Resilience & Rebirth
In this issue, CAN celebrates the resilience of people in the
process of recovery as well as the physical and emotional rebirth
CAN seeks to promote and model the core values of our mission;
Education, Mentoring, Planning, Ownership, Wellness, Engage-
ment, and Responsibility. It is these values that EMPOWER us all
on the journey of recovery.
Inside this issue:
Table of Contents
Consumer Action 3 In Memoriam: 14
Turns 15! Nathanial Stanley
Proud (of) Mary 4 Resilience to your 15
CAN’s Training 6 Art as Therapy 16
Learning All 8 7- 9
Dimensions Color Me New 17
Healthy Choices: 18
Welcome New 10 Recipes for Life
Word Search 19
Be A Mental 11 Summer Events 20-21
Hill Day(s) 2018 12-13 Resources
CAN seeks to promote and model, both internally and to external stake-
holders, core values that will EMPOWER us all to fulfill the mission of pro-
moting recovery and self-advocacy.
Consumer Now CAN is planning to
celebrate all our successes over
Action Network the last fifteen years.
And those successes
Turns 15! CAN’s proudest achievements
Consumer Action Network is are the ones we did not do
excited to announce we are alone. It is the achievement of
beginning to plan our 15th consumers who heroically
Anniversary Celebration which travelled on their journey to
will take place this September, recovery and renewal. Every
2018. person we’ve serviced is our
Since CAN started in 2003, we
serviced District mental health We, at CAN, think the
and substance use disorder consumers who have embraced
consumers to support them as the recovery process and found
they get the help they need to meaning and purpose in their
find their own personal path to lives - via self-advocacy,
recovery. personal responsibility and
growth - are truly amazing.
CAN works hard to help the
citizens of the District of It has been our pleasure to
Columbia to support them in support each and every one of
their times of need. these consumers on their
personal journeys of resilience
and rebirth. We look forward
to 15 more years of serving
everyone who needs us.
Visit CAN’s website
for more information.
Proud (of) Mary
We are proud to announce that In May of 2018, Mary received
Mary Blake, one of CAN’s the Hubert H. Humphrey Award
original co-founders, has for Service to America from the
received the prestigious Hubert U.S. Department of Health and
H. Humphrey Award For Ser- Human Services for her federal
vice to America. leadership on trauma-informed
This award, which is only given
to one person per year, Prior to joining SAMHAS,
recognizes an individual for Mary was Co-Founder and
their contributions to the health, President of Consumer Action
safety, and well-being of the Network (CAN), an advocacy,
nation. training, and ombudsman non-
profit in Washington, DC.
As detailed by Mary’s official
work bio, she is a Public Health During her leadership at CAN,
Advisor in SAMHSA’s Center she received the Timothy
for Mental Health Services Coakley Leadership Award
(CMHS), where she serves as a from the American College of
subject matter expert, oversees Mental Health Administrators
contracts, and manages several in 2006 and 2007 for work
grant portfolios. promoting entrepreneurship and
employment of persons with
Mary is also a subject matter mental illness.
lead for adult trauma and
trauma-informed approaches at Mary has spoken extensively at
SAMHSA, including oversee- national conferences and around
ing SAMHSA’s National Cen- the country on issues pertaining
ter for Trauma Informed Care to mental health recovery, em-
and Alternatives to Restraint ployment, entrepreneurship,
and Seclusion (NCTIC), serving trauma recovery and trauma-
as Committee Chair for the informed care.
Federal Partners Committee on
Women and Trauma, and pro- Congratulations Mary, CAN is
viding technical consultations to proud of you.
for Winning the
Hubert H. Humphrey
Award For Service
NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
A small sample of CAN’s training activities from the month of May, 2018.
CAN was delighted to present its During CAN’s WRAP Class at
services to Children’s Hospital St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, we dis-
Psychiatric Center at their re- cussed the importance of having
quest. We presented the various supporters as they are a consum-
educational and support re- ers pillar. Supporters help to lift
sources that CAN provides to its consumers up when they are
collaborative partners. down.
This presentation was to address Remember while any one can be
the concerns of Children’s Hospi- a supporter, a consumer should
tal’s inability to support the teen- absolutely ask before adding a
agers in their care with activities supporter to their Crisis Plan -
and mental health awareness pro- No one like surprises. Consum-
grams, particularly due to a severe ers should check with their se-
lack of services in DC. There are lected supporters and explain to
no day or early evening programs them what it is that the consumer
during the day for hospitalized wants from them. It is best to
children or during recovery. have as many supporters as pos-
sible, but the minimum is five.
Additionally, because many of
these children are caught in a Delegate supporters’ responsi-
―revolving door‖ of treatment at bilities and have one person that
Children’s Hospital, CAN’s ser- will oversee the roles of the other
vices are urgently needed to help supporters.
facilitate putting these at-risk
youth on a positive path to recov- Finally, consumers must be cer-
ery. It should be noted that tain to include all doctors and the
Children’s Hospital reached out to medications/vitamins the con-
several different agencies and or- sumer is taking as well as alter-
ganizations and CAN was the only native medications that are ac-
one to answer their call. We look ceptable (or unacceptable).
forward to a closer partnership in By Michael Sterling
the future. By Pertrina Thomas
Learning All 8 Dimensions
Wellness isn’t any one facet of your life. In fact you need to
take care of eight different facets, or dimensions, to truly be on
the road to renewal and recovery.
Facing the idea of dealing with eight things at once can be over-
whelming. But it truly isn’t when you take each dimension of
wellness one step at a time.
Wellness is not the lack of illness or stress (although you can
experience challenges even when ―well‖), Wellness is simply
being in good physical, mental, and emotional health.
Continued on Page 8
Learning All 8 Dimensions
(continued from Page 7)
When working on achieving your wellness goal, it’s smart to take
a genuine look at each dimension of your wellness life and priori-
tize which needs the most help first. Indeed, as you work through
your list and achieve the balance you are seeking, you will find
the other dimensions of wellness may also correct themselves as
The Eight Dimensions of Wellness, in no particular order, are:
The Physical Dimension; Are you eating right, getting exercise,
sleeping well? Taking care of your body helps your mind take
care of you. Improving your physical health will make you feel
better and help get you on the path to improving your mental
The Emotional Dimension; How are you coping with stress, dis-
appointment, anger? How can you find ways of improving your
handling of these situations? Choosing to walk away from an ar-
gument to calm down rather than shouting is a simple but effec-
tive way to develop a positive Emotional Dimension.
The Environmental Dimension; Your entire mood can be up-
lifted and revitalized simply by creating positive surroundings
around yourself. Anything from artwork you love to your favorite
music improves your mental wellbeing.
The Intellectual/Creative Dimension; When was the last time
you read a book on a subject you are interested in? Or took time
to follow your heart and engage in a hobby? Just like your body
needs exercise, so does your mind. Taking a class on a subject
you are interested in or learning a new craft does much to help
improve your recovery.
Continued on Page 9
The Financial Dimension; Getting your finances in order re-
lieves stress, reduces fighting with partners, and helps you attain
goals for other Wellness Dimensions. The satisfaction of develop-
ing a budget and sticking with it to achieve a goal, such as paying
off a credit card or saving up for a vacation, is pure positivity.
The Occupational Dimension; This one can be tricky because
not every job is completely fulfilling but finding aspects of your
work that bring you personal satisfaction can be enriching. While
making an extra effort in the workplace can seem tiring, the per-
sonal (and professional) results can be quite rewarding. Every-
one’s situation is unique so find your own special approach to a
job well done.
The Spiritual Dimension; Whether you are devote to your relig-
ion or not, developing your Spiritual Dimension brings personal
enlightenment to your life. Whether it is mediation, prayer, or
merely reminding yourself to be thankful for what you have,
building a sense of meaning and purpose for your life is a strong
step up the road to recovery. Simply stopping to give a stranger a
compliment or remembering to say Grace before every meal helps
improve your connections to the Spiritual Dimension.
The Social Dimension; Last but not least, wellness requires con-
nections to others—through friendships, communities of faith, or
a well-developed support system. Making connections with other
human beings, even your fellow pet owners at a local dog park,
gives you a sense of belonging and deeper purpose to your life.
Reach out to trusted friends and family members. Meet up with
people who share the same interests or faith. Each connection you
build is another step to a happier you.
Welcome To CAN!
For nearly 17 years, I had been a stay-at-home mother of two
children, including one with some special needs issues. Although
I helped friends and family with their marketing and photography
needs, I wasn’t getting paid. And that needed to change.
I spent a long time job searching but few were interested in taking
a risk on someone who’d been out of the workforce for as long as
I am so very grateful to Consumer Action Network for giving me
that second chance I needed for a career. And a career that gives
me the opportunity to help the residents of Washington DC get
the help (and second chances) they need for their own rebirth and
Be A Mental Health Hero
Sometimes all it takes to be a hero is being present when needed. Mental
Health Heroes are simply good people taking the time to listen and support a
person in a mental health crisis. Whether it is a family member, friend, or co-
worker, knowing how to talk to someone in need and where to direct them to
get the help they need is simply a matter of basic knowledge.
Just by letting folks know about the work that Consumer Action Network does
in referring people to the correct DC core health services can turn around
someone’s life. Pass on this newsletter or simply give out CAN’s phone
number (202-842-0001) may be all someone needs.
If you want to do more, CAN recommends investing a little time to take a
Mental Health First Aid course which teaches you how to recognize the signs
of a mental health crisis, and how to listen and respond, via de-escalation
strategies, so that the person in need can both feel supported and heard.
Visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org for more information.
You can be a hero, just by being there.
Hill Day (s) 2018
We are truly blessed to have breakfasts meetings, track ses-
more than one Hill Day for sions on how to make a brief
Mental Health issues in 2018. presentation to your legisla-
tors, and ended with a visit to
The National Council on Be- Capitol Hill on Wednesday,
havioral Health, Mental Health April 25th.
America, and Alternatives 2018
Conferences have all either had CAN had the pleasure to par-
or will be having a Hill Day ticipate but sadly our Con-
event to fight for mental health gressional Representative,
consumers and their issues. Eleanor Holmes Norton was
During these national confer-
ences, their respective Hill Days Mental Health America’s Hill
involve hundreds of consum- Day was on June 12th. It
ers, advocates, behavioral started with a Kick Off Break-
health executives, administra- fast, a presentation from Rep.
tors, board members and com- Paul Tonko (NY-20), and a
munity stakeholders converging brief session on how to pre-
on Capitol Hill to meet their sent Hill Day talking points.
state legislators and let their
voices be heard. Then advocates spent the day
meeting with legislators to
These conferences and Hill Day make their case for mental
events are one of the best ways health issues such as screen-
we can make a direct impact on ing, early intervention, Re-
public policy, especially con- storing the Patients Voice Act,
cerning behavioral health. and much more. CAN at-
tended all the events, but
The National Council on Be- sadly our Rep. Norton was not
havioral Health’s Hill Day be- present when we attempted to
gan on Sunday, April 22nd, meet with her.
hosting daily activities like
Continued on Page 13
Hill Day (s) 2018
One of her staff members did CAN is optimistic that we will
speak with the DC constituents have better luck with the Alter-
in the hallway of the Rayburn natives 2018 Conference’s Hill
Building. Day on July 31st with a day of
visiting elected representatives.
After the various briefings on the
importance of taking care of the As the host city of the national
mental health and substance use Alternatives 2018 conference,
disorder consumers here in the Washington DC shows it sup-
District of Columbia were pre- ports addressing the needs and
sented, Rep. Norton’s staffer in- voices of mental health con-
formed us that Rep. Norton’s sumers. CAN looks forward to
primary focus is not necessarily attending as many Alternative
on the care of DC’s mental 2018 conference events and
health consumers but on obtain- presentations as possible.
ing statehood for the District.
During Alternatives 2018’s
CAN agrees that the District Hill Day, CAN’s advocates
gaining statehood, with the asso- will be fighting for DC’s con-
ciated voting rights, will benefit sumers. Perhaps, with good
all of DC residents. And in par- luck, DC’s sole representative,
ticular DC’s mental health con- Eleanor Holmes Norton, will
sumers who are watching (and be able to meet CAN, consum-
voting) as they too understand ers and other advocates.
the importance of being able to
directly improve all residents’ It is CAN’s hope to
quality of life. respectfully present the
concerns and issues of DC’s
But, until that day happens, mental health consumers to
many living in DC are experi- Rep. Norton so CAN might
encing urgent mental health is- have an ally in Congress to aid
sues now and they deserve ur- our quest to get the residents of
gent attention. DC the assistance they need.
TRAVELING WITH GRACE
IN MEMORIAM: Nathaniel Stanley
It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the ever gracious
Nathaniel was one of Consumer Action Network’s earliest
partners; aiding CAN’s efforts, co-presenting at forums, and
generally being a beloved Certified Peer Specialist and Peer
Advocate at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
A graduate of Morehouse College and a Mental Health Recovery
Advocate of the highest quality, Nathaniel’s life will be
celebrated with a Love Feast at the Christ United Methodist
Church (900 4th Street, SW, Washington DC) at 10AM on July
So many folks were positively impacted by Nathaniel’s life,
kindness, and work so this Love Feast will feature an open mic
for stories, songs, poems, and comments in tribute to him during
the Repass immediately following Nathaniel’s Memorial Service.
Rest in God’s Loving Arms, Dear Nathaniel Stanley.
Rest in peace!
Resilience To The Beat
of Your Own Drum
―Never Give Up, Never Surrender‖ But she didn’t give up and competed
might be a silly movie quote but it is in DC’s Ms. Senior beauty pag-
also words to live by. eant…. And won! Making her (91 at
the time), the longest living beauty
Resilience is the ability to recover queen ever.
from a setback and like any muscle
in your body, you build your Now That is Resilience
resilience by exercising it. in the Face of Trauma!
But how do you build resilience?
So don’t give up on yourself! You
It’s not easy but it is so worth doing. deserve to have good things happen
By working on your ability to to you, make them happen with re-
recover from life’s hurdles, you give
silience and strength. By stepping
yourself so many gifts. out of your comfort zone, trying
new things, and never surrendering
Gifts like self-esteem for getting
to hopelessness, you can heal your
yourself through a tough time. Or a life. CAN believes in you.
gift of new knowledge about
yourself, or how to accomplish a
new task. The benefits of resilience
last a long time and can form the
building blocks of your recovery
One way to build resilience is by
trying new things, even in the face
of tragedy. Ms. Billie LeVerne
Smith lost her husband of 57 years
and two sons after surviving cancer
The Art of Recovery and Rebirth
Art Therapy is a means to use your imagination and creativity to discover new
aspects of your personality, explore your ability to grow, and provides many
positive benefits from relieving stress to coping with trauma, and other mental
health disorders. Whether you visit a certified art therapy specialist or simply
learn to practice it on your own, there are a whole host of benefits to be had.
Art therapy is a safe and accessible means of creative expression that is based
on your personal strengths. Whether it is as simple as using a coloring book or
creating detailed artistic creations, the positive creative process empowers peo-
ple to be more expressive with their emotions, build practical skills that boost
self esteem, practice mindfulness as well as playfulness, and strengthen your
ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally.
Best of all once you have completed your work of art, you have an actual and
real visual reminder of your creation and the emotional journey that helped you
artistically express yourself. Talk about the joys of recovery and rebirth!
There are many art therapy programs and therapists to choose from in the DC
area. In Washington, DC, there is Art Therapy Services and the Potomac Art
Therapy Association. In Maryland, the Peer Wellness & Recovery Services is
familiar with and to CAN. Just to name three.
You do not need to be a Picasso to reap the benefits of art therapy. And, as
always CAN is here to help. Try your hand at the coloring sheet on page 17 of
this newsletter. Think about the butterflies as you choose colors for the wings
and what color would you put on your wings if you had them. Then breathe.
Color Me New
Butterflies are a timeless symbol of renewal. Take a moment for
yourself and create your own color scheme of rebirth.
Healthy Choices: Recipes for Life
Quick & Easy Lasagna
Cooking can also be part of an art therapy process. Learning to cook or expres-
sion yourself through cooking is a great way to renew your outlook on life.
This recipe is a family and mom favorite because it is packed with protein,
healthy veggies, and is super easy to make. Basically just throw together in
layers and bake. You can even do it in a Crockpot but oven is best.
Ingredients: How To make:
1 Bag frozen cheese or 1) Set oven to 350˚
beef ravioli or tortellini 2) In a good sized baking pan, spread
raviolis (or tortellini) and mix with can
I Large can Petite Diced of tomatoes and half a can of water.
3) Spread peppers and onion mix on
1 Bag frozen sliced pep- top of that.
pers & onions
4) Sprinkle 1 Tbls Italian herbs on this
1 Large container Ricotta layer
cheese (16 oz)
5) Mix Ricotta cheese with Parmesan
2 Tbl Parmesan cheese cheese, two eggs, and remaining Tbls
6) Carefully spread Ricotta mixture on
2 Tbls Italian herbs
top of veggies and pasta. Doesn’t have
1 Bag shredded to be perfect but try for even coverage.
Mozzarella (8 oz but feel 7) Top with Mozzarella cheese.
free to add more if you
like cheese) 8) Cover with tin foil and bake for 45
minutes. Then raise oven temp to 425˚
and bake for an additional 10—15
minutes. Let site for five minutes and
In this puzzle, the words are placed diagonally, up and down, for-
ward and backwards. You must locate and circle the words from
the Word List. Answers will appear on CAN’s website.
July 10, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Farragut Sq, DC FREE
July 11, 9:00am, Emotional CPR Training, Heritage Ctr., Annandale VA FREE
July 11, 11:30am, Supporting Aging in Place: Awareness & Activity Fair
(Day 1), West End Neighborhood Library, DC FREE
July 11 - 13, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Barre, Pilates, Farragut Sq.,
July 11, 6:30pm, Beyonce Dance Class, The Yards Park, DC FREE
July 12, 11:30am, Mental Health Status of Black America Forum on Sexual
Harassment, Rayburn House Office Building, DC FREE
July 13, 11:30am, Supporting Aging in Place: Awareness & Activity Fair
(Day 2), West End Neighborhood Library, DC FREE
July 17-19, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
July 21, 9:30am, Mind Matters; Women of Strength Brunch, Silver Springs
Civics Center, Silver Springs, MD $25 - $40
July 21, 2:00pm, Women and Mental Health (Prayers & Mental Health), Mental
Health Outreach, Hyattsville, MD $10
July 22, 8:30am, 6 Annual Men’s Health Roundtable, American Public Health
Association (APHA) Headquarters, DC FREE
July 23, 11:45am, NINR Precision Health: Smart Technologies, Smart Health
Symposium, Bethesda, MD FREE
July 24 –26, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
July 27, 6:30pm, Breathwork Circle, 1445 New York Ave, NW, DC $45
July 27, 6:45pm, Full Moon Walk: Memorials, WWII Memorial, DC FREE
July 27, 7:00pm, The Alternative Benefit Concert, Tribe Pop-Up, DC $10
July 31, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Farragut Sq., DC FREE
Aug 1-2, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Barre, Pilates, Farragut Sq.,
Aug 4, 7:30am, National African American Male Wellness 5K, RFK Stadium,
Aug 7 - 9, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
Aug 11, 2:00pm, Mental Health & Faith, Mental Health Outreach,
Hyattsville, MD $10
Aug 11, 7:00pm, Love, Pain & Poetry: The Therapy of Expression Tour,
Johnny Pistolas, DC $15
Aug 14-16, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
Aug 18, 9:00am, Mental Health First Aid Training, 6475 New Hampshire Ave,
Hyattsville, MD $25
Aug 21 - 23, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
Aug 28 - 30, 5:30pm, Golden Triangle BID Tri-Fit – Yoga, Barre, Pilates,
Farragut Sq., DC FREE
Sept 8, 12:00pm, Mental Health Now! Expo 2018, The Waldorf Culture Ctr,
Waldorf MD, FREE - $50
Community for Creative
Department of Behavioral Health Non-Violence
Access Help Line 202-393-1909
1-888-7WE-HELP DC General
DC Housing Authority Family Shelter
Income Maintenance Admin Central Union Mission
Food Stamps, TANF, Medicaid, IDA 202-745-7118
202-698-3900 Hypothermia Shelter Hotline
Board of Elections and Ethics 1-800-535-7252
Division of Tax and Revenue
202-727-4TAX WOMEN & FAMILIES
Mayor’s Office House of Ruth
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 202-257-6790
My Sister’s Place
Social Security Administration 202-529-5991
1-800-772-1213 Nat’l Domestic Violence Hotline
Housing and Urban Development 1-800-799-7233
202-708-1112 Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
Immigration and Naturalization 202-671-7233
National Customer Service Center Champs Hotline
Internal Revenue Service Crisis and Family Stress Hotline
Adult Protective Services Hotline
LEGAL AGENCIES 202-541-3951
University Legal Services 202-483-8196
Washington Legal Clinic
for the Homeless (WLCH) DUAL DIAGNOSIS SERVICES
DC Bar Pro Bono Program 202-442-5955
202-737-4700 N St Village NW
GENERAL SERVICES HOME HEALTH CARE
Energy Hotline Human Touch
DC Rape Crisis Center
Mental Health Emergencies
202-673-9319 Rehabilitation Services
Safe Link phones Administration
1 800 977-3768 202-442-8400
INTERNET/SOCIAL RESOURCE VA CRRC (Community Resource
and Referral Center)
www.mentalhealthsocial.com Medical Center
www.psychcentral.com/resources 1500 Franklin St. NE
Community Council for the Department of Behavioral Health
Homeless (CCHFP) 64 New York Avenue, NE, 3rd Floor,
202-364-1419 Washington, DC 20002
Manna Housing Phone: (202) 673-7440
202-832-1845 Fax: (202) 673-3433
Woodley House, Inc. TTY: (202) 673-7500
202-328-4069 Access Help Line
Landlord Tenant Resource Center 1-888-7WE-HELP
M-F 9:15am to 12 pm
510 4th St., NW 35 K St NE Washington DC 20002
Consumer Action Network (CAN)
1300 L St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 842-0001
Toll Free: 1-866-314-9226
e-mail: [email protected]
CAN Mission Statement
Consumer Action Network (CAN) empowers mental health
consumers by promoting recovery and self-advocacy.
CAN is a 501(c) (3) Organization
Celebrating 16 years
of Service in DC
E. Effie Smith , Executive Director