In 2020, NARPA planned to hold its annual convention in Portland, Oregon. Due to restrictions related to Covid-19, we have decided against an in-person conference and instead we are offering a series of five webinars over the coming months, specifically related to current events. Topics addressed will include how we protect people labeled with psychiatric disabilities from infection during the pandemic; how NARPA is working to support Black Lives Matter and to eliminate race-based disparities in services; discussions of police violence in communities of color and people with disabilities; and more.
The first webinar took place on September 2, with presenter Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany Machar. Moon was the recipient of NARPA's Pearl Johnson Award in 2017, and the Bazelon Center's Emerging Young Advocates Award in 2019. Moon works with Disability Rights Maine as a cultural strategist. Working with the ACE program in the Army National Guard, Moon was dismayed at how service members who experience terrible things are then labeled as "mentally ill," leading to her passion for trauma prevention and recovery. Moon emigrated to the U.S. as a child from South Sudan, and she uses her experience as a refugee to inform her work with immigrants, people with psychiatric disabilities, and other trauma survivors.
Of her presentation entitled "Trauma Translated" Moon says, "Apart from policy development and assessment, there is a responsibility and dire need for stakeholders to carve deliberate space for communities to feel heard, validated and included in the formations of and considerations in the mental health system. Through this workshop we aim to highlight and give back the narrative to disproportionate and Minority communities around the harms that come when systems do not authentically connect with them on grassroot levels."
To access the recording of this webinar, visit NARPA's web site at www.narpa.org. (The video of this will be available soon.) Also, check back at www.narpa.org for details about the next four workshops scheduled this Fall. And stay tuned for announcements about NARPA's plans for 2021!
“Rights-Based Alternatives to Police Response for Mental Health Crises: A World-Wide Perspective,” (Video coming soon.)
"Olmstead in the Age of COVID," with presenters Kathy Flaherty, of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, and Jennifer Mathis, of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Video of this webinar available here