On Recovery: Work at DHHS

It is easy to lose track of the work going on at the State level that impacts our lives, our advocacy, and our work.  Here are some updates.

The Governor’s Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force:
There has not been much news on the efforts of this Task Force. It is known that at least two persons with lived experience of mental illness and recovery applied to serve but were not selected.  Perhaps there are persons who live in recovery after substance use challenges are serving, but we do not recognize any names that we know.  (Whoops!  I now see that a liason between the group and the State CFAC is listed).   I admit that the only information I have to go on is that from the following web page:  http://www.ncdhhs.gov/about/department-initiatives/task-force-mental-health-substance-use Readers should check out this page to see the Six Tasks for the group.
 
What should concern us?  There is no use of the word recovery or any concepts that relate to recovery or resilience in the list of the six tasks assigned to the group.  Yet so many of these tasks would yield a clearer scope of actions that would truly help in reducing crises if this exercise was being done through a lens of resilience and recovery.  
 

To advocate for inclusion of consumer input and a focus on recovery, please contact Sonya Brown, DHHS staff to one of the committees (sonya.brown@dhhs.nc.gov ) or Dr. John Santopietro(who spoke at our recovery conference last year and who chairs the adult services committee of the task force–email:  john.santopietro@carolinashealthcare.org ).  Also, copy your email to Courtney Cantrell at courtney.m.cantrell@dhhs.nc.gov .  Tell them that it is misguided not to look at issues of high emergency department and justice system utilization without considering the need for developing a system that engages people and their potential to recover and ensuring we have supports for this in our communities.  Remind them that peer support is vital to reducing high intensity service needs!  Ask them to include written recommendations submitted by recovery advocates as they undertake their work, and send some!  THANKS!

 
Crisis Solutions Coalition:   To see a review of some of the initiatives that have come out of this initiative in the past couple of years, please check this web site:
The next meeting is to be December 14, and NC CANSO will be there!  Here is a note on the meeting focus:  Our first speakers will review the legislation, and associated requirements, which broadens the group of professionals who can perform first examinations in the involuntary commitment process.  Expanding our capacity effectively in this area is consistent with the development of our behavioral health urgent care centers and other crisis response initiatives across the state.  Then, our second guest speakers will discuss roles for certified peer support specialists throughout the crisis intervention continuum.  We expect both topics will benefit from your thoughtful discussion!  
Remember, you read about it here with NC CANSO!
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