Community Connections, Spring 2002
to Our Roots,
By Renée Benson
to the first edition of Community Connection for the Year 2002. In deciding
what this edition's topic would be the editorial advisory committee (whose
members are listed on the back page) reviewed the past year. We were pleased
with the quality editions of last year covering "Discrimination,"
"Education," and "Healing in the Aftermath of Tragedy."
Even though exploring these topics was rewarding, we decided that this
edition would reflect our roots. After all, the newsletter is born out
of a program run by the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.
called Community Mental Health Promotion (CMHP). As a part of the promotional
efforts this project accomplishes three primary objectives. First the
CMHP Project generates three editions a year of Community Connections.
Second, it provides stipends to incubate small grassroots teams throughout
New York to promote mental health awareness and address discrimination
against people coping with mental illness. Beyond that, the CMHP project
has an annual meeting for those teams, provides training opportunities
and shares information. This edition will review the CMHP Project in its
entirety. As a reader you already know much about the newsletter, now
you'll find out more about what drives the letter, the mission of the
The project has been in place for seven years. Over the years we have
worked with twenty teams. In 2001 we had eleven active teams. Each team
has a core component of five members; although they may have many more,
they may not have fewer than these five core members. These five must
represent certain constituencies. One must be a person who is or has been
a consumer of mental health services, one member must be a parent of a
child with social, mental, or behavioral challenges, one member must be
a family member of a person coping with mental illness, one must be MHA
representative, and one must be a member of the general community who
can take the role of a community leader.
The stipend is $4,500 for the first year. We provide $1500 for continuing
teams. All teams participate in three conference calls a year and one
statewide meeting. AThe teams apply for the stipend through and annual
Request for proposal, (RFP) application process.
This year's RFP is on MHANYS' web site until April 1st (the due date).
We intend to provide up to a total of 14 teams in 2002. This includes
up to three new teams! Once the RFPs are in and reviewed the teams are
promptly notified, so they will be able to join us in the April 29th-30th
conference. On page 8 you can read more about the conference and the exciting
speakers and workshops. This year's workshops are a direct response to
the feedback we received last year.
In this edition of Community Connections you get to read about each of
the teams - you can read about all of them on the MHANYS web site.
Also, as part of the training opportunities and information sharing you
will see highlights of the Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. At
www.mhanys.org you can find a complete toolkit available for those interested
in creating activities in their community. We offer this to you free of
charge and encourage the spread of community mental health promotion for
children as well as for adults.
Furthermore, we have been working in collaboration with NYS Commission
on Quality of Care. They offer a disabilities awareness school project
that they have been offering to several of the CMHP teams. They will have
a statewide poster and essay contest that we hope you will be reading
more about in this edition.
All in all, this entire edition is dedicated to those who have been working
in concert throughout the entire state, to a single theme, reducing discrimination
through community mental health promotion.
We thank those hard workers associated to the CMHP project and those who
take on this work independently. May we be so successful that some day
we will need to find a different cause.