North Carolina Practice Improvement Collaborative Conference

Topic: Community Inclusion for Persons with Serious Mental Illness in North Carolina

February 20, 2018

McKimmon Conference and Training Center

1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh 27606

On February 20, the North Carolina Practice Improvement Collaborative sponsored a conference, Community Inclusion for Persons with Serious Mental Illness in North Carolina.   Sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (NC DMH/DD/SAS), the daylong conference highlighted and promoted the best practice of community inclusion of adults with serious mental illness.  Mark Salzer, Ph.D., Temple University, was the keynote presenter and discussed community inclusion as a right and medical necessity.  He emphasized the need for all to view people with mental illness as individuals, not as patients, who want to live in the community surrounded by family and friends, with a meaningful job, and a good place to live.  They must be engaged in making their own choices and partnering with providers, peer support specialists, and policymakers so that they receive effective mental health services and supports as community participation is vital to health and cognitive functioning. Dr. Salzer outlined the evidence-based fundamentals for promoting community inclusion and participation, which are based on a social model of disability, where disability results from a person-environment interaction that reduces opportunities for people to live like everyone else. It calls for reducing and eliminating environmental barriers and making a broad spectrum of individualized supports readily available.

[From left: Dr. Walt Caison, NC DMHDDSAS; Dr. Mark Salzer, Temple University; and Dave Wickstrom, Alliance of Disability Advocates]

Documents from the Conference


Mark Salzer, Ph.D., Director, Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, Temple University, will be the keynote speaker for this conference on Community Wellness and Inclusion. He will provide the key concepts on community inclusion, which will serve as the basis for the afternoon’s working groups. Working groups will be facilitated by experts in the field and address transition-age youth; peer support services; employment; and recreation. Attendees are expected to be engaged and participate, identifying ways in which communities involve diverse stakeholders in developing viable strategies in the four areas.