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A Citizens' Coalition in Mental Health Advocacy: The Maryland Experience
Herbert S. Cromwell, Jr.; James W. Howe; Grady O'Rear
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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Mental Health Association, Maryland

Aliance for the Mentally Ill, Maryland

Way Station, Inc., Fredrick, Maryland

© 1988 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In July l983 four statewide Maryland citizens' organizations formed a coalition to advocate for persons with mental illnesses. The groups were the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Maryland; On Our Own of Maryland, a statewide consumer group; the Maryland Association of Psychosocial Services, representing consumers and providers of rehabilitative services; and the Mental Health Association of Maryland. The chief focus of their advocacy is on making a place in the community Ior citizens with long-term mental illness. The coalition's rules are simple: to advocate jointly on issues on which they all agree and to not mention their disagreements in public. With a paid lobbyist, the coalition's advocacy has helped produce significant financial and programmatic gains for Maryland's mentally ill citizens.

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