Peer Self-Advocacy (PSA)
In the Peer Self-Advocacy program (PSA), individuals with mental health disabilities share experiences and help their peers speak up, make decisions, help each other and live the lives they choose. We reach out and provide self-advocacy groups and trainings where people live and in the community. The PSA knows that change can and does happen.
California Memorial Project
We help fight the mental health stigma and discrimination we experience as peers by remembering those who came before us. Our California Memorial Project holds annual Remembrance Day ceremonies on the third Monday of September. These ceremonies honor people with mental health and developmental disabilities who lived and died in state institutions without the acknowledgement and respect they deserved. We also place memorial monuments throughout the state on hospital grounds or local cemeteries where people from these institutions were buried. Our plans include restoring these cemeteries, collecting personal stories from people who lived in institutions and creating a video about the project and the history of the peer movement. California Memorial Project website.
A bilingual PSA group member wanted to get out of a locked facility to care for his mother. We provided information about challenging an LPS conservatorship. As a result, “Jose” learned steps to get off conservatorship and move into the community. He developed a discharge plan that included talking with his doctor about his medications and getting third party assistance to show the court he could provide for his food, clothing and shelter. He asked his pastor to help by reminding him to take his medication and identify community support groups.
“Irene” participates in the “El Progreso” self-advocacy group at a mental health clinic. She applied for Section 8 housing a few years ago and recently moved into a third floor apartment. She was happy to have her own home, but she was in poor health due to a heart condition. It was nearly impossible to walk up three flights of stairs. After she told group members about this, the group learned about housing rights and reasonable accommodations.