LEAD is a statewide three-year project funded by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) for Client/Consumer Stakeholder Education, Advocacy and Outreach activities.
The LEAD Program’s goal is to generate awareness of the needs of consumers/clients and ensure that they have a major role in the envisioning, development and implementation of local and state mental health policies and programs that will result in accessible, high quality behavioral/community health services and supports.
CAMHPRO uses three basic empowering processes throughout the LEAD Program:
CAMHPRO includes storytelling, targeted sharing of lived experiences, as an advocacy modality. Stories are one of the most effective ways to impart information and to educate others about issues that matter. Stories are more effective in engaging the senses and “activating” numerous parts of the listener’s brain than statistics or other statements of fact. Consumers’ lived experiences are a motivating factor and catalyst for change. Storytelling increases the sharing of these experiences in a directed and useful way.
CAMHPRO partners with consumer run programs throughout the state, which is in alignment with CAMHPRO’s and MHSOAC’s goal of building local consumer advocacy capacity. By empowering and equipping the leadership of consumer run groups, LEAD will ensure that systems change is driven by consumer priorities and needs. The LEAD Program models “Nothing about us without us.”
The LEAD Program uses a grassroots empowerment model to promote consumer involvement in mental health policy. This model begins with small listening sessions, focusing on demographic and geographic populations in the regions served, in which consumers will gather to explore, discuss, and prioritize the issues they care about. These priorities and potential policy solutions are brought to larger regional LEAD Summits where priorities will be determined through a consensus process and then brought to an annual State Conference and Advocacy Day.
LEAD Activities include: