Mental Health & Rehabilitation eCast March 2009

The Mental Health & Rehabilitation eCast is a monthly emailed newsletter with the purpose of informing mental health and rehabilitation networks worldwide about the activities and resources produced by the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation as well as for disseminating general mental health and rehabilitation news.


Comfort Rooms that Work

This guide, developed by the New York State Office of Mental Health, provides information to service providers that are interested in developing comfort rooms and calming spaces. It has been compiled to assist in the planning and implementation process. The information in “Comfort Rooms: A Preventative Tool Used to Reduce the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Facilities that Serve Individuals with Mental Illness” was gathered through an extensive literature review, visits to calming and comfort rooms across New York State, attendance at conferences, and interviews with experts in the field. Download the guide at


Report Card on State Mental Health Services

“Grading the States 2009” is a national report on the public mental health care system including state-by-state narratives and grades from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This is NAMI’s second report, which lists states that have improved their grades, fallen, or remained stagnant. The report comes at a time when state budget cuts threaten mental health services nationwide and health care reform is on the national agenda. NAMI’s grades are based on 65 specific criteria such as access to medicine, housing, and family education. See the report at


Online Community for Individuals to Share their Stories

Mental Health America announced the launch of realLives, an online community where individuals with mental health conditions can share their stories. The site includes nearly 200 stories, as well as artwork, poetry and other means of expression documenting people’s experiences of illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Visit


Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities

The Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research (CCBMDR) has just posted its recent edition of The Capacity Builder newsletter. The newsletter is published periodically with the objective of sharing news, accomplishments, research initiatives, and upcoming events among researchers and practitioners whose work focuses on issues of disability, culture, and empowerment. Download the newsletter through the link,,%20i1%203-11-09.pdf. Find out more about the organization at


National Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the Mental Health Campaign for Mental Health Recovery to encourage, educate, and inspire people between 18 and 25 to support their friends who are experiencing mental health problems. This group has a high potential to minimize future disability if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on. There are a wide variety of resources available at the website including brochures in both English and Spanish. Find out more at the “What a Difference a Friend Makes” website at


This eCast is jointly supported by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Department of Education.