The National Association of Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Administrators (NAC/SMHA) represents state mental health department senior managers who self-identify as current or former recipients of mental health services. The Association provides a forum for members to develop strategies for balancing the often disparate demands and expectations of the two constituencies they serve: consumers/survivors and mental health bureaucracies.
The organization serves as a vehicle for networking and peer support, and is committed to expanding the participation of consumers/survivors in all aspects of the public mental health system. The Association offers technical assistance to state mental health departments who are interested in developing offices of consumer/ex-patient relations.
Core Elements of a Successful Office of Consumer Affairs
- Establishment, planning and hiring must be supported by and involve consumers/survivors
- Must be directed by a self-identified consumer/survivor
- Must be part of senior management team
- An adequate support system must be in place and ongoing
- Must serve as a systems change agent
- Does not relieve other senior management staff from interacting with consumers/survivors