Office of Consumer and Family Affairs
Our goal is to facilitate consumer and family input into all aspects of the state-funded mental health system as well as the Bureau of Behavioral Health's planning and policy development. Consumer and family experience is invaluable in the identification of mental health care needs, planning and program development. Consumers and families can tell us what is working for them - and what isn't. Their window on reality will guide and ensure the quality of the services that we deliver. By recruiting, organizing and empowering consumers and families, the OCFA seeks to support them in establishing and maintaining strong input and mental health leadership on a local, regional, state and national level.
Established in 1990 as the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA), it was one of the first two such offices in the country. There are now offices in over thirty-seven states. The office was re-established in December 2007 as the Office of Consumer & Family Affairs.
Leadership and empowerment are gained through information and education – learning the skills to take charge of our own futures – to be active participants in our own treatment planning – to work together toward improving the mental health system. A first step is to be able to access informational resources. We have set up the OCFA Resource Center – a small library with a computer that provides easy access to resource materials as well as to the World Wide Web. Just outside the center is a bulletin board and resource table containing important notices and information. The library is open during ordinary business hours.
The OCFA Newsletter is published quarterly and features articles and information of interest to adult and youth consumers, family members, and older adults. Contact Thomas Grinley, Program Planner at Thomas.Grinley@dhhs.nh.gov or (800)852-5138 ext. 5045 (TDD Relay 800-753-2964 to be added to our newsletter mailing list.
OCFA meets with consumer groups, visits peer support and community mental health centers, and listens to families. Contact Thomas Grinley, Program Planner at Thomas.Grinley@dhhs.nh.gov or (800)852-5138 ext. 5045 (TDD Relay 800-753-2964 to make suggestions or communicate ideas
OCFA also works closely with the NH Behavioral Health Advisory Council, the PSA Directors' Association, the Council on Aging and Mental Health, and the NH Mental Health Consumer Council.
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