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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

An Update from the NCIL Mental Health Civil Rights Task Force

NCIL’s Mental Health Civil Rights Task Force members will be presenting two workshops during the upcoming NCIL conference. Please join us for:

  • Mass Violence: How the IL Community Responds to Suggestions that People with Disabilities Pose a Public Threat on Wednesday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m.

Our nation experienced an increase in mass shootings last year. After these shootings, media and advocates for forced treatment and institutionalization have suggested that “mental illness” or autism of the shooter caused the violence and justify discrimination. This session will present some basic facts, discuss what existing laws may provide, and engage the audience in a discussion on how we can protect our civil rights.

  • CILs Providing Mental Health Peer Support on Saturday, July 27 at 9:00 a.m.

This workshop will provide an overview of some mental health peer support services being provided through CILs. In some states, CILs are providing services such as running drop-in centers and working with peer-run respite programs. Come join us as we highlight some existing programs and discuss how CILs can begin or improve existing peer support programs.

The Task Force has submitted a resolution for NCIL membership. If adopted, the resolution affirms that NCIL:

  • opposes use of statutory language not respectful of disability such as “mental defective”; 
  • supports the right of people with disabilities who have not committed crimes of violence to engage in activities generally allowed to Americans, including purchasing firearms and ammunition for hunting and self-defense;
  • and opposes all forms of profiling based on disability.

The resolution will be considered during the annual NCIL meeting on Friday, July 26. We welcome support of NCIL individual and organizational members before or during the meeting.

The NCIL Mental Health Civil Rights Task Force generally meets via teleconference on the first Thursday of each month at 3:00 Eastern. For more information, please contact Mike Bachhuber mikeb@ilcw.org or Krista Erickson krista@kristaerickson.net.

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