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Office of Mental Health

Consumer & Families

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Regional Advisory Committee

Beginning in 1993, the RAC, formerly called the "Recipient Advisory Committee," served as a formal mechanism for gathering information on the perspectives and concerns of people who receive or have received mental health services. A separate Committee, the Commissioner's Committee for Families, also existed to address the unique needs of families. In March of 2010 the Recipient Advisory Committee and the Commissioner's Committee for Families combined into the Regional Advisory Committee. In collaboration with the Director of Consumer Affairs, the Committee is charged with obtaining broad grassroots input from people currently or previously engaged in care and family members; providing input into the establishment of statewide goals and objectives; promoting choice; and advising the Commissioner on matters related to development, implementation and operation of the public mental health system.

Major planning and policy publications of the RAC include the following:

For more information about the Committee and its activities please visit the Office of Consumer Affairs website.

Other Resources for Planning Relevant to Consumer and Family Issues

  • Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery PDF DocumentLeaving OMH site
    Published in 2003 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this booklet contains information, ideas, and strategies that people have found to be helpful in relieving and preventing troubling feelings and symptoms.
  • Consumer STAR Leaving OMH site
    The STAR Center provides support, technical assistance and resources to assist consumer–operated and consumer–helper programs in meeting the needs of under–served populations. It offers leadership trainings, national teleconferences, consumer scholarships to its annual Alternatives Conference, and an online cultural resource directory.
  • Make the Mental Health System Work for You: When Families Join the Mental Health Care Team, Everyone Benefits!
    This pamphlet addresses how mental health outcomes can be dramatically improved when families are active partners in mental health treatment. Family members can contribute unique strengths and knowledge to the treatment process that can benefit everyone-the person receiving services, the practitioner, and family members. The brochure was produced by the National Association on Mental Illness in New York State, Mental Health Resources, and the Office of Mental Health.
  • Missouri Institute of Mental Health Program in Consumer Studies and Training Leaving OMH site
    The Program in Consumer Studies and Training is part of the Mental Health Services Research Division of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health Leaving OMH site . It is an outgrowth of the commitment by the Institute to the development of a strong and informed consumer and family voice in all aspects of mental health policy, research, and services.
  • National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family Program Leaving OMH site
    Aimed at family members of persons with severe mental illness, this NAMI program is taught by trained family members and provides education and information that helps families to cope and to support the recovery of their loved ones. Information is available on training sessions across New York State Leaving OMH site .
  • Peer Support among Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Report from the Field Leaving OMH site
    Published by Schizophrenia Bulletin in 2006, this article by Dr. Larry Davidson and colleagues calls for further evaluation of peer support as a form of mental health service provision.
  • Practice Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Behavioral Health Care PDF DocumentLeaving OMH site
    The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services published these guidelines in 2006. Eight domains of a recovery-oriented service system are described, from the degree of participation by persons in recovery in planning and system development to strategies to address barriers to recovery. Offered are concrete, practical and well-researched action steps or guidelines in each domain.
  • Recovery Self-Assessment Leaving OMH site
    Produced by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, this tool comprises 36 items to gauge the degree to which programs implement recovery-oriented practices.  There are four versions of the RSA targeted to persons in recovery, family members and advocates, providers and chief executive officers/directors.
  • Rediscovery of Recovery: Open to All Leaving OMH site
    This 2004 Advances in Psychiatric Treatment article by Roberts and Wolfson explores the background and defining features of the international recovery movement, its influence and impact on contemporary psychiatric practice, and steps towards developing recovery-based practice and services.
  • Top Ten Concerns about Mental Health Recovery Encountered in Mental Health System Transformation Leaving OMH site
    This 2006 Psychiatric Services article by Dr. Larry Davidson and colleagues explores the various meanings of recovery as applied to mental illness and lists the top ten concerns encountered in efforts to articulate and implement recovery-oriented care.
  • Unmet Needs of Families of Adults with Mental Illness and Preferences Regarding Family Services Leaving OMH site
    This 2008 Psychiatric Services article with Lisa Dixon and colleagues points to the importance of making continued efforts to understand and address consumer and family needs, potential barriers to participation in family services, and the relationship between stigma and family need.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Office of Planning.