MPRC is an alliance of peer run mental health organizations - peer-run drop-in centers, peer recovery organizations and various advocacy groups.
Peer support encompasses a range of activities and interactions between people who share a living experience with mental health concerns and other co-occurring challenges. Peer support offers a level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships (Mead & McNeil, 2006). It promotes connection and inspires hope.
By sharing their own lived experience and practical guidance, peer support workers help people to develop their own goals, create strategies for self-empowerment, and take concrete steps towards building fulfilling, self-determined lives for themselves.
On 10 October 2023 we will be celebrating World Mental Health Day with the theme ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ chosen by a global vote open to the public, including World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) members, stakeholders, and supporters.
We invite you to join this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign.
To see more about the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and this year's campaign, visit their website: https://wmhdofficial.com/about-2023/
To read the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery's statement on World Mental Health Day, visit: https://www.ncmhr.org/
"Mental Health First Aid and Emotional CPR are the two most popular approaches to training laymen to support people in distress. Some say there are both pros and cons."
(Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times)
A fact of life is that at some point, at many points, we all suffer. Every single one of us knows what it’s like to be completely overwhelmed by a situation, a feeling, the state of our minds or the messiness of our lives.
Members of MPRC attended Hill Days in Washington D.C. with the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). Peer supports from around the country met with state representatives to have conversations around peer support and mental health needs.
Board members Braunwynn Franklin, Ann Monroe, Johanna Nicolia-Adkins, Cheryl LaFleur, and sub-committee member Malkia Newman, met with staff from Congresswoman Haley Stevens’s and Senator Debbie Stabenow’s offices. Members were fortunate to meet with U.S. Representative for Michigan, Debbie Dingell herself.
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) had three public policy priorities presented, along with some legislative agendas.
01. “Nothing About Us Without Us”
02. Promote Racial and Social
03. Increase Alternatives to Forced and Coercive Treatment
Legislation supporting the “Strengthening Medicaid for Serious Mental Illness Act,” Senate bill 2128 and House bill 4331 (S. 2128/H.R. 4331) was presented as well. The bill identifies an array of services that every state and locality should be able to provide to any person who wants and needs them.
Peers attended meetings at the end of the day as well as met with guest speakers. Jennifer Mathis from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice attended one of the meetings. Jennifer, who comes from a background of living experience, urged us to file complaints regarding civil rights directly to her department.
Paolo del Vecchio, the Director of the Office of Recovery for SAMHSA attended another meeting. Mr. del Vecchio provides leadership for SAMHSA’s efforts to advance recovery across the nation. Paolo, a person in long-term recovery from mental health conditions and addictions as well as a trauma survivor, is the first person with a living experience to work at a federal level. He shared current policies from SAMHA’s Office of Recovery, including SAMHA’s Policy on the Inclusion of People with Lived Experience.
The whole experience was rewarding, but we still have a lot of work to do. NCMHR is already making plans for Hill Days 2024. The goal is to increase participation and awareness that recovery is possible.
For more information on the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery’s three public policy priorities, visit: https://www.ncmhr.org/ or for a detailed PDF of the public policy priorities, visit:
To view SAMHA’s Policy on the Inclusion of People with Lived Experience, visit:
We would like to congratulate our very own board member, Braunwynn Franklin, on her award for 2023 National Peer Leader of the Year, from PEERPOCALYPSE. PEERPOCALYPSE is a conference of leaders, emerging leaders, innovators, and peers who want to become more involved in the peer community. Adopting the philosophy that peers bring with them a great deal of knowledge and expertise, the event is about bringing the community together to share information, skills, and experience.
Braunwynn's acceptance speech:
I am humble, honored, and grateful. I want to thank MHAAO for this award and all the people who believe in me and saw who I could be even when I could not see it in myself.
I saw this meme that said ‘My story is filled with broken pieces, bad choices, and some ugly truths. It is also filled with major comebacks, peace in my soul, and grace that saved my life’ That resonated with me because we are humans who made bad choices or had challenges in life but we are good people and we made it.
I have been a Mental Health Peer Support for 17 years and I am certified in 3 states. I am currently the chair of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. Who has heard of the Alternatives Conference or Dr. Dan Fisher? Well, that is where I am today, advocating on the National conversation with SAMHSA and going to DC to advocate for inclusive mental health services and alternatives to hospitalization, like peer run respites.
In those 17 years, I have had some seeds planted by good teachers, and as a good peer supporter and teacher, I have planted seeds of hope and grace in many individuals. Yet, I planted 4 big seeds in myself.
1) Self-awareness- intentionally and consciously being focused with integrity to learning self. And being willing to learn how to unlearn choices and behaviors that I thought or felt unacceptable. Check and correct myself.
2) Gratitude, in the hard times, taking a new perspective, that is a learning moment and a new opportunity. (Even the gratitude for having fingers). Take time to see life experiences in all aspects and accept them.
3) Embracing your natural gifts. (gifts that others see that you do not see but keep hearing about) Once I embraced those gifts I was led to my life’s purpose. A visionary, a teacher, and a motivator.
4) Have fun
a. Step out on faith
b. Do it afraid (My mom taught me nothing will beat a failure but a try. Every time I did it afraid, I succeeded and grew a little more)
c. Nurture the best in you
Finally, my friend has some swag on her Peer Galaxy tablet, and inside the bag was this card and again, it resonated with me. I will close by reading this:
No one else can offer the world your unique perspective from the sum of your life experiences.
You have survived 100% of your worst days.
Hope + Healing + recovery are real.
Just focus on one moment at a time.
History is made by those who show up.
YOUR gifts WILL make room for you.”
You can learn more about PEERPOCALPSE here:
You can learn more about Braunwynn’s very own organization, 313 Network Solutions, LLC here:
Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan wins BEST NON-PROFIT AWARD 2022 for Kalamazoo County by Southwest Michigan First
“We are so grateful and honored for this community recognition award. Thank you Kevin and the rest of The Chamber of Commerce team along with a huge THANK YOU to the many people who nominated, voted, and showed support. We did this together!
Thank you Kalamazoo!”