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February 8, 2017

Betty Dahlquist

CASRA member agencies represent $600,000,000 of services to youth, adults and older adults serving over 100,000 individuals and families per year.

Spring Conference
As part of our on-going Employment Initiative, Our Spring conference, “Recovery Through Economic Empowerment and Community Connection”, May 2nd and 3rd, will feature Mark Salzer, Ph.D., Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, as keynote speaker. We are pleased to announce that Dinah Cohen of EARN will provide workshops on engaging the business community and strategies to enhance job retention and career development.

Hearing Voices Training
CASRA was selected by the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community as one of five sites nationwide to receive their “Hearing Voices” group facilitator training. This training provided a non-pathologizing accepting way of supporting people who experience ‘special messages.’ CASRA continues to support this work and was pleased to have Dina Tyler, co-founder of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network, provide the keynote address at both the fall and spring conferences in 2016.

Peer Support Certification
Unlike most states in the country, California does not have a certification or officially designated role for Peer Support Specialists. CASRA and its member agencies have supported the employment of people with lived experience both in designated peer support roles as well as in all positions for over 30 years. We are pleased to co-sponsor legislation with the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Agencies (CAMHPRO) to develop a statewide certification for peer support specialists that will include consumer peers, TAY peers as well as family partners and family advocates.

Wellness/Recovery Policy
There is  an increasing disconnect building between the wellness/recovery orientation of the original Medicaid Rehabilitation option concept (1991) and implementation of specialty mental health services in the 58 CA counties.  We are asserting that rehabilitation services should be provided by rehabilitation professionals –both licensed and non-licensed –and have successfully advocated for the adoption of the CPRP credential in the legislative agenda of the CA Coalition for Mental Health.

Resources Available
This year we are pleased to offer a number of resources. You can visit our website at to download a free copy of the toolkit, “Meaningful Roles for Peer Providers in Integrated Healthcare”.  You can also request a hard copy of the Crisis Residential Treatment Toolkit for only $149.00. This is in invaluable tool for those planning their first crisis residential treatment program and for those wishing to brush up on best practices! Finally, don’t miss CASRA’s article on alternatives to hospitalization in the National Council Magazine.  The link can also be found on the CASRA website.