and suicide rates are up, especially among young people. Therapists have waiting lists and access to services is delayed. Even the rollout of the new national crisis line, 988, might be hobbled in several states because they simply don’t have the resources or trained staff available to handle all the calls.
President Biden has advocated for mental health reform, but historically, presidents have struggled to build political will to pass meaningful legislation.
And yet, this time the political will — despite all the volatility — seems more intent on meeting the challenge. It’s not just that conversations about mental health are breaking out of hushed silos. There also seems to be political support across party lines for funding local communities. Along with the robust engagement of activists with the lived experience of recovery, and families managing mental health challenges, there is a rising tide insisting that mental health is foundational, not adjacent, to overall health. Read More
PRA has New Eligibility Requirements
The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association is happy to announce new streamlined eligibility requirements for certification!