Open Excellence is the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care. We are excited to announce the launch of our redesigned website and new look. Come check it out, and join us as we work to bring excellence to the practice of mental health care.


People around the world have important stories to tell about overcoming mental health challenges…stories with an authenticity unequaled
anywhere else.

Excellence supports, a website that lets those with lived experience upload video or written stories of their experience. These become a testament to the uniqueness and creativity of each road to recovery.

When we share our stories, we help one another, and we help to change the system.

At, you can just be yourself and tell your personal story, with as many details as you feel comfortable sharing. Say something about your dark times, and then share about how things got better. What did you do to regain hope and move your own life forward? What support did you get? How do you achieve wellness, and what does it mean to you? If you’ve been a mental health activist and that has been part of your recovery, you can mention that as well. 

Every day, there are countless people in despair who have been labeled as mentally ill and believe that they’ll never get better, often because someone told them this. Imagine you are speaking through the camera to them, or to just one person. It could be a teenager, a boss, a worker, male or female. It could be any kind of person from any walk of life, someone you know or someone you just met.

Your story can help someone in a similar situation to survive and to thrive, and together our stories can change our whole society’s dominant narrative about mental health — from hopelessness and chronic illness to wellness, resiliency and hope!


I just live my life…and that wasn’t always an option.


First-Person Narratives of Madness

Author and professor Gail Hornstein has collected first-person accounts for decades. Here she shares 30 pages of bibliography listings and a full page of website listings. There is sure to be a story here that connects with each of us. First-Person Narratives of Madness, 5th edition



National Empowerment Center

NEC is a national leader in supporting the organizational development of “consumer-run,” recovery-oriented mental health services.