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What We Do

Advocacy

We challenge the status quo

ISPS-US’s mission is to promote psychological and social approaches to states of mind often called “psychosis,” which often means challenging the biological-reductionistic status quo of mental health care as normal. ISPS-US aims to effect systemic change, within arenas such as the mental health system, education system, media, and systems influencing public policy. Our Advocacy Committee works in partnership with our Executive Committee to advance ISPS-US’s advocacy efforts and engage our passionate membership in collective action. 

ISPS-US aims to:

  • Promote the appropriate use of psychotherapy and psychosocial treatments for those experiencing psychosis and extreme states.
  • Support treatments that include individual, family, group and milieu approaches and treatment methods that are derived from psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, psycho-educational, peer support and related approaches.
  • Advance education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the psychological therapies and psychosocial interventions in the treatment and prevention of psychosis for the public benefit regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.
  • Promote personal empowerment as a necessary part of recovery from psychosis.
  • Promote research into individual, family, and group psychological therapies, preventive measures and other psychosocial programs for those with psychosis.

ISPS-US's Advocacy Committee penned the following letter in response to SAMHSA's recent Request for Information; Potential Changes to its Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center. In it, we conveyed our concerns about the re-evaluation of the Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center (EBPRC), emphasizing the need for a more inclusive, transparent approach to evidence-based practices. We highlighted biases in current treatments, emphasizing the need for transparency, the inclusion of qualitative measures, and a focus on long-term research for effective mental health treatment.

We urged SAMHSA to consider the limitations of manualized treatments and to prioritize the relationships between clinicians and clients in the pursuit of well-being-focused interventions. Furthermore, we emphasized the importance of a more inclusive approach to soliciting feedback from various stakeholders in the mental health field.

ISPS-US is the United States Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. Our organization is unique in its inclusion of researchers, clinicians, individuals with lived experience, family members, and other stakeholders, all of whom have joined together to create a three-dimensional picture of what works in the treatment of people diagnosed with severe mental illness. We appreciate SAMHSA’s invitation to share our knowledge and experience, and do so urgently to address our significant concerns regarding certain of your agency’s current recommendations and resources

In the pursuit of justice and ethical treatment within mental health institutions, the case of Dawn Dziuba has caught the attention of individuals and organizations alike. Dawn Dziuba is currently a patient in the Forensic Treatment Center South in St. Louis, Missouri, and has been an inpatient since 2014. Dawn alleges that she is being subjected to retaliation for submitting complaints on behalf of herself and fellow patients who believe they have experienced unjust, inhumane, or illegal practices. Members from ISPS-US, led by the Advocacy Committee, have been closely monitoring Dawn's situation and actively supporting efforts to address the concerning circumstances she faces within the Missouri mental health system.

This swell of cross-organizational support has led Missouri State Representative Sarah Unsicker to write a letter, dated August 1st, to the Director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health regarding Dawn Dziuba's case, calling for an investigation. In a compelling letter, Representative Unsicker expressed her concern for Dawn's well-being, echoing the worries raised by MindFreedom International and the wider community. Representative Unsicker, an Attorney, also points out numerous legal irregularities in Dawn's case.

ISPS-US members recently took part in a letter-writing campaign to The New Yorker in response to their article The Revolving Door / The System that Failed Jordan Neely. Thanks to the collective effort from our organization and others, The New Yorker will publish this moving and important letter from a reader that helps to highlight our and others' concerns around coerced treatment.

Advocates are currently organizing against a recent RFP put out by the state's DMHAS for a peer respite center because the limitations set around the center deviate from what studies and experience in other states show are best practices.

Interested in taking part in our advocacy efforts? If you’re not already a member, join ISPS-US.

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