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Advocacy to Encourage More Openness at US Mental Health Agency, SAMHSA

SAMHSA stands for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Systems Administration. SAMHSA is a US federal agency, and it is one of the largest entities in history in the mental health field. Unlike its 'sister' agency National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) which mainly works on 'test tube' research, SAMHSA is supposed to promote mental health services. While there are some bright spots in SAMHSA, supporting empowerment and alternatives in mental health, unfortunately SAMHSA has been defending the status quo. It's time for more openness by SAMHSA to truly deep and large changes in US mental health care.

News Item Opinion: Mental health advocate Ed Knight calls for investigating SAMHSA, including employee Risa Fox
A long-time advocate in mental health, Ed Knight, is calling for an investigation of the way a US federal agency has been controlling mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor activity. Ed specifically is concerned about the role of Risa Fox, a Public Health Advisor who often oversees mental health consumer grants for the huge federal mental health organization SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Systems Administration. [Update 29 Oct. 2010]
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Rae Unzicker & Justin Dart

Rae (1948-2001) was a psychiatric survivor activist who was a key bridge-builder between the entire disability movement and our movement to change the mentalh health system. Rae championed the National Council on Disability (NCD) report, From Privileges to Rights: People Labeled with Psychiatric Disabilities Speaking For Themselves. Rae is shown here with her beloved Justin Dart (1930 - 2002), widely considered one of the key disability activists of the last century, and also a bridge builder between our movements. Both Rae and Justin were MFI members. (Photo by Cookie Gant)
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