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Consumer Leadership Forum of DC

Helping Consumers Help Themselves
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1. We need access to activities such as art therapy, occupational therapy such as woodworking, music, plays, markets - particularly for those who are currently institutionalized in one form or another

2. We need consumer-run businesses and more job opportunities

3. We need consumer drop-in centers in all wards and we need to expand the peer support programs

4. We need access to education, people who want to work on their GEDs should be assisted

5. We need to support the providers who are truly patient / consumer - centered and to change the philosophy of places that are not patient / consumer centric

6. We need better transitioning programs to support people who are leaving crisis centers or institutions. We need services that are individualized - placed around the person and that are truly self-directed. We need respite and wellness centers and to close St. Elizabeth's

7. We need workshops to help us become better advocates i.e. public speaking and lobbying skills

8. We need better mental health services in the jail

9. We need to revolutionize the Partnership Council

10. We need to protect and respect the diversity among mental health consumers

11. We need a system where pharmaceutical companies do not call the shots and
where research is driven by consumers responses, not big pharma

12. We need to recognize that it is ok to fail, to make mistakes, to test new ground for ourselves in all that we do and that it is ok to move beyond the system

13. We need to build natural supports

14. We seek a system where "Mental Health Treatment" will no longer exist but
where we plan instead for healthy lifestyles, promote a culture of wellness and get
over the "sick for life" mentality as a society

15. We need to recognize the needs of the most fragile consumers, including the need for day services

16. We need education workshops that include life skills training

17. We seek crisis education for the whole family so that family members are not
isolated from one another

18. We need to minimize police involvement and find better de-escalation techniques

19. We seek a system that is more understanding of the needs of our youth
20. We need drug-free housing, we need peer-support to create clean, sober
Environments where we can live safely and on our own terms
21. We need people willing to learn to be entrepreneurs, to assist one another in finding and growing our own businesses
22. We seek an end to case-management and we need to replace the current system with more peer support services
23. We need to engage with one another and to create a grassroots movement
24. We can seek assistance from the religious communities for support and guidanc
25. We need more consumer-directed services