The Board of Directors of the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) takes positions concerning legislation and public policy based on the following principles.
CAMHPRO endorses a Recovery perspective affirming that health and social engagement are achievable for all people through social inclusion and appropriate services, accommodations and supports as determined, and directed by, such persons.*
Public policy recommendations also are based on whether they recognize and advance:
- The value of mental health, peer-run organizations and programs, both as an integral part of — and an alternative to — existing mental health systems and the services they provide;
- Understanding of and support for the unique role of peer support in achieving recovery, and support for professional recognition of peer supporters on a state level;
- Support for the availability of voluntary, community-based, prejudice-free mental health services, offering holistic social and rehabilitative services delivered with cultural humility and sensitivity to the diverse communities served, while addressing the expressed needs and goals of a mental health client/psychiatric survivor, including access to affordable housing, meaningful employment, nutrition, primary health care, and education;
- Support for the voluntary choices, civil and legal rights, self-determination and dignity of people living with mental health conditions and psychiatric survivors, including such persons’ decisions as to all services, medications and supports;
- Support for meaningful and consequential involvement in all decision-making about behavioral health systems, policies and services by the people directly affected by them, as well as other community stakeholders, on every level of policy making, program planning and implementation, and program/systems evaluation.
- Support for the elimination of coercive practices, such as forced drugging, inpatient/outpatient commitment, and use of seclusion and restraints, as well as other actions which abridge rights or curtail liberties;
- Opposition to prejudice and discrimination targeting people with mental health conditions and to ideas and practices that devalue human dignity and cognitive diversity.
- CAMHPRO supports and advocates for social justice and equity for racially and culturally marginalized communities as they intersect with wellness and mental health and our mission of self determination and choice
*CAMHPRO aspires to represent and serve a community that is richly diverse in background, perspective and experience. Members of this community may self identify as “peers;” “consumers (of services);” “clients (of mental health systems);” “persons with a psychiatric disability;” “persons in recovery;” “psychiatric survivors;” “cognitively divergent” persons with lived experience;” or in other ways. CAMHPRO works to be an inclusive and useful organization for all of these constituents and others who share its goals and values.