How can history serve as a launching pad for what comes next in mental health reform? How do we avoid the cyclical actions taken to revert to practices like involuntary commitments, for example, which contradict what we know about recovery and wellbeing?
We are on the brink of major change, with the opportunity to tear down traditional boundaries and fully support mental health recovery. Join us on January 12 for a powerful dialogue about the history of mental health reform, the fight for recovery, and what demands our attention now.
Cherene Caraco has made the last 28 years her personal and professional mission to understand how services and systems can either foster wellness, healing and a high quality of life or can harm the process of recovery. She has used her experience with behavioral health services and systems throughout the country and as an international and national consultant to Managed Care Organizations, Hospitals, States and Behavioral Health Organizations to operationalize mental health recovery, trauma informed organizational change, integrating high integrity peer support, psychiatric rehabilitation and supported employment. In 2005/2006, Cherene started Promise Resource Network (PRN), a peer-operated and staffed non-profit organization serving people that are uninsured who experience complex combinations of mental health, substance use challenges, houselessness and incarceration. The organization operates 16 programs including 24/7 crisis alternatives to emergency department and involuntary commitment, jail and prison diversion and re-entry, and houselessness to homeownership programs. In 2019, Cherene started Peer Voice NC, a statewide movement of people directly impacted by mental health issues to organize and mobilize around legislative and practice change.
Vesper Moore (VES-pur MOR), is an Indigenous activist, trainer, writer, and psychiatric survivor. They have been advocating as a part of the mad and disability rights movements for several years and have been the recipient of many social justice and diversity awards. Vesper has brought the perspectives of mad, labeled mentally ill, neurodivergent, disabled people, and psychiatric survivors to national and international spaces. They have experience working as a consultant for both the United States government and the United Nations in shaping strategies around trauma, intersectionality, and disability rights. They have been at the forefront of legislative reform to shift the societal paradigm around mental health. Vesper as a mad queer indigenous person has made it their life’s mission to rewrite the narrative mental health-industrial complex has enforced on our society. Moore is a mad queer indigenous person of Kiskeia and Borikén Taíno descent and uses they/them pronouns.
Keris Jän Myrick is a Co-Director of S2i, Podcast host of Unapologetically Black Unicorns and serves on the Board of the National Association of Peer Specialists (N.A.P.S.). Ms. Myrick has over 15 years of experience in mental health services innovation, transformation, peer workforce development and authored peer reviewed articles and book chapters. She held executive positions at local, federal, and national levels and was the Board President of NAMI. Ms. Myrick’s work and advocacy has focused on lived experience and race equity. Ms. Myrick is a Certified Personal Medicine Coach, has an M.S. in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant University and MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Phyllis Vine is an American historian and freelance writer. Her writings concern grassroots activists fighting for civil right, social justice and disability rights. Her most recent book, Fighting for Recovery, discusses how people with a lived experience upended conventional models to demand person-centered recovery free of constraints. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, Slate, The Nation, Extra!, Psychology Today, City Limits, Progressive), as well as peer-reviewed journals. Formerly a New Yorker, she now lives in Western Mass., and has walked alongside several relatives in the process of recovery.