From: David Oaks <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [OCSC-talk] dialogue with office of Governor
To: Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks Dave R.
I’m thinking about the times we testified and met with legislators
I’ve been visiting the legislature for about 20 years.
In the early years we were mainly just stopping bad bills. That’s it.
And it was uphill.
It just seems more and more legislators are supportive of mental
health consumer/psychiatric survivor voice, involvement, etc.
Enough? No not enough. But more and more.
Plus there are more consumer/survivors speaking out!
Here’s a photo of two OCSC group representatives (Marie Parcell of
BEARS and Rick Snook of EI) testifying during the last legislative
Here are more photos:
A number of people who showed up had to do so on very last minute
notice, fairly early in the morning, and wait through a lot of other
bills. And thank much to folks like Drake, Beckie and others who have
helped promote these bills. (And thanks to ADAPT trainers who came in
for a state-wide brainstorming session a few years ago that helped
get these bills started.)
True, we won one bill, lost the other… but we’re finally taking the
initiative, filing a bill, and winning.
And yes we have a long way to go, but my point is about the RECEPTION
we had from some legislators. Quite a few know us, support us, etc.
As one legislator passionately put it to us, “You are preaching to
Enough? Not enough. But a bit of hope.
Maybe people could post some of their “legislators who give us hope”
who might support us… that is, elected state legislators who know
some of us personally, who seem to get some of our issues, who
express warm support.
Again, I’m not saying it’s enough, some have a lot to learn.
A few from my point of view from Lane County: Sen. Prozanski, Sen.
Morrisette, Rep. Holvey,
On May 4, 2008, at 8:14 PM, David Romprey wrote:
> Excellent thoughts, and ideas to build on, Pat.
> Also, I learned through David Oaks personally that there are some
> very positive updates in our image on Capitol Flats (I say this due
> to there is NO hill around our Oregon Capitol building, and
> actually somehow seems LOWER than most of the city!).
> David Oaks tells me some Coalition members are being much better
> received. Part of the image problem is simply knowing and learning
> TOGETHER how well we are doing. I’m happy about the good news, and
> hats off to some intentional relationship work by folks working
> closer to this cause than I am!!
> The best,
> David R.
> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Patricia M DAVIS
> <Patricia.M.Davis@state.or.us> wrote:
> In response to David and Dan’s comments:
> Hello OCSC Friends,
> Recovery Thinking and Mutuality filled the halls of the Portland
> State University’s conference center last week, April 24-25, as Dan
> Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., National Empowerment Center Director, person
> in recovery, inspired all in attendance to see dreams become
> reality in taking hold of recovery personally and advancing
> recovery thinking in our society and its systems of care.
> That fancy sentence to say, it was an awesome event with Dan and a
> room full of people listening and becoming change agents in their
> own neighborhoods/communities! People who identified themselves as
> consumers/advocates/patients and x-patients, people who identified
> themselves as family members, people who identified themselves as
> therapists, state hospital employees, people working in provider
> agencies, and people who identified themselves as students. People
> with all sorts of experience wanting to come together in empowerment!
> By the way, Dan’s presentation was a direct result of behavioral
> health workforce development efforts! PSU asked consumers on the
> BHWD Committee to coach them on new thinking and the consumer/
> recovery movement last year. As a result, PSU has added an entire
> Behavioral Health Training Series to their Continuing Education
> Department so that the next generation of “helping professionals”
> will be recovery and empowerment minded.
> The group of friends of the OCSC instilled such hope in me that all
> of our efforts for change over the years is really making a
> difference. What a fantastic group! 16 members of the group
> signed up to be “official” friends of the work of the OCSC. The
> group asked to be formally linked to our OCSC web site and they
> will also stay in touch with each other to support one another in
> their efforts to support you and transform the part of the system
> they touch.
> So group, I’ll create an email group for these change leaders and a
> directory of these friends for you to refer to, but I need to ask
> you about linking them to OCSC. How would you like this done?
> Should the “friends” nominate someone from their group to get
> connected and be part of the “talk” group, etc.? A few in the
> group are in recovery and working in the system. Like the
> Oregon Stop Stigma slogan goes…People…JUST People, like you and
> Which leads me to “whole person” thinking and the wellness
> initiative The more we see wellness and illness as a common human
> experience…all of us move up and down on the continuum, that you
> cannot have wellness in our society or in the body without treating
> the whole person (mind, body, spirit)…and that even the people
> serving at the Capitol can and do move along this SAME continuum,
> the more we reduce stigma and discrimination. When we go to the
> Capitol and speak, or speak individually to Legislators, we speak
> on behalf of “them” as well as “us.” We become “all” just people
> and the “us” and “them” must disappear!
> As to “repairing” our image at the Capitol or anywhere. (In my
> opinion) It’s all about trust, relationship building, and being the
> strong, brilliant unified voice we have become. Sticking together,
> presenting concise facts, sharing our stories, working in our own
> communities, finding the leader’s at the Capitol who “get it” and
> following other good civil rights movements like that of the
> physical disabilities movement.
> Raising awareness May is Mental Health Awareness Month Educate
> every chance you get! We are the living evidence!
> Happy Friday All,
> Patricia M. Davis-Salyer, M.Ed.
> Training and Development Specialist
> Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH)
> Workforce Development Unit
Can I ask for your help to show there is national and international
concern about the mental health system in the State of Oregon in the
Oregon’s Governor Kulongoski budgeted zero  for the state-wide
voice of Oregon’s mental health clients for five years.
At the same time Oregon is one of the very few USA states building
brand new huge psychiatric institutions.
The Governor found half a billion ($500,000,000) for bricks and
mortar for new psychiatric institutions.
But not a dime for the voice of mental health clients. Again and again.
Please take a moment to show there is international concern.
*BELOW* is a letter to the editor by me that was published today, 6
May 2008, in Eugene, Oregon’s daily newspaper, _The Register-Guard_.
Please read my brief letter.
And then ask Governor Kulongoski in a civil way:
Easy ways to ask the Governor via the web are here:
Or see links at the bottom of this alert.
LETTER TO EDITOR – Published 6 May 2008 in The Register-Guard,
Eugene, Oregon, USA:
The Register-Guard’s recent guest viewpoints and letters about humane
alternatives in mental health are appreciated. This community
dialogue is healing and necessary.
I’ve studied the history of the mental health system over the
centuries. Minor reform is not enough. Reform often results in more
money for more of the same. One step to deeper change is to start to
listen to the diverse perspectives of mental health consumers,
psychiatric survivors and their organizations.
Most of the states support the statewide voice of mental health
clients in some way, even if small. Most states fund an office of
mental health consumer affairs, a statewide conference or a
newsletter to support the empowerment of our citizens who are
diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Many leaders in Oregon’s
mental health system and Legislature endorse this common sense idea.
Our advocacy group concludes that a top obstacle to real change in
Oregon’s mental health system is in the office of Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
Since Kulongoski took office, his budget item for the statewide voice
of mental health clients has been eliminated. The governor has
continued to recommend that this funding stay at zero, even while he
raised about half a billion dollars to build huge new psychiatric
Now I hear Kulongoski say that as a superdelegate he may override the
majority of Democratic voters in Oregon’s May 20 presidential
primary. Is there a pattern here of the governor squelching the
voices of Oregonians? Let’s all ask him.
David W. Oaks
Eugene, Oregon, USA
* ACT NOW * ACT NOW * ACT NOW *
Two easy actions you can take to ask “Why Zero?”
Encourage funding Oregon’s state-wide voice of mental health clients
in your own words!
1) ASK OREGON’S GOVERNOR!
Just use Governor Kulongoski’s web contact page here to send e-mail,
phone or postal mail:
2) COMMENT ON OREGON’S BUDGET!
The Governor’s Department of Human Services is asking for public
input *now* about their next budget!
E-mail your comment here:
2 responses to “More Mental Health nik-naks”
I am a consumer-provider who had twelve years experience as a rehab counselor until a year and six months ago.
I took a job as a voational counselor at Eliot Community Human Services with the PACT. After bringing to the attention to the manager Aaron Katz that some clients were not getting services they needed I was subjected to a hostile response. The feed back was “mind your own business-other staff feel you don’t fit in”. Then I got a written warning threatening termination for late paper work. I have a disability -dyslexia – covered by the ADA and requested more time with paper work. (Some of the paper work due I was repremanded for was management’s responsibility.) The writen request was denied by management. The next day I was blamed for a manager’s mistake in manageing a crisis. The PACT was managed badly and clients in crisis did not get treatment when needed. So I was used as a scape-goat and thrown out like trash. The management ignored the two union greivences I filed with SEUI. The union wasn’t able to help. I developed health problems due to stress during the weeks these issues developed. I got treatment. But, Eliot Community Services fought my claim at the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training. They did not pay me for the last two weeks I worked there. So I had no money for health insurance and ended treatment. After five hearings I was awarded unemployment.
At this point I am burned out and can not get a job. I have no reference from my former employeer. This is because I stood up for clients, worker’s rights, and ethical ounseling practice. Now I am dodging homlessness and applying for social security disability.
This is how an honest person in human service can be srewed.
former consumer-provider at Eliot Community Human Services PACT Malden MA
I feel for you.
You and I have some history in common it seems.