California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO)


CAMHPRO is an incorporated consumer-run statewide organization consisting of member entities, which are established, independent and successful consumer-run organizations.


CAMHPRO's mission is "to transform communities and the mental health system throughout California to empower, support, and ensure the rights of consumers, eliminate stigma, and advance self-determination for all those affected by mental health issues by championing the work of consumer-run organizations."


CAMHPRO is an independent organization finalizing its 501c(3) non-profit filing. For its development purposes CAMHPRO has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with PEERS of Alameda County for provision of technical, fiscal and contracting support. PEERS, a member organization, is a successful consumer-run non-profit with a budget over 2.5 million annually.

Purpose


The specific purpose of CAMHPRO is to promote the work and mission of peer run organizations devoted to advocacy and empowerment for mental health consumers. Through championing the work of consumer run programs, CAMHPRO will promote on local, regional, and statewide levels:

The leadership of CAMHPRO consists of internationally recognized experts in consumer-operated services, peer support and self-help programming in very diverse communities, consumer-driven stigma and discrimination reduction programs, community organizing, suicide prevention, disability rights, empowerment and advocacy training, and the implementation of these in many sectors including California county government, federal and local agencies. Grounded in decades of experience with the mental health consumer advocacy movement and recovery principles, CAMPHRO’s team also comprises expertise in executive management, contracting, and program and organizational development and implementation and public policy advocacy.

History


Consumer leaders throughout the State began meeting in October of 2011 to discuss the need for a strong mental health consumer presence and voice in California. These leaders were concerned that the consumer voice was failing and not providing the local and statewide leadership necessary to successfully promote consumer values of recovery and empowerment. It seemed clear that there had been a shift in the mental health consumer environment in that the strong leadership, the hubs of activism where consumers gathered, the centers of consumer power, were the local consumer run programs throughout the State. California needed a statewide consumer organization that represented these consumer run programs to successfully represent the voices of consumers on a statewide level, an organization composed of organizational members instead of individuals.


CAMHPRO was thus created, a membership organization of consumer run organizations. The core membership of CAMHPRO is established, independent and successful consumer-run non- profit organizations. However, CAMHPRO also offers associate membership for established, independent, and successful consumer-run organizations who are not as yet non-profit entities or choose to work through non-mental health fiscal agencies.


CAMHPRO was incorporated in March, 2012, has developed By Laws, and entered into an MOU with Peers Envisioning and Engaging Recovery Services (PEERS) in order to conduct business as it is in the process of securing its own non-profit status.


The member organizations of CAMHPRO are Peers Envisioning and Engaging Recovery Services (PEERS), Consumer Self-Help Centers of Sacramento, Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and Project Return Peer Support Network. The Board officers are: President Eduardo Vega; Vice President and Treasurer, Linford Gayle; and Secretary, Khatera Aslami. Each CAMHPRO member organization holds a seat on the board as well. Sally Zinman serves as Interim Executive Director.


Diversity is a essential value for CAMHPRO, which is demonstrated in its Board leadership and well-represented by its constituent organizations which operate peer-support and self-help programs in the most diverse communities in the state.