NEWS RELEASE – 23 April 2008 – PLEASE FORWARD!
New Oregon state-wide coalition of groups representing
mental health consumers & psychiatric survivors launches.
First board of directors and assembly of organization
representatives of “OCSC” officially begins.
Board unanimously elects Tracey Dumas, PhD first President.
Yesterday, 22 April 2008 was Earth Day. And there was some Earth-
shaking news for the future of mental health care in Oregon.
Yesterday, the state-wide voice in Oregon for mental health consumers
and psychiatric survivors became a little stronger. And if their
plans go well, that voice may become a lot stronger.
After a year of planning and development, a state-wide teleconference
facilitated by nonprofit attorney David Atkin launched the board of
directors and assembly of organization representatives for the new
alliance in Oregon.
For short, the name of the group is OCSC which stands for “Oregon
The longer name is Oregon Mental Health Consumer and Psychiatric
Survivor Coalition. Incorporation was on 31 August 2007 via a grant
from McKenzie River Gathering Foundation through MindFreedom Oregon
to supply technical assistance, and after months of preparation and
discussion of principles, mission, bylaws, the first board officially
began yesterday afternoon Tuesday, 22 April 2008.
The start-up board of directors resides in all five regions of Oregon
identified by the start-up committee, which felt that geographic
diversity in the large State was a high priority:
OCSC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tracey Dumas – President
Rebecca Edens – Chair
Rebecca Eichorn – Vice President
Beth Quinn – Secretary
Nancy Snider – Treasurer
Tracey Dumas of Eugene, Oregon, OCSC’s first board president,
experienced involuntary electroshock at the age of 19, and yet went
on to win her PhD in sociology from the University of Oregon. Tracey
is a well-respected leader of mental health clients, and is widely
admired in Oregon and nationally.
For a Register-Guard newspaper article about Tracey’s work
challenging psychiatric drug company abuse, including a photo of
or if that link doesn’t work go to:
Also made official yesterday were the 14 initial sponsor
organizations in the coalition. Each group of mental health consumers/
psychiatric survivors in the coalition has a representative on an
“assembly” to hear throughout the year from the grassroots and —
after this start-up — to elect future board of directors. More
groups are welcome to invited to join:
# Safe Inc. – representative: Donalee Smith, Springfield
# MindFreedom Oregon – representative: David Oaks, Eugene
# State of Oregon Mental Health Consumer/Psychiatric Survivor
Advisory COUNCIL – representative: Rebecca Eichorn, Salem
# BEARS – representative: Marie Parcell, Corvallis
# Project ABLE – representative: Nancy Snider, Salem
# OCTA-Peer LiNC Oregon – representative: Rollin Shelton, Portland
# Empowerment Initiatives, Inc. – representative: Rick Snook, Portland
# Rainbow Clubhouse – representative: Beth Quinn, Bend
# ShelterCare Consumer Council – representative: Tracey Dumas, Eugene
# Oasis of Klamath County – representative: Pam Speaker
# GOBHI Consumer Caucus ? Baker Co – representative: Erik Palmer
# Lane County Mental Health Consumer/Psychiatric Survivor Advisory
Council – representative: Joyce Ann Findley
# The Union Drop-In Center in Grants Pass – representative: Mark Fisher
# A Place of Our Own – representative: Rebecca Edens, Tillamook
OREGON COALITION APPLIES TO JOIN USA COALITION
In their first order of business, the new OCSC board voted
unanimously to apply to become one of the sponsors in The National
Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations (NCMHCSO),
which unites state-wide organizations in the USA representing people
diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. For info about NCMHCSO see:
Most USA State governments provide some level of support for the
state-wide voice of mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors, such as a state-wide conference, newsletter, office of
mental health consumer affairs, etc.
Oregon is one of the minority of USA States to provide no funding at
all for such state-wide activity since that budget item was totally
eliminated in 2003. In the words of Oregon’s official State motto,
the historic beginning OCSC “flies with her own wings.”
For a newspaper article in _Street Roots_ about the OCSC launch see:
or use this web address: