Mental health consumers in Texas have a new opportunity for networking, collaboration and advocacy! The newly formed statewide consumer organization Texas Catalyst for Empowerment (TCE) held its first statewide consumer leadership symposium in August. I was fortunate enough to join the more than 80 participants from all over the state who came together for three days in hot, dry Austin to connect, support and share opinions on the current state of mental health.

Each of six regions in Texas sent  representatives who actively participated in the leadership symposium. TCE board members who represent these regions facilitated the groups. On day one, we identified current resources and needs for consumers, youth and families in our areas. On the final day, each region identified projects they were committed to moving forward in their communities to further connect and support consumers. These regional action plans will be implemented over the next year.

An entire day was spent reviewing and contributing to a draft consumer statement developed by the TCE board at the request of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). All of the input from people at the symposium was considered and noted. Our voices were truly heard and documented. Wow!

The weekend following the symposium, the TCE board met to finalize the Consumer Statement and submitted it to the DSHS on September 1, 2011. WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!

If you are interested in joining the board of TCE or being notified about upcoming events, please contact us here.

We would love for you to read the statement and share your opinion so that your voice can be heard too! Please feel free to comment below.