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December 8, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Redeeming the Irreconcilable

At its best, motherhood is a bittersweet agony of self-sacrifice and letting go. At its worst, her child dies and a mother enters a new world of never letting go, carrying the weight of an unrightable wrong. The miracle of beauty from ashes comes when her love grows up through the grief and continues to give life.

In 1956, Alice Bolstridge gave birth to a beautiful, joyful boy she named Alan. In 2015, she laid him to rest. In between, they walked together through the trauma of a prolonged childhood illness and a lifetime of seemingly intractable mental and emotional challenges that grew from it.

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October 27, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

EXCELLENCE congratulates winners of its 2017 Expanding the Science and Practice of Recovery Care grants

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                            October 27, 2017


(Wilsonville, OR) – The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care is pleased to announce the awards for this year’s Expanding the Science and Practice of Recovery-Based Mental Health Care and Supports grants. These one-year grants of up to $100,000 were selected for their vision and promise to effect cultural and system change, care innovation, and “slow psychiatry”, especially as these impact the lives of children.

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July 17, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

New study finds that stopping psychiatric medication is difficult, but most are “satisfied with their choice”

(Morro Bay, CA) – Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals.

While 1 in 6 Americans take a psychiatric medication for serious mental illness, there is little research on people’s experiences coming off of them. In the first large scale study in the U.S., Live & Learn, Inc., in partnership with researchers at UCLA, UCSF and New York University, began to fill this knowledge gap. Study findings are available online today in the journal Psychiatric Services, published by the American Psychiatric Association.

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April 30, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Gail Hornstein, PhD takes the Hearing Voices approach to Utah for Mental Health Awareness Month

Public Lecture May 3

Dr. Gail Hornstein was interviewed by the local NPR affiliate last week ahead of her May 3 public lecture in Park City, Utah, “Our Minds and Each Other: Re-Imagining Mental Health“. It will be held at 6:30p.m. in the Blair Conference Center at the Park City Hospital. For more information contact Shauna Wiest, at CONNECT

Professional Development Seminar May 4

Gail will give a professional development seminar The Hearing Voices Approach: A New Paradigm for Understanding “Hallucinations” and “Psychotic States” on Thursday May 4, 2017 at the University of Utah Psychiatric Institute in Salt Lake City. For more information contact Anne Asman, Department of Psychiatry

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April 30, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Award-winning social action documentary HEALING VOICES to be released on home video May 2nd

HEALING VOICES, an award-winning social action documentary produced in partnership with the Foundation for Excellence, is being released on home video May 2nd exclusively on

healing voices may 2017

The film premiered at the Boston International Film Festival in spring 2016 prior to a grass roots launch in 130 communities, with screenings followed by “town hall style” dialogues which asked:  What are we talking about when we talk about “mental illness”?

Since the release, screenings have continued in earnest, ranging from large theatrical events to intimate gatherings in peer support groups and community centers.  The home video release marks the next step in the film’s distribution, as the conversations which began in community dialogues carry over to living rooms and kitchen tables around the world.  Click here to learn more.


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April 3, 2017 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Atlanta Open Dialogue Project – March 2017


Excerpts from the March Quarterly Report

Open Dialogue has already had a transformative effect on the culture of our inpatient mental health unit, and to some extent our entire mental health system at Grady.

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December 8, 2016 by EXCELLENCE Editor

The Hearing Voices Project’s Christmas Wishlist


The Hearing Voices Research & Development Project has trained Hearing Voices group facilitators at the Portland, Oregon VA, Concord, CA, Boulder, CO, Lansing, MI, and Dover, DE. Two new sites will be trained in 2017: Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.

So much good stuff waiting to be done!

The word on the street is that Caroline White and her Hearing Voices group training team at Western Mass Recovery Learning Community equip their trainees to lead great groups and are a joy to learn from. The research team led by Gail Hornstein, PhD, and Jacqui Dillon will soon begin working with group members to document how the Hearing Voices approach impacts their lives. We will then share that life-changing knowledge with health professionals and community partners to pave the way for more and more groups across the USA.

But there is so much more that could be done right now to get Hearing Voices groups into more neighborhoods where they are so urgently needed. Here is what it would take:

  • $20,000 would allow us to hire a part-time Network Development Coordinator to ensure essential infrastructure in the 5 regions where trainings were held in Phase 1
  • $6,000 would provide a mini-grant to cover 1 year of start-up costs for a regional facilitators’ group
  • $5,000 would provide training materials for 125 participants in facilitator trainings
  • $5,000 would enable follow-up interviews of key subsets of questionnaire respondents
  • $5,000 would enable the creation of a core curricular video to show at trainings
  • $4,000 would support essential website development and maintenance of up-to-date resource and group contact information
  • $3,000 would allow us to purchase needed AV/digital equipment for training presentations
  • $3,000 would allow for the purchase of key HVN publications for distribution to training participants
  • $2,000 would enable another month of questionnaire data analysis
  • $500 would enable the creation of a resource pack for local groups
  • $300 would enable a month of support time for voice hearers currently unable to access a group.




Communities interested in sponsoring a training in their area are encouraged to contact Caroline White, Training Coordinator, at 413.539.5941 x316 or

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November 19, 2016 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Quarterly Project Update: Open Dialogue – Atlanta

The seed of change planted by an EXCELLENCE donor in Atlanta is now growing. The first quarterly report from the UMASS/Grady Hospital/Emory School of Medicine project team describes a strong launch of the Open Dialogue pilot. It is already spreading dialogic practices beyond the boundaries of the research project and attracting additional private funders to sustain the effort. The following is excerpted from the summary report of doctors Norquist and Cotes:

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June 2, 2016 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction Study Seeking Survey Participants with Lived Experience

Live & Learn logoLive & Learn, Inc. has launched a research study on the experience of people labeled with mental disorders who have tried to stop taking psychiatric medications. This project, the Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction (PMDR) Study, aims to understand the process of coming off psychiatric medications in order to better support those who choose to do so. What helps or prevents people from stopping their psychiatric medications?

Take the Survey

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April 7, 2016 by EXCELLENCE Editor

Nutrition & Mental Health Research Fund receives $100,000 donation

The anonymous donation was given to jumpstart investment in an area of research thus far neglected by government funding agencies — the use of broad-spectrum micronutrients for the treatment of mental health symptoms.

Thanks to the commitment of a single anonymous donor, the Nutrition and Mental Health Research Fund at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care now has an additional $100,000 to further our knowledge of how nutrition influences mental health and also to support and cultivate young scientists working on this important topic.

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