On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness

On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness

by Sally Clay
Pub. Date:
Vanderbilt University Press
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On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness

On Our Own, Together describes the inner workings of eight successful peer-run services for mental health consumers, including drop-in centers, educational programs, and peer support/mentoring programs. Written by people who developed such programs, it reveals these services as a valuable resource within the mental health system and a precious necessity for many consumers.

The book clusters the COSPs into three key types: drop-in centers, which provide varied services for their members, including meals, housing assistance, and stigma-free environments; educational programs, which train mental health consumers in recovery skills for themselves and for other consumers; and services based on peer support and mentoring.

Despite their differences, the book shows, the programs share many essential characteristics. Most significantly, they demonstrate the benefits of allowing mental health consumers to operate and govern their own organizations. Also important is their emphasis on equality, mutuality, empowerment, recovery, belonging, and hope in administering services. Such core values, the book suggests, distinguish peer-run programs from the professional services that have long dominated the mental health system.

In contrast to the dry, clinical reports that make up much of the current literature, this book is written "from the inside out" and, for the most part, by the people who developed the programs and who live them every day. It reveals peer-run programs as valuable resources within the mental health system and, indeed, a precious necessity for many consumers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826514660
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Publication date: 05/28/2005
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction and Background

1. About Us: What We Have in Common
Sally Clay

2. The Historical and Philosophical Development of Peer-run Programs
Jean Campbell

Part II. Drop-In Centers

3. Mental Health Client Action Network (MHCAN) Santa Cruz, California
Bonnie Schell

4. Portland Coalition for the Psychiatrically Labeled Portland, Maine
Janine Elkanich

5. The St. Louis Empowerment Center St. Louis, Missouri
Helen Minth

6. The Peer Center, Inc. Oakland Park, Florida
Compiled by Bonnie Schell, Nancy Erwin, PEER Center directors and staff

Part III. Peer Support and Mentoring Services

7. GROW in Illinois
Con Keogh, Lorraine Keck, Joan Baynes, and Carol Mussey

8. Friends Connection Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jeanie Whitecraft, Terrance Means, James Scott, Bill Burns-Lynch, Joseph Rogers, and Mark S. Salzer

Part IV. Educational Programs

9. Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. Connect

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