the advocacy monitor

Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Support for Consumers with Mental / Emotional Disabilities

Approved by the NCIL membership July 2011

WHEREAS, The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities has published a “Fact Sheet” for Centers for Independent Living on “Serving People with Psychiatric Disabilities”;

WHEREAS, the “Fact Sheet” attempts to draw a connection between CILs and psychiatric providers by urging CILs to direct consumers with mental/emotional disabilities to medical and other professional service systems over consumer-run services and other forms of peer support; 

WHEREAS, there are organized consumers, both in and outside of CILs, virtually everywhere in the United States available to work with and assist CILs in serving consumers; and

WHEREAS, CILs should always recognize the ways professionals in service systems try to exert control over consumers, the importance of working with consumers first and seeking professional assistance as a last resort;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That NCIL recognizes that the initially published version of the Temple University Fact Sheet is not consistent with Independent Living philosophy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That NCIL staff contact NIDRR and other agencies funding the CIL project at Temple to ensure that consumers knowledgeable about Independent Living philosophy drive revisions to the Fact Sheet and any future projects they fund; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: That if IL Centers cannot find assistance locally on serving people with mental/emotional disabilities, the NCIL Mental Health Civil Rights Task Force can help with referrals and other assistance.

Respectfully submitted by: The NCIL Mental Health Task Force

Supported by:

IndependenceFirst, Milwaukee, WI

Independent Living Council of Wisconsin

David Oaks, NCIL Member, Eugene, Oregon

Lake County CIL, Mundelein, IL

Julie Alexander, NCIL member, Milwaukee, WI

Mike Bachhuber, NCIL member, Madison, WI

Krista Erickson, NCIL member, Mundelein, IL

NCIL Mental Health Task Force

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living