OCSC History: Successful Strategic Retreat in 2010

(Original Post at http://www.oregonpeers.org on 2010 Dec 15)

Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition (OCSC) – Strategic Retreat Report

With unusually sunny weather from 19 to 21 October 2010, at a beautiful rural conference center outside of Salem, Oregon — the Aldersgate Retreat — 40 leaders of mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor organizations successfully gathered to create a Strategic Plan for our state-wide coalition, OCSC. The OCSC community would like to extend our deep appreciation to all who helped.


Tuesday: The number of participants at the retreat was purposely limited to 40 as a way for leaders to get to know one another, so that all could be in a group conversation together. The initial evening gathering began with introductions, as well as a ‘meet the board’ session. It was noted that this was the first time in eight years that Oregon’s mental health consumer/psychiatric survivor groups had held a state-wide gathering.

Wednesday: The configuration of the room was built around tables circling the entire room, allowing all participants to speak to each other and see each other at once. This alternated with briefings, as well as small group meetings. Lively discussions continued during meal times and breaks to enjoy the retreat grounds. To have all-group meeting time, and to help bring everyone ‘up to speed,’ a number of speakers were brought in for ‘briefings,’ beginning with the OCSC Board:

• Rebecca Eichhorn spoke about OCSC’s vision: United Voice for Change

• Becky Edens explained how groups and individuals can become active.

• David Oaks summed up the results of last year’s board strategy planning.

Crucita White was one of those who briefed the OCSC Strategic Retreat. Crucita addressed the need to educate the Oregon legislature.

Other briefers covered some of the main topics addressing Oregon mental health:

• Mike Hlebechuk and Mark Fisher covered Oregon’s state wide advisory council.

• Beckie Child about “How National Health Care Reform Affects OCSC.”

• Crucita White represented AOCMHP about Oregon’s 2011 Legislature.

• Chrissy Perisol spoke about youth and young adults.

• Laura Van Tosh addressed “Future of Peer Delivered Services in Oregon.”

• Nancy Snider discussed “Taking Peer Delivered Services Training State-Wide.”

• Jane Ellen-Weidanz spoke about “Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI).

We broke down twice into small groups to allow discussion about building the coalition’s capacity, planning for the 2011 legislature, and creating more peer delivered services.

Thursday: In the morning, participants created our Strategic Plan, facilitated by Dianne Turner and Debra McLean of OTAC. Beginning with the envisioning where OCSC would be in one year, the group then worked backwards to today.

By Thursday at noon, OCSC had its draft written Strategic Plan, to send out to the grassroots statewide for feedback and suggestions. This meant the rest of the final day could be devoted to implementation, including personal commitments to next steps.