From International Declaration to Local Action Sydney 2017 (IIMHL)

2016-12-14_10-21-07In February, Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) and RI International will partner with the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) to co-host the third ever global summit on Zero Suicide.

Sue Murray is Chief Executive for SPA, and brings a wealth of experience from her decade leading the National Breast Cancer Foundation and making it one of the most widely recognized organizations in the community sector. She suggested our theme for translating an international declaration into local action. Read more

Peer Supports: Can You Kick It?

img_0065On  Friday, 11 Phoenix-area, non-profit organizations gathered together for the 15th bi-annual Tournament of Hope. What did they have in common? Each employs a significant peer workforce to walk alongside and support individuals on the road to recovery. Oh… and they also all love a double-elimination kick-ball championship.

Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care’s Chief Operating Officer Angelo Edge served as Master of Ceremonies and participants were encouraged to leave the day with more friends than they had when they arrived. AHCCCS Director Tom Betlach was also in attendance representing Arizona Medicaid. Read more

The Business Case for Crisis Now

We live in an age of fear of mental health crises; when movie goers may feel compelled to scan the audience before taking a seat, and a Senator files a wrongful death suit against his state to ensure that his personal tragedy is not repeated. The fact is, as the DHHS states, only 3-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness (SMI), and those with SMI are 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes than the general population. Read more

Is Mental Health Working for Hispanics?

shutterstock_323995775“This is not working for me,” the man muttered in my direction as he stormed out of the large banquet room. It was November 19, 2012, and the mood at the Goldwater Institute annual dinner was somber after Mitt Romney’s clock had been cleaned by President Obama just days earlier.

Today, I’m the CEO and President of a non-partisan, not for profit 501c3 Community Mental Health Center, RI International, but at the time Read more

Peer Supports: Where’s the Evidence?

img_8552It was the late 1990s, and there was little published evidence on the efficacy of peer supports. Georgia’s Wendy Tiegreen had grown up in behavioral health… literally. Her father led a non-profit community mental health center, and she had seen the volunteer corps of people in recovery firsthand. These individuals understood the level of pain others were experiencing and were frequently providing informal supports. Wendy had heard of a couple of pockets of similar programs in New York, but that was about it. Read more

Yes, I can! What if We All Embraced Recovery?

drcr-logo-horiz-white-300In his 1965 “If I Ruled the World” album, Sammy Davis Jr. sang,

Yes, I can, suddenly

Yes, I can

Gee I’m afraid to go on, has turn into

Yes, I can

Wind me up then watch me fly

A regular sort of sunburned Superman I

Are you ready, I can climb Everest

Yes, I can

I can fight here all night and never rest

Yes I can

In fact, one of three lead members of the Rat Pack and so successful in the industry he was called Mr. Show Business, Sammy Davis, Jr. was nonetheless much more familiar with a jarring repetition of “No… you can’t.” Read more

22 Days: How Many Push-ups for Veterans and Suicide?

2016-09-01_11-10-45With co-author – Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas

In the span of 22 days, Iceland went from being an off-the-beaten-path, exotic vacation destination to THE place to visit. Hard to imagine it was ever considered “fringe,” given the stunning and unique untouched nature that results from the island’s combination of ice and fire near the Arctic Circle, with immense glaciers and over 100 volcanoes. Read more

Mental Health Policy Action We Can All Get Behind: Crisis Line Investment

2016-08-01_11-02-36With co-author – Dr. Michael Hogan

We are in a rare time when national action to improve mental health services seems possible—even likely. However, the downside of this positive opportunity is that reforms that emerge may be more defined by what can be agreed upon—and probably, inexpensive—rather than what is needed. We write to propose a limited but exceedingly important policy initiative that has already been advanced. Read more

Crisis Care Now: Delaware Leads with Recovery Response Center Grand Opening

2018-07-18_19-26-01On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and several other state and county representatives plan to attend the grand opening of the new crisis stabilization center funded by the Delaware Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH).  The new Recovery Response Center (RRC) is the latest accomplishment in his state’s effort to build more robust mental health services.

“This new facility demonstrates the commitment we have made in Delaware to create a robust community-based mental health system,” Markell said. Read more

High Rates Rise and Fall: Japanese Leadership Makes Strides with Suicide Countermeasures

shutterstock_297631871In May, the International Association for Suicide Prevention held its regional conference in Tokyo, and it was my first visit to the bustling capital of nearly 14 million people. Lonely Planet calls it a “cultural Galápagos where a unique civilization blossomed.” Imagine sacred Tibetan temples colliding with flashing neon of the Las Vegas strip, and Star Trek robotic technology swarming through the fused results. At times serene, then frenetic. Read more