NCMHCO Mission Statement and Objectives
Mission Statement: The mission of the North Carolina Mental Health Consumers' Organization is to promote mutual help, advocacy, insight, support, socialization, and empowerment for people living with mental illness.
Objective 1: To strengthen and expand support groups for mental health consumers.
Objective 2: To prepare mental health consumers to work toward personal goals and recovery using the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).
Objective 3: To prepare mental health consumers to use skills that will increase empowerment and ability to participate in policy decisions.
Objective 4: To provide information on current and emerging mental health issues and practices to mental health consumers.
What's going on at NCMHCO?
WRAP training in Hickory
June WRAP Training Series in Raleigh
Burlingon WRAP Training in June!
Membership Renewal Information
Hey all! In order to make sure that you get your next newsletter, be sure that your membership to NCMHCO is current or we won't be able to send you one! Don't forget that membership not only gives you access to our quarterly newsletter and events throughout the year, but also the ability to attend free WRAP trainings, and membership in TEAMS groups. Best of all, your money goes to supporting the recovery movement in North Carolina and maintaining our essential warmline number where consumers can call in and ask for help finding resources or get some one-on-one peer support.
If you want to know if your membership is current, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-326-3842 and we'll let you know. If you aren't a member or your membership is expired, membership is $5 a year, or you can get a lifetime membership for $40. If you want to renew your membership or become a member, mail a check, money order, or cash to:
P.O. Box 27042
Raleigh NC 27611
Click here to download the membership form.
We hope you'll come on board with us and support the recovery movement right here in North Carolina!
2015 Conference Update:
The North Carolina Mental Health Consumers’ Organization will not be hosting a conference this year because we are expanding our WRAP efforts throughout the state. This year, we’re using the money that would have gone towards the conference to train Copeland-trained facilitators for WRAP!
If you’d like to be trained to become a WRAP facilitator, please download the following document, answer the questions, and then email it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com You can also mail in your answers to:
P.O. Box 27042
Raleigh, NC 27611.
Click to download application:
WRAP Facilitator Application
Some information on this rally (see above picture)
Unite to Face Addiction - www.facingaddiction.org - is holding a National Rally, at the Mall in Washington D.C. October 4th, with attendant events the day before and after. Word is there will be national presenters of great interest including major artists to perform. You may get there any way you like but local organizations are working to organize transportation, busses and maybe a train car or two.
Recovery Communities of NC - our state's first of many recovery community organizations is a contact for transportation. For questions, the RCNC/Recovery Community Center phone number is 919-231-0248.
If you are a provider or agency or stakeholder group I would like to ask you to consider promoting this amongst your peoples. If people would like to hook up for rides, the Unite website has a page for each Community Partner, including RCNC, and you can register there and then you will receive information as it progresses. There are numerous details to be worked out, BUT there may be train cars reserved and you gotta admit that would be fun!
Unite has also created support personnel - Outreach Organizers - for various states and ours is Laszlo Jaress, MA and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-753-9978
Updates and Notices
Speaking of Recovery Community Organizations (RCO) and Rallies, here's a flyer from the R.O.C.K. in the USA RCO of Waynesville/Western North Carolina: Communities Rallying for Recovery are having a rally September 19th in Lake Junaluska, NC.
My Brother Michael Dublin has great trainings every three months at his South Central Church of Christ in Raleigh and this next one is no exception.
Free credit hours and lunch included.
The Finer Things in Life
Examining Power Structures: Part 2
This second part on the online debates about 12 Step, medical, treatment, recovery, etc. is proving tough for me to articulate. Bear with me as I give it a shot.
Everything is spiritual.
To coin a double-negative, nothing's not spiritual.
This seeming conundrum is a linchpin to all we are looking at when addiction, treatment, recovery and healing are at stake. Understanding illuminates solutions.
What the brain thinks, when it hears "Everything is spiritual" is; "What, anything goes?" and no, that's not it. It's not remotely about how engaging in bad behavior is ok, the opposite really, it's why we can't engage in bad behavior. Because everything's spiritual. It's about how everything's connected. Literally.
Ever wonder why the song, "Amazing Grace", says, "T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved."? Grace includes fear?
That was shown me, in real time. At some point in recovery I saw that the affliction of my addiction gave me the supreme blessing of recovery. I could not have one without the other. That does not "excuse" the bad behavior included in addiction. What it does mean is recovery delivers us into a life where we have the chance to grow, heal and amend, making amends to those we can along the way and being of service when we can't amend directly. I make indirect amends when "mending my ways," changing my attitudes, and altering my behavior.
Do you know the story of the author of Amazing Grace? There are film and documentary biographies that detail the life of John Newton. A wretched ship captain and slaver who sold humans for a living and how his moment of clarity transformed his life, changed him forever and led to the song. A great story!
The problem with trying to understand and communicate spirituality is, as Sy Safransky says, "........it divides the world into what is and isn't spiritual, which is about the least spiritual thing you can do." It's like trying to explain which part of the ocean is wettest. It's all wet/ocean/spiritual.
We can definitely be out of balance. Balance is crucial, the key to all health. We can have darkness running rampant. Self-will run riot as the saying goes. Darkness is un-acknowledged shadow and as we acknowledge, it rights itself and balance increases. Darkness is where stigma lives. There is always shadow, let's not be in denial, so it's all about getting it out, getting honest, not covering up, ending denial. That's how we bust stigma.
So we're back to: What is spiritual? It would be in our best interest if the medical world understood and integrated that; Everything's connected includes ourselves. We are spiritual beings, which on a practical side begins with; We are one being: body, brain/central nervous system, emotional body, Mind, Heart, Soul. You cannot separate these apart in treatment, to treat one all must be considered.
Every physical issue has an emotional/spiritual component. Every spiritual/emotional issue has a physical component.
Hippocrates, a father of medicine, said "It's far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has."
It's the same with the system of care. It's One World, what happens to one happens to all so we want to factor that into our vision.
On the flip side, what we all need to do as we grow a more humane system is apply a core tenet of recovery; "I must participate in my own recovery". Another seeming paradox, we need community AND we are all, individually, responsible for our lives. This brings benefits back to us on the medical side.
What we are seeing at that point is a true tenet of spiritual: Self-awareness, getting to know ourselves. Who am I, what do I want, how do I align my life with my core heart and ethics and actualize and express my gifts out into the world?
Bill Wilson, father to A.A. said, "More than most people I think alcoholics want to know who they are, what life is all about, whether they have a divine origin and an appointed destiny, live in a system of cosmic justice and love." I know I do.
All this implies an order to the Universe and the wisdom of aligning with it, or we humans can arrogantly continue self-willing ourselves right into extinction.
The order of the Universe includes fine-tuning that allows for complexity and laws that follow mathematical formulas. No (seeming) "miracles" happen outside of these laws. There is Grace, but everything happens within a Cosmic structure whether we understand it (yet) or not.
What I saw working with Native Tribes was: A) Most ceremonies- Sweat Lodge, Sun Dance, Hembleciya (Vision Quest), Pipe Ceremony--are prayers and B) there's no worry or problem with the fact that it's a Great Mystery. We don't have to figure everything out to move in the right direction. That felt comforting to me.
All of this relates to how we think and perceive ideas/things/people. One way to characterize recovery is: "closer to reality". So much of our thinking is unconsciously motivated that we want to start by examining that.
I was pondering all this while reading Malcolm Gladwell, a writer who attempts to shift paradigms. In a recent New Yorker he walks you through the Ford Pinto car safety case from the 70's to make some points about how we think. His story outlines what we thought was the deal versus what actually were the facts of that large story. Remember how those little cars had the gas tank in the back, right behind the bumper and they (supposedly) burst into flames when rear-ended? A van going 50 mph rear-ended a Pinto and three teen-age girls died horrifically, 60 Minutes did a gripping expose and it ended up a big landmark Federal case against Ford. How I remember and think about it still has proven to be false.
Gladwell showcases the bigger story from an engineer's viewpoint. He uses humor to start it off:
An engineer, a priest, and a doctor are enjoying a round of golf. Ahead of them is a group playing so slowly and inexpertly that in frustration the three ask the greens keeper for an explanation. "That's a group of blind firefighters," they are told. "They lost their sight saving our clubhouse last year, so we let them play for free."
The priest says, "I will say a prayer for them tonight."
The doctor says, "Let me ask my ophthalmologist colleagues if anything can be done for them."
And the engineer says, "Why can't they play at night?"
I'm drawn to this article for our purposes because it weds the ideal and the practical. Engineers work to solve problems (the practical) and we can apply that practical approach in the spiritual realm (the ideal). Spiritual has practical application. Then you achieve some balance.
Here's a nut and bolt breakdown of what I could classify as a spiritual issue.
Gladwell's summary taken from many competent engineers:
Ford won the case, because:
• Pintos did not explode and catch fire statistically more than actuarially projected.
• Numerous small cars had the gas tank close to the bumper back then (Gremlin, Vega, VW Beetle, Dodge Colt, Datsun's). Though it's hard to argue Pinto's are safe it was not abnormally inclined to explode into fire.
What we were "told" by the media and what is reality were two different things.
Studies from around the world and in the US show us that if you want to lessen highway fatalities there are two main items that greatly shrink the number of deaths.
• Everybody slow down-seriously.-"excessive speed is implicated in an overwhelming number of fatal crashes."
• Raise the price of alcohol by adding fees and taxes-again seriously.-"as the price goes up drinking-esp. outside the home-goes down."
These two actions significantly lower highway deaths, head and shoulders over all others combined.
One final issue. Don't allow 4000 lb. cars run in to 2000 lb. cars. At some point, no matter where you put the gas tank, speed, drunkenness and huge cars add up to death.
So are we willing to slow down, not drink and drive, improve and grow public transportation infrastructure and all drive small cars? Or is that too much of an assault on our "freedoms"?
The spiritual path says everything's an illusion except what isn't and the task is to discover what isn't. The Self, the I, the Ego (Latin for self) says the only thing not an illusion is that hardest of all things-Love.
I ask, do we love each other enough to come together and change, as a society?
This week's acronym: JS----just saying.....
NCMHCO News Updates
Hey all! Here are some NCMHCO news updates:
6/29/15-7/2/15: NCMHCO hosts a WRAP training in Hickory, NC
6/27/15: NCMHCO hosts the last day of a four day WRAP training series in June
6/20/15: NCMHCO hosts the third day of a four day WRAP training series in June
6/13/15: NCMHCO hosts the second day of a four day WRAP training series in June
6/6/15: NCMHCO hosts the first day of a four day WRAP training series in June
5/26/15: From 5pm-9pm, Sweet Frog in Smithfield agrees to donate 15% of all proceeds to NCMHCO to help support its funding
5/1/15: NCMHCO consumers from all around donate works of art for The Art of Recovery fundraising event, which takes place today at 7 pm
4/21/15: Staff members networks at the chambers professional women's luncheon
4/16/15: Staff members network with other local organizations at an After Business Hours networking event
4/11/15: NCMHCO's Board has a conference call
4/2/15: NCMHCO's announces the winners for the Spring Raffle