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PRA Issues Designation to New Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners

79 Psychiatric Rehabilitation Professionals Earn CPRP Designation

(McLean, VA, July 17, 2013) – The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) is pleased to announce that it awarded the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) designation to 79 psychiatric rehabilitation professionals who passed the Spring 2013 exam. PRA welcomes the 79 new CPRPs to a group of distinguished leaders in the psych rehab field. The CPRP is a test-based certification that fosters the growth of a qualified, ethical, and culturally diverse psychiatric rehabilitation workforce through enforcement of a practitioner code of ethics. PRA, the exclusive credentialing body of the CPRP designation, developed and administers the credential to advance the availability and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation. 

Seventy-eight percent of the 101 candidates who took the Spring 2013 exam passed, with an average passing score of 81% and the highest score achieved was 94%. The candidates represented 15 states and 1 territory, 72% were PRA members, and 85% held a BA/BS or higher. The Certification Commission, on behalf of PRA, is the exclusive credentialing body of the CPRP designation and has developed and administers the certification exam to advance the availability and practice of quality psychiatric rehabilitation services.To sit for the exam, candidates must meet rigorous eligibility criteria based on level of formal education, employment experience, and continuing education. To assist in exam preparation, PRA offers a number of training opportunities, including webinars, instructor-led online courses, independent trainings, and sessions at the PRA Annual Conference. Many state and local chapters of PRA also offer educational opportunities for CPRPs and CPRP exam candidates.

“The Certification Commission is thrilled with the success candidates achieved on the Spring 2013 exam,” said Diane Brewer, MS, LPCC, CRC, CPRP, president of the Certification Commission and ex-officio member of the PRA Board of Directors. “The Commission is proud to offer the CPRP designation as a means to further PRA’s mission to grow and train a qualified recovery workforce.”

Through the CPRP designation, PRA advances the psych rehab field and increases cooperation between like-minded organizations and professions, and provides a means to establish and enforce an ethical code. The CPRP signifies the current competence of the individual to practice psychiatric rehabilitation. The exam provides avenues for psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners from a wide variety of educational backgrounds to become certified and is unique in the mental health profession – the CPRP is the only credential available to practitioners who may or may not have completed a post-secondary academic program.

Please see below for a full list of the 79 professionals who recently earned the CPRP designation. The Summer 2013 CPRP exam began on July 6 and runs until July 20. PRA looks forward to welcoming a new class of CPRPs this fall.

PRA issued the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner designation to 79 candidates who passed the Spring 2013 exam:

• Marcel Ames, CPRP, The Village Children and Family Services, Richmond, VA
• Melissa Barron, CPRP, Bedford/Somerset MH/MR, Somerset, PA
• Jill Beaudry, CPRP, Mental Health Center of Denver, Denver, CO
• Lenora Bennefield, MA, CPRP, JEVS/PRS, Philadelphia, PA
• Kimberly Bennett, CPRP, Pineland MHMRSA, CSB, Baxley, GA
• Gayla Blankenship, CPRP, Camas Professional Counseling, Grangeville, ID
• Ashley Blum, CPRP, Park Center South, Nashville, TN
• Stephen Bowers, CPRP, Community Services Group, Lancaster, PA
• Stephanie Camille, CPRP, Advocates, Inc., WestBorough, MA
• Saverio Coletta, MS, CPRP, Empowering Minds Resource Center, Baltimore, MD
• Lee Corrales, CPRP, Pineland MHMRSA CSB, Baxley, GA
• Anthony Damiano, MA, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Lakewood, CA
• Louis Dawson, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA
• Tina Derienzo, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Palmdale, CA
• Danielle Dulan,  CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
• Jared Dyson, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Lancaster, CA
• Yolandie Els, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA
• Joseph Ely, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Palmdale, CA
• Carrie Endicott, MA, CPRP, Eliot Community Human Services, Bedford, MA
• Denise Espinoza, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Whittier, CA
• Kristina Esquivel, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA
• Lisa Finnegan, MS, CPRP, Northeast Community Center for MH/MR, Philadelphia, PA
• Derek Fulker, MA, CPRP, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Malden, MA
• Taryn Fusco, CPRP, Bay Cove Human Services, Inc., Jamaica Plain, MA
• Jennifer Gardner, CPRP, Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., Worcester, MA
• Brittany George, CPRP, Key Point Health Services, Havre de Grace, MD
• Leslie Giambone, MSW, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Irvine, CA
• Sheree Goldberg, CPRP, Mercy Behavioral Health, Gibsonia, PA
• Rose Gustkey, CPRP, Goodwill Industries - Conemaugh Valley, Inc., Johnstown, PA
• Emily Haight, CPRP, Family Services, Inc., Montgomery Village, MD
• Shari Harding, CPRP, Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., Worcester, MA
• Laura Howell, MA, CPRP, American Work, Inc., Pooler, GA
• Tamara Hunter, CPRP, Pioneer Health Resources, Boise,  ID
• Tim Huxford, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, San Pedro, CA
• Joseph Jefferson, CPRP, Options Family & Behavior Services, Burnsville, MN
• Linda Johnson, CPRP, Emmett Counseling & Psychiatric Services, Emmett, ID
• Patrice Johnson, MSW, CPRP, Mental Health Center of Denver, ldaho Falls, CO
• Susan Johnson, CPRP, Rehabilitative Health Services, Aurora, ID
• Michelle Kahl, MA, CPRP, Service Access and Management, INC, Clarion, PA
• Chelsey Lechelt, CPRP, Human Supports of Idaho, Boise, ID
• Tiffany Leek, MS, CPRP, Park Center South, Nashville, TN
• Elsa Loera, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Littlerock, CA
• Justin Madaus, CPRP, Salisbury Behavioral Health, Allentown, PA
• LuWillow McDaniel, CPRP, Park Center South, Nashville,  TN
• Joseph Meany, MSW, CPRP, Collaborative Support Programs Of New Jersey, Point Pleasant, NJ
• Kristen Moore, MSW, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Tustin, CA
• Bernadette Mueller, CPRP, PEOPLe, Inc., Highland, NY
• Emily Mungai, CPRP, Community Services Group, Lancaster, PA
• Melissanne Myers, MA, CPRP, Mercy Behavioral Health, Pittsburgh, PA
• Shonta Newson, CPRP, Pineland MHMRSA, CSB, Statesboro, GA
• Danielle Nutting, CPRP, Emmett Counseling & Psychiatric Services, Emmett, ID
• Joann Oberle, MS, CPRP, Key Point Health Services, Perry Hall, MD
• Amy Pacheco, MS, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA
• Jaimie Parker, MA, CPRP, Glenshaw, PA
• Nicole Pashka, MS, CRC, CPRP, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Chicago, IL
• Terri Patton, CPRP, Pearl Health Clinic, Idaho Falls, ID
• Dwan Peterson, CPRP, Pennsylvania Clubhouse Coalition, York, PA
• Gregory Piper, CPRP, Access Behavioral Health Services, Nampa, ID
• Stephanie Porch, CPRP, Community Services Group, Lewistown, PA
• Laura Post MD, CPRP, Marianas Psychiatric Services, LLC, Barrigada, GU
• Paul Primus, CPRP, Pioneer Health Resources, Boise, ID
• Sandra Provencial, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, San Pedro, CA
• Tamanna Rahman, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA
• Yvonne Ray, MA, CPRP, Positive Connections LLC, Twin Falls, ID
• April Raymond, MSW, CPRP, Genesis Alliance for Mental Wellness, LLC, Decatur, GA
• Kimberly Reeder, MA, CPRP, Baltimore, MD
• Angie Sherwood, CPRP, Human Supports of Idaho, Boise, ID
• Tiffany Shuff, CPRP, Mosaic Community Services, Timonium, MD
• Michelle Slusser, MA, CPRP Community Counseling Services of N.E. PA, Wilkes-Barre, PA
• Erika Sommer, CPRP, Alliance Inc., Aberdeen, MD
• Iris Staff, CPRP, Community Services Group, Pottsville, PA
• Deborah Stevens-Jones, CPRP, Chesapeake Wellness Collaborative, Baltimore, MD
• Daniela Taylor, CPRP, Park Center South, Nashville, TN
• Sabrina Testerman, CPRP, Alliance, Inc., Bel Air, MD
• Mike Uraine, CPRP, VHA Therapeutic & Supported Employment Services, Manchester, MA
• Robert Vose, MS, CPRP, Pearl Health Clinic, Idaho Falls, ID
• Rebecca Walls, MSW, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, CA
• Daniel Wasserman, CPRP, Project Transition, Elking Park, PA
• Rebecca Zaragoza, MSW, CPRP, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA


2013 PRA Annual Conference Surpasses Goals

95% of attendees recommend the event to other psych rehab professionals

(McLean, VA, June 27, 2013) – Seven hundred members of the psychiatric rehabilitation community came together to participate in exceptional education sessions and strengthen their professional and personal connections at the 2013 Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) Annual Conference in Atlanta June 9-12. The conference, which drew world-class speakers and featured many new elements, was an extraordinary experience for all in attendance. The PRA Annual Conference offers networking opportunities and introductory to high-level educational sessions for the entire psychiatric rehabilitation workforce; including agency executives, educators and researchers, practitioners and peer support providers with a specific focus on best practices, evidence-based practice, integrated healthcare, wellness, supported housing, and supported employment.

“What has stayed with me most since returning home is the sense of community and commitment all of our members bring to their work in psychiatric rehabilitation,” said Lisa Razzano, PhD, CPRP, PRA Board Chair. “Mrs. Carter’s inspirational remarks and her call for continued and renewed action to promote recovery and battle stigma, reminded us of all the work we have ahead of us – particularly as we move into integrated care under the Affordable Care Act. Together, with visionaries like Mrs. Carter and leaders within our community, PRA’s mission to grow and train the workforce of recovery can only be stronger and more sustainable.”

At the 2013 PRA Annual Conference, PRA offered a comprehensive line up of in-depth psychiatric rehabilitation training and enhanced networking opportunities and special events that provided attendees with the tools they need to help others more effectively. Attendees overwhelmingly conveyed that they had a fantastic experience at the 2013 PRA Annual Conference, 95% of them noting they would recommend the event to other psych rehab professionals. With 700 professionals in attendance, the PRA conference grew by 29% compared to the 2012 conference.

The conference was more valuable to attendees than ever before due to drawing world-class keynotes, top industry professionals as speakers, and improvements to the conference structure. Conference highlights included an exclusive opportunity to hear from three keynote speakers, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Dr. Benjamin Druss, MD, MPH, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and Dr. Carl C. Bell, MD, Director, Institute for Juvenile Research, UIC Chicago (Birthplace of Child Psychiatry); the newly introduced Learning Lounges where attendees connected with speakers after sessions; the ability to earn up to 19 contact hours of continuing education in six tracks; and a variety of special events with an educational and networking focus.

After a highly successful 2013 PRA Annual Conference, PRA is looking forward to further engaging the psychiatric rehabilitation community at the 2014 PRA Annual Conference June 22-25, 2014 in Baltimore, MD.


Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal’s Rating Soars

(McLean, VA, June 24, 2013) – The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) is pleased to announce that ratings for its official educational journal have increased tremendously in the past year. A joint publication of PRA, Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and the American Psychological Association (APA), PRJ publishes original contributions related to the rehabilitation, psychosocial treatment, and recovery of people with serious mental illnesses. PRJ's target audience includes psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners and researchers, as well as recipients of mental health and rehabilitation services.

PRA entered into a partnership with APA in 2012 with the goal to increase the visibility of the journal within the field of mental health, as well as further promoting principles of psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery. PRA has demonstratively accomplished this goal with the release of the journal’s ratings this past week. PRJ received an impact factor of 1.159, compared to its 2011 impact factor of 0.7646, placing the journal in a similar rank as journals like the International Journal of Speech–Language Pathology (1.176) and International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (1.154). In addition, the journal has moved up in both the rehabilitation (30th) and psychiatry (81st) categories.

“We are thrilled that APA’s robust publishing program and vast audience has further expanded PRJ’s reach and impact,” said PRA Board of Directors Chair, Lisa Razzano, PhD, CPRP. “ PRJ’s mission is to promote the development of new knowledge related to psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery of persons with serious mental illnesses, and we are proud to offer this esteemed journal free of charge as a benefit to PRA members.”

Each of PRA’s individual members as well as the primary contact of organizational members receive a hard copy of each issue of PRJ. In addition, persons employed by PRA organizational members have access to PRJ by logging onto the “Member’s Only” portion of the PRA’s website and clicking on the PRJ link for both current and archived copies of PRJ .  

PRA’s programs and services continue to evolve to offer the maximum benefit to its members who belong to the association in order to advance the availability and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation so that all individuals with a serious mental illness have access to the supports they need to recover. PRJ is a key resource for members to stay informed about advances in the field.


Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter speaks to mental health community at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s 2013 Annual Conference

(McLean, VA, June 18, 2013) – The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) welcomed author, advocate, and humanitarian former First Lady Rosalynn Carter as a keynote speaker at the 2013 PRA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia last week. Through her groundbreaking work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Mrs. Carter is an acclaimed advocate around mental and behavioral health issues, care giving, human rights, and conflict resolution. 

At her Wednesday, June 12 Keynote Address, Mrs. Carter emphasized the importance of changing the way we talk about stigma by being as open about mental illness as we are about other medical conditions. She also spoke to President Obama’s intention to launch a national conversation to understand mental health, especially as it relates to children, which is also one of PRA’s leading initiatives this coming year. She lauded the work of PRA’s focused role in growing and training the recovery workforce around the globe, a key element of helping to deliver improved mental and behavioral health outcomes.

During the question and answer session following Mrs. Carter’s address, in response to a question about Sandy Hook and how this tragedy could reinforce the false stigma linking mental health and violence, Mrs. Carter stated that it is important to educate “people about what mental illness is and that … people with mental illness are almost exclusively victims of violence rather than perpetrators of it.”  Mrs. Carter referenced a significant array of programs being undertaken by The Carter Center to help deal with these false linkages and destructive stigmas, including important work with journalists to help them better understand the facts around mental illness in order to help them remove any false stigma or bias from their reporting.

Mrs. Carter emerged as a driving force for mental health when, during the Carter administration, she became active as the Honorary Chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which helped to pass the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. Under Mrs. Carter’s continued leadership, The Carter Center's Mental Health Program has successfully promoted awareness about mental health issues, informed public policy, and helped mental health care achieve greater equity in the health care debate while helping reduce stigma and discrimination against those with mental illnesses.

Mrs. Carter’s address, at this overflowing gathering of mental health professionals, served to further validate of the essential work of the organizations and practitioners delivering psychiatric rehabilitation programs.  Mrs. Carter was an inspiring component of PRA’s trainings-based annual conference program delivered over four days, June 9-12, 2013.


Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Welcomes 2013-2014 Board of Directors

(McLean, VA, June 19, 2013) – The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) is proud to announce its 2013-2014 Board of Directors, term beginning June 9, 2013. Lisa Razzano, PhD, CPRP, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UIC Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy, will chair the board for the second year of her two-year term. The full board convened last week at PRA’s 2013 Annual Conference in Atlanta. 

“The newly rebranded Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association has an ambitious agenda ahead of us. From the introduction of our new educational Academy to a comprehensive rebrand in conjunction with redefined strategic initiatives, PRA is actively growing and training the recovery workforce,” said Razzano. “I am excited to work with such a talented and committed group of psychiatric rehabilitation professionals to accomplish our goals this year.”

Serving as chair-elect for the second year of her term is Dori Hutchinson, ScD, LRC, Director of Services, BU Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. The treasurer is Roy Starks, MA, Director, Rehabilitation and Recovery, Mental Health Center of Denver; the secretary is Liz Smithhart, MC, CPRP, LPC, Adult Services Director of SMI Programs, Magellan Health Services. Members continuing as directors include, Lori Ashcraft, PhD, CPRP, Executive Director, Recovery Opportunity Center; Mary Gregorio, LRC, CRC, CPRP, Center Club Program Director, BayCove Human Services, Inc.; Nancy Little, MS, LCPC, Director of Training, Thresholds; Steve Miccio, Executive Director, PEOPLe, Inc.; David Pilon, PhD, CPRP, President and CEO, Mental Health America of L.A.; Sandra G. Resnick, PhD, Associate Director, VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center; and David Sanders, DHHR Behavioral Health & Health Facilities.

PRA welcomes new directors, Andy Bernstein, PhD, CPRP, Clinical Director, UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona, and Beth Boersma, MSW, CPRP, PSR Program Director, Community Friendship, Inc.

The ex officio directors include, Diane Brewer, MS, LPCC, CRC, CPRP, President, CPRP Commission, and Seven Counties Services Housing First, and Tom Gibson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, PRA.

PRA formally thanked outgoing board members, Peter Ashenden, Director for Consumer Affairs, Optum Health Behavioral Solutions, and Lew Manges, CRC, CPRP, Deputy Executive Director, Elwyn, Inc., for their steadfast dedication to PRA and the psychiatric rehabilitation community.

“I believe the nominating committee and our membership selected the best possible group of accomplished and smart strategic thought leaders to direct our organization to new heights,” said Tom Gibson, PRA’s interim CEO. “Their leadership is critical to PRA continuing to grow and train the recovery workforce in order to drive positive change for the mental health industry and overall societal progress.”


Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Recognizes Key Leaders in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

(McLean, VA, June 11, 2013) – The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) is proud to announce the 2013 Awards of Distinction recipients and 2013 Dincin Fellows. PRA honors the most accomplished professionals in psychiatric rehabilitation this week throughout the 2013 PRA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 9-12.

The 2013 Awards of Distinction recipients are:

  • Board of Directors’ Award: Dr. Carl C. Bell, MD, Director, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • John Beard Award: Eugene Johnson, MSW, MBA, President & CEO, Recovery Innovations, Inc.
  • Irvin Rutman Award: Paul Taylor, CPRP, President & CEO, Momentum for Mental Health
  • Armin Loeb Award: Dr. Benjamin Druss, MD, MPH, Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Multicultural Award: Marie Hamilton, LCSW, MPH, Project Coordinator, University of Illinois at Chicago Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy
  • Leroy Spaniol Educator Award: Tracey Sutton, LCSW, Lead Therapist & Clinical Supervisor, Family Support Services of North Idaho
  • Practitioner Award: Elizabeth Herbert, MA, CRC, CPRP, Career Specialist, CareLink Community Support Services
  • Isaiah Uliss Advocate Award: Paul Ottenstein, Program Coordinator, Homeless Empowerment Advisory Project, Bay Cove Human Services, Inc.

The PRA Dincin Fellow Program recognizes members who have made significant and sustained contributions to the art and science of psychiatric rehabilitation. The program is named in honor of Jerry Dincin, a pioneer in mental health, for his commitment to excellence and dedication to the field throughout his career. The 2013 Dincin Fellows are:

  • Nora Barrett, MSW, ACSW, CPRP, Associate Professor, UMDNJ Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions
  • Mary Alice Johnston Brown, PhD, CPRP, Executive Director, Laurel Hill Center, Inc.

“The thought leaders we celebrate this week at the PRA Annual Conference are exemplary in the psych rehab field and their practice resides at the heart of PRA’s mission to grow and train the recovery workforce,” said PRA Board of Directors Chair Lisa Razzano, PhD, CPRP. “They are shaping and fueling the future of psychiatric rehabilitation around the globe, channeling PRA’s passion for and belief in the essential role of psychiatric rehabilitation in the behavioral healthcare environment.”


United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Rebrands to Grow and Train the Recovery Workforce

(McLean, VA, June 10, 2013) – The US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) is pleased to announce that by an overwhelming vote of the membership, the organization has changed its name to the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA). The removal of the geographic designation from their name is an element of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the association’s service framework and economic trajectory to grow and train the recovery workforce. With a crystalline vision and brand, together with an aggressive expansion in the organization’s growing suite of credentialing, training and advocacy initiatives, PRA is now positioned to become an indispensible link in the worldwide recovery and wellness movement.

Over the course of the past year, the PRA Board of Directors and staff has been focused on aligning the association with best practices in key areas of mission, brand, structure, programs, and economic growth. The collective goal has been to more effectively leverage PRA as the vehicle through which members and supporters can channel their passion for and belief in the essential role of psychiatric rehabilitation in the behavioral healthcare environment.

“Growing and training the recovery workforce resides at the core of why our organization exists,” said PRA Board Chair Lisa Razzano, PhD, CPRP.  “By focusing our attention on this objective, to be the "go to" organization which grows and trains the recovery workforce, PRA can help to shape and fuel the future of psychiatric rehabilitation throughout the world.”

As PRA’s strategy is deployed, PRA will serve as the global focal point for people and organizations involved in psychiatric rehabilitation – from practitioner to CEO, academic to government, for profit and nonprofit, with values informed by lived, learned, and multicultural experience. PRA will possess a robust suite of training and learning opportunities, multiple credentialing tracks and in-person, as well as virtual engagement opportunities for persons and organizations of differing geography, culture, education, and life experience.

“As we grow and train the recovery workforce, PRA honors its deep commitment to advancing a worldwide movement focused on consumer wellness and recovery, a central element of advancing the state and quality of mental and behavioral healthcare,” said Razzano.   


USPRA Statement Regarding Recent Commercial Depicting Mental Illness

(McLean, VA, April 15, 2013) - As the organization dedicated to growing and training the recovery workforce, USPRA condemns the inappropriate, offensive, and hurtful depiction of mental illnesses in the recent Wheat Thins commercial airing on network and cable television.

This commercial reinforces harmful stereotypes and propagates prejudice and discrimination against individuals who live with mental illnesses. Through this negative portrayal, Wheat Thins directly supports discrimination against people living with mental health challenges.

It is the position of USPRA that all individuals with mental illnesses should have access to the supports they need to recover, so they can be empowered to lead successful and satisfying lives. As with other medical conditions, people can and do recover from mental illnesses and live full and productive lives in our communities. However, continued negative depictions of people with mental illnesses in the media hinders public understanding and perpetuates prejudice against them, which may prevent some from seeking the help and support they need. 

USPRA strongly urges Wheat Thins’ parent company, Nabisco, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods Global, Inc., to cease airing this commercial. Doing so would demonstrate a position against discrimination and instead, would position Nabisco as a voice in support for the mental health of our communities.


Rosalynn Carter to Keynote 2013 USPRA Annual Conference

(McLean, VA, February 19, 2013) - The US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) is pleased to announce that author, advocate, and humanitarian former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will keynote a general session at the 2013 USPRA Annual Conference to be held June 9-12, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Through her groundbreaking work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Mrs. Carter is an acclaimed advocate around mental and behavioral health issues, care giving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution. At her Wednesday, June 12 Keynote Address, Mrs. Carter will reinforce the fact that, despite growing knowledge of how to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, myths and misperceptions about these disorders persist, leading to stigma and discrimination toward those who suffer from them.

"As first Lady, Rosalynn Carter pursued an activist agenda in the tradition of her predecessor Eleanor Roosevelt and her important work has further accelerated since leaving The White House," said Lisa Razzano, Ph.D. CPRP, USPRA Board Chair. "Mrs. Carter's work aligns beautifully with USPRA's mission of representing and training the workforce of recovery and her address at this enormous gathering of psychiatric rehabilitation professionals serves as a thrilling validation of our important work."

Mrs. Carter emerged as a driving force for mental health when, during the Carter administration, she became active as the Honorary Chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which helped to pass the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. Under Mrs. Carter's continued leadership, The Carter Center's Mental Health Program has successfully promoted awareness about mental health issues, informed public policy and helped mental health care achieve greater equity in the health care debate while helping reduce stigma and discrimination against those with mental illnesses. USPRA awarded Rosalynn Carter the 2010 President’s Award for her lifelong leadership in promoting mental health. USPRA applauds her efforts to eradicate stigma, promote recovery and support legislation that would end the mental health crisis and bring within our reach accessible, evidence based mental health care.


USPRA Congratulates Paolo del Vecchio on New Position as Director of SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services

(McLean, VA, August 12, 2012) – The US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) congratulates Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., on being selected to serve as the next Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). Paolo has long been a champion of supporting the strength-based model that is the foundation of the psychiatric rehabilitation service system.

A self-identified mental health consumer, trauma survivor, and person in recovery from addictions, Paolo has been involved for over 40 years in behavioral health as a consumer, family member, provider, advocate, and policy maker. He was recently honored at the USPRA Annual Conference as with the 2012 USPRA Chairperson’s Award in recognition of his support the strength-based model, including his involvement in the 10 Fundamental Components of Recovery and the 10 by 10 Wellness Campaign.

 

“On behalf of the members of USPRA, we congratulate Paolo del Vecchio on his new position as Director of SAMSHA’s Center for Mental Health Services,” said Lisa Razzano, USPRA Board Chair. “Paolo has been an exceptional advocate for psychiatric rehabilitation and we look forward working closely with Paolo and his team to advance the availability and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation."

 

Paolo previously served as the CMHS Associate Director for Consumer Affairs where he managed SAMHSA's precedent-setting activities in addressing consumer participation and education, issues of discrimination and stigma, consumer rights, wellness, recovery, trauma, and others. Paolo was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired in 1995 by SAMHSA. In this capacity, he promoted consumer participation in all aspects of the Center's policies and operations ranging from public education to developing evidence based practices to address the needs of persons with mental illnesses. Those efforts included initiating historic dialogue meetings between consumers/peers and practitioners, regional peer meetings, social inclusion efforts, training programs, and grant development.

 


 

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