Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Mental Health Parity in New York – How It Started, How It’s Going

Picnics and Pizza The fight for mental health parity - equal coverage and reimbursement by health insurers of mental illnesses and conditions - has been long and challenging. In the 1990s, the National Picnic for Parity became a grassroots movement in support of parity. The group hosted spirited...

45 Years Within Human Services – Reflections and Where We Go From Here

I have had the privilege of working within the field of autism over the past 45 years. For 24 of those years, I have been honored to work at Melmark, a multi-state human service provider with premier private special education schools, professional development, training, and research centers,...

Mental Health in America: Looking Back With Pride and Ahead With Hope

In the early 1970s at the height of deinstitutionalization in New York, I worked at a psychiatric rehabilitation program on the West Side of Manhattan that primarily served people who had been in state psychiatric hospitals for 5, 10, 20, even 40 years. Each week I went to Manhattan State Hospital...

50-Year-Old Organization Reflects on Its Achievements and Hopes for the Future

Federation of Organizations is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its incorporation as a not-for-profit by the parents of people with serious mental illness and/or developmental disabilities. Fifty years ago, these parents dreamed of changing the system. That has certainly come true! We can see...

The Triumph of “Recovery”

By the early 1970s, just a few years after aggressive deinstitutionalization began, it became clear that merely keeping people with serious and persistent mental illness out of the hospital and in the community was not enough. It was not even enough to make sure that they got good psychiatric...

Volunteers: A Critical Support for Families Involved in the Child Welfare System

Volunteers at The Mental Health Association of Westchester play a critical role in improving the lives of children and families served by the child welfare system. Through two unique programs that rely on trained, supervised community volunteers, we advocate for the well-being of youth in family...

Honoring David Woodlock’s Service to the Mental Health Community

David Woodlock, President and CEO of the Institute for Community Living (ICL), recently announced his retirement after a career in the mental health field spanning nearly five decades. Woodlock, who served as Deputy Commissioner for Children and Families at the New York State Office of Mental...

Mental Health Advocacy With and Without Advanced Technology

I just switched from E-mail to Microsoft Word to write this article about mental health and technology. I left 250 E-mails unanswered to make the move. Oy vey! I feel like I’m guilty of E-mail neglect. Who will I offend today by not responding to them? It wasn’t always like this. 45...

Social Determinants of Behavioral Health: Time to Augment Advocacy Strategy?

The hope implicit in the concept of social determinants is that broad changes in the social, economic, and political structures of our communities, nations, and world can result in improved behavioral health of large populations, such as regions, age-groups, social classes, genders, disabilities,...

From the Publisher: A Personal Journey From a Survivor of Suicide: “From the Depths of Despair to a Mission of Advocacy”

I was drifting in and out of consciousness in the emergency room. “You have to drink this,” someone was saying as they held a tall plastic cup to my lips, filled with a tasteless ink-black liquid. I later learned that the charcoal drink was given to me to absorb the toxic soup that was in my...