Oregon advocacy organization gets the mental health message right

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Hey Network faithful, listen up. Are you a family advocacy organization trying to mobilize your base around the flurry of activity at the state and national level about introducing legislation to improve mental health services after the tragedy at Sandy Hook? As faithful readers know, we have our concerns about stereotyping, or equating guns, violence and mental health issues as a package deal. But we think the Oregon Family Support Network is doing a good job of taking a proactive approach and "seizing on the moment." So if you live in Oregon, get in touch with Sandy Bumpus, Executive Director of the Oregon Family Support Network and ask her how you can be involved in helping promote state legislative efforts. If you do not live in Oregon, you might consider adapting the language below to efforts in your own state.

Here is the message from the Oregon Family Support Network:

  • Write a story about your own experience - and share what things were like for your child and family before you were able to receive mental health treatment services.  What were you or your child experiencing? (school failure, loss of friends, bullying in school, involvement in juvenile corrections, suicidal ideation, violent behaviors that were difficult to control). Then focus on what was different after services were introduced - (decrease in symptoms, increase in school attendance, increase in self esteem, able to reach goals in school, home or comunity) etc.
  • Help families you are working with to share their story using the same criteria as above.
  • Focus on specific services in your stories (i.e. wraparound, collaborative problem solving classes, peer supports, EASA.)

It is particularly important to provide stories across the rural communities of Oregon as well. If you live in or near a rural community, please send us your stories.

 Here are some other topics that are needing advocacy as well - through your stories.  The messaging is 'mental health treatment works'.  Please focus your story around what works:

Okay Network faithful, get busy!

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