Empowering Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Role of the Peer Model in CILs

CIL-NET Presents… A Brand-New National Onsite Training 

Deadline Extended: Register and Reserve Your Room at the Beautiful Baltimore Marriott Waterfront by May 20!

Don’t miss out on this groundbreaking training!

As consumer-controlled, cross-disability organizations, CILs have a duty not just to provide services to consumers with psychiatric disabilities, but to ensure that they are an integral part of the organization: on staff, on the board, providing leadership and peer support. Every CIL serves people with psychiatric disabilities, whether they realize it or not. But there’s a lot of work between serving a few consumers and developing the staff competencies, peer support, and funding necessary for an exemplary approach. Let us help you improve and expand your work with people with psychiatric disabilities with a framework for inclusion and program development. Our presenters will give you the skills and knowledge to conceptualize, build, and implement an outstanding mental health program at your CIL. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity for your Center. Sign up today!

Learning Objectives

By the end of this training, participants will learn:

  • The role of CILs in serving people with psychiatric disabilities
  • An overview of the Mental Health System
  • Philosophical reasons for a CIL to get involved
  • What CILs need to know about involuntary treatment
  • How CILs can confront prejudice, fear, and discrimination
  • How to ensure meaningful involvement of consumers/survivors
  • Steps involved in planning and implementing programs
  • Strategies for gaining board of directors and staff buy-in
  • Promising practices shared by centers with successful programs
  • How to address potential barriers and gaps
  • How to build relationships with survivors and other stakeholders
  • Funding streams available to expand and finance services
  • Ways to build staff competencies
  • Steps to establish and manage contracts, set rates, and maintain relationships with funders

Target Audience

This training will provide strategies to confront discrimination related to mental health in the independent living field, and identify steps in planning and implementing programs in centers and the necessary funding needed to serve individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Executive Directors, Board Members, Program Managers and staff at centers interested in expanding services for people with psychiatric disabilities would benefit most from this training.


Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

700 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Front Desk Phone: (410) 385-3000

For reservations, please call Marriott at 800.228.9290 or use our custom link by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on May 20, 2015. The discounted group rate is $199.00 / night for single / double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Be sure to mention IL-NET Training when making your reservation to receive the group rate.

Meet Your Presenters

Mike Bachhuber: Executive Director, Independent Living Council of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Mike has worked in disability rights since 1997 and previously worked for an IL Center in Wisconsin, in addition to the state’s Protection and Advocacy System. As a consumer, Mike sat on and chaired the state’s Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council and served as a founding Board member for its Mental Health Consumer Network. He currently devotes time to organizing the civil rights efforts of the National Council on Independent Living as Co-chair of its ADA/Civil Rights Subcommittee. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Justin Brown: Director of Northeast Recovery Learning Community, Lawrence, MA

Justin is the Director of the Northeast Recovery Learning Community (NERLC) at the Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. (NILP) in Lawrence, MA. NERLC is a peer-staffed department of NILP that is currently in its’ fifth year of operation and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH). NERLC provides recovery-based education, information & referral, training, and support to peers living with mental health conditions in 52 cities and towns across Northeastern Massachusetts.

Daniel Fisher: Executive Director, National Empowerment Center, Lawrence, MA

Dan is a person who has recovered from schizophrenia. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who publicly discusses his recovery from mental illness. He is a role model for others who are struggling to recover, and his life dispels the myth that people do not recover from mental illness. His recovery and work in the field were recognized by his selection as a member of the White House Commission on Mental Health. He received his B.A. from Princeton University, his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and M.D. from George Washington University. Dan is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed his residency at Harvard Medical School. Dan is also an Adjunct Faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Ruthie Poole, BA, CPS: Director of Advocacy, Transformation Center, Roxbury, MA

Ruthie Poole has worked as the Director of Advocacy at the Transformation Center for the last eight years and is a person with lived experience of mental health diagnosis. The Transformation is a statewide mental health peer-run training, policy, advocacy and technical assistance center. Prior to working at the Transformation Center, Ruthie was hired at the Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) by Pat Deegan in 1989 to work as a community organizer to organize people receiving services from the Department of Mental Health. As one of the first paid peer workers in MA, Ruthie helped folks form Lawrence Organizing Voices for Empowerment (the LOVE Group). At NILP Ruthie became the Program Director of Services to Mental Health Consumers/Psychiatric Survivors, a position she held for twelve years.

Ruthie has a BA from Tufts University and is a proud Certified Peer Specialist. Currently Ruthie is the President of the Board of Directors of MPOWER.

Ruthie loves being part of the Peer Movement as she believes it’s a liberation movement similar to the Gay Liberation and Civil Rights Movements. She credits her strong commitment to social justice & fighting oppression to her parents who are faith-based activists involved in anti-racism and anti-homophobia efforts. One of Ruthie’s favorite quotes is by Fredrick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Sarah Wendell Launderville: Executive Director, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, VT

Sarah Wendell Launderville has worked in the disability rights movement since 1997, and has a psychiatric disability. She is the Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living and is adjunct faculty at Springfield College.

She has a MS in Human Services, Organizational Management and Leadership. She serves as the President of the Disability Rights Vermont board of directors and is the co-chair of the National Council on Independent Living’s Women’s Caucus. She is a member of NCIL Board of Directors, the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council, Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights, the Vermont Statewide Rehab Council, and the VT Human Rights Council.


IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET and SILC-NETPRESENTED BY CIL-NET: A program of the IL-NET national training and technical assistance project for Centers for Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC-NET). The IL-NET is operated by ILRU, Independent Living Research Utilization, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).