Consumer Empowerment and Recovery Council

People who receive mental health services in southwest Virginia recently met to create a new planning, advocacy and recovery focused organization under the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services System Transformation Initiative. The Southwest Virginia Consumer Empowerment and Recovery Council held a public meeting to adopt a Mission Statement and By-laws on May 26, 2006. Through this organization, individuals who are involved in receiving mental health care from Community Services Boards or private providers will have an opportunity to make a difference in the region’s mental health care system. Council members will learn of the success of others recovering from mental illness, receive and provide support, and help lead the mental health care system into the emerging new direction of “Recovery from Mental Illness is Possible.”  Interim officers represent the entire region of southwest Virginia from Blacksburg to Big Stone Gap.

The mission of the Consumer Empowerment and Recovery Council is to share common goals and interests, be committed to giving back, and speak with a united voice that is empowered, assertive, and coordinated.  As consumers, we will tell our stories and work to identify and achieve goals that instill hope, protect the rights of others, and advocate for our fellow consumers.  We resolve:

  • to embrace and promote empowerment and recovery;
  • to provide peer assistance and support;
  • to promote consumer independence and self-esteem;
  • to support consumers in their communities;
  • to advocate for consumer choice to live independently, have alternative housing, and gain employment;
  • to advocate for adequate transportation;
  • to provide consumer access to resources and materials;
  • to advocate for health care, including dental care and medication assistance;
  • to educate families, medical professionals and others in the community about mental illness;
  • to promote community outreach; and
  • to promote local consumer empowerment councils.