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The foundation for excellence in mental health care

Posted Mar 12 2011 8:12pm

The following is from the foundation for excellence in mental health care is basically self explanatory.  This foundation is one of the most helpful steps towards a new paradigm in mental health care I have found.  I urge you find further information out about it and support it in any way you can.



Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, Inc.

As the newly incorporated Foundation pursues its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, it operates as a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation of Sheffield, Massachusetts ( and of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina ( To date, the Foundation’s donors are Louisa Putnam of the Putnam Foundation, Virgil Stucker, Don Cooper and Robert Whitaker.

Our mission is to promote better mental health outcomes. We will do so by identifying, developing, and sharing knowledge with the public about mental health care that best helps people recover and live well in society. We will promote improvements in mental health care by sponsoring research and the development of programs designed to help people thrive–physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

Furthermore, the Foundation endorses the following principles.

1.Positions or beliefs promoted by the Foundation are based solely on evidence that correlates with improved long-term outcomes for individuals with mental health challenges.

2.The Foundation appreciates that the range of experiences of people experiencing psychiatric difficulty is vast – from problems of life-fulfillment to the most vexing and challenging symptoms and experiences in the human condition, and appreciates, too, that the pathways to healing, recovery and coping with these difficulties are many. No one path is right for all people. The Foundation seeks to foster informed, individual choice about the full range of options for treatment and to accumulate data that assists people making these informed choices about the management of their psychiatric and other life difficulties.

3.The Foundation appreciates that, among the many pathways of treatment available to people with psychiatric challenges, psychiatric medications have a useful and important role for many people. The Foundation is also concerned that in many instances, psychiatric medications appear to be over-used, and used to the exclusion of alternative treatments. Given the toxicity and side-effect problems associated with psychiatric medications, the Foundation supports fully informed choice about the use of psychiatric medications and promotes the full range of services and supports, in addition to medications, to promote recovery.

4.The Foundation endorses the position that the fields of medicine and psychiatry must rethink current recommendations for the early, long term and universal use of psychiatric medications, to ensure that they are recommended for people who will most likely benefit from them, and not recommended to people whose recovery or wellbeing may be adversely affected by their use.

5.The Foundation welcomes the perspectives of professionals, people with lived experience with psychiatric challenges, their families and loved ones, administrators, researchers, medical insurance companies and other stakeholders, each of whom may have much wisdom to contribute to the Foundation’s goals of promoting better outcomes for people experiencing substantial psychiatric difficulty.  The Foundation seeks to promote a “big tent,” in which healthy, respectful disagreement can occur in a setting of mutual learning.
6.The Foundation will support work of authors, clinicians and researchers who investigate and present data to develop a non-partisan appraisal and improvement of the current state of prescribing practice.

Board of the Foundation is listed below:

Chairman and President Virgil Stucker
President and Executive Director
CooperRiis Healing Community
101 Healing Farm Lane
Mill Spring, NC 28756
Phone: 828 899 4673
Fax: 828 899 7111

Vice Chairperson Gina Nikkel, Ph.D.
Association of Oregon
Community Mental Health Programs
1201 Court St NE #302
Salem, OR  97301

Secretary/Treasurer Christopher Gordon, MD
Vice President for Clinical Services and Medical Director Advocates, Inc.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School
One Clarks Hill, Suite 305
Framingham, Massachusetts 01702
Phone: 508.628.6652
Fax: 508.628.6301

Assistant Secretary/Treasurer
Larry Abrams, JD
Stamford, CT
(917) 453-2880

Bruce Abel, LCSW, DSW
LaneCare Program Manager
2411 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Eugene, Oregon 97405
Phone 541 682-7577
Fax        541-682-9811

Donald R. Cooper
Chairman of the Board
CooperRiis Healing Community
400 Roaring Rock Road
Black Mountain, NC  28711
Phone: 828 625-1389
Fax: 828 625-1386

Mark D. Green, M.D.
Medical Director
WestBridge Community Services
275 Mystic Ave, Suite C
Medford, MA 02155
Phone: 617 913 2971
Fax: 781 396 2796

Will Hall
Director, Portland Hearing Voices
PO Box 3641 Portland, Oregon 972080
Phone: 413.210.2803

Robert E. Nikkel, MSW
Executive Director
Jefferson Behavioral Health, Inc.
500 NE E Street
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Cell (503) 929-9346
Fax (541) 955-8290

Louisa Putnam
Putnam Foundation
Santa Fe, NM

John D. Rockefeller, J.D., MPH, CEO
Zero Consult Limited
Box 774
Williamsburg, MA 01096

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