What We Do

Our name focuses on three important responsibilities:  advocacy, networking, and support for persons with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, or addiction.  Our vision, to help ourselves have “lives well lived”  means we value active, progressive living that focuses not on illness or disability but on our strenths and potential.   Well-being includes managing our lives in ways that are healthy to all aspects of who we are.  We want to empower people individually and as a community so that we improve the quality of our lives.


NC CANSO identifies issues and brings them to the tables where important decisions are made about our treatment, our rights, and our lives.  We work with other consumer organizations to develop a respected, legitimate consumer VOICE that can not be resisted by those planning and undertaking our services.  We work with our North Carolina protection and advocacy agency to guard the rights of those with disabilities.


By expanding two-way communication among consumers state wide, we are developing a network through which we can share our experiences, consider innovative solutions to our shared concerns, and  support each other personally.  We can also help each other live more healthy lives through education and sharing.  The strengthening and expanding of consumer networking and mutual support have long been needed in North Carolina! 


We have all needed a peer to lean on when we are going through difficulties.  NC CANSO recognizes the ability of each of us to be a peer, a friend to someone who has benefited because of our mutual experiences and respect.  NC CANSO wants to help people realize the value of their peers as one of the most health-strengthening resources in their lives.  

Such natural peer support can result in mentoring relationships.  Mentoring is one way in which we can develop one another’s potential toward personal and individual leadership.  This is empowering!

NC CANSO  also recognizes that the natural support that results from our relationships become the basis for Peer Support Services.  North Carolina must start using peer support services more !   States who depend more on peer support in their systems are having far better outcomes, as defined by the service recipients!  How do we in North Carolina successfully promote value-based peer support instead of it being defined according to funding streams?

NC CANSO supports substantial and responsive use of peer support specialists in the formal system while also promoting informal peer support locally, apart from the service system.


Education is a major factor in accomplishing the changes we want in our lives.  NC CANSO strives to bring education to our community in the form of discussion, conferences, and on-line, up-to-date information.