Our behavioral health coalition completed and published our brand-new Raise Your Voice! Report… a product of our behavioral health focus groups with peers and family members in late 2010.  We’re most proud of the fact that the entire process—from beginning to end—had the full participation or peers and family members (from the Arizona Peer and Family Coalition) in planning, organizing, leading and monitoring—making the result a true reflection of their voice.  The Coalition finalized and approved the report yesterday.

 Our behavioral health system transformation team sponsored the series of forums so that folks can express their opinions about how we should shape the future of the behavioral health system in Arizona. The forums actively involved the community through a series of focus groups that gathered the collective opinion of members on what they want and need from the behavioral health system.  The team used an evidence-based practice called Community Based Participatory Research– which is used in public health research to engage the community in designing programs that are responsive to the public’s needs.

 The first 13 pages of the report provide an easy-to-read summary of the findings. More detail is contained in the attachments to the report including the data and analysis for each question asked in the focus groups. The categories described on the charts are specifically defined for each question using the actual words and phrases spoken and written down in the focus groups.

 We’ll continue to partner with our peer and family run organizations to bring the peer and family voice into the system. This is especially critical as we continue our work to transform Arizona’s publically funded behavioral health care service delivery system.