Weathering the Seas of Change: Finding Equilibrium in Tumultuous Times for Mental Health Policy Making

Simonne Maline and Victoria McCarty

The Consumer Council System of Maine is a peer organization written in Maine Legislative Statute. We work to bring the voice of our peers to public policy and systems work at statewide and local levels. One of the biggest challenges in our work has to do with the turnover in politics and priorities. Administrations and Legislators come and go. Priorities and projects ebb and flow. The challenge can be how to weather the course of time and all its fluctuations to find ways to make change despite numerous stormy seas. We have found that having a network of partners in usual and unusual places helps to move our agenda forward wherever there is momentum. There are multiple strategies on how to not only survive but thrive through these changes. This in turn allows us together to find ways to better equalize the policy arena for mental health consumers throughout the swirls all around us. This workshop is meant to be a very dynamic and interactive conversation between participants to engage in sharing realistic and viable solutions that work.

Learning Objectives:

  1. In this workshop we will discuss strategies on how to get to know the people that you will need to develop relationships with in any group/administration.
  2. How to find the partners/allies that can help you drive change.
  3. Discuss the realities of where you might want change to happen and then what the final product ends up being and how to build upon that.

How to find the momentum to keep going even when the landscape seems bleak.