In the promotion of community integration programs, the Association for Community Integrated Programs (A4CIP) aims for two central goals. The first goal is therapeutic: to enhance meaning and purpose in our clients’ lives by supporting their self- determination. We believe these psychosocial goals are equally important, if not more important, than the effort to reduce burdensome mental health issues. The second goal is about social justice: We believe that being part of a community is a civil right related to personal freedom, choice and self-determination. These two goals are interlinked since it’s difficult for a person to develop a meaningful and purposeful life without being able to determine it. And it’s quite impossible to autonomously direct one’s life while barred from access to resources and political voice.
It would be absurd and hypocritical, if not downright negligent, to confine our interest in self-determination and freedom as rights specifically for people who have been diagnosed by others as suffering from psychiatric illnesses rather than universal values. With those values in mind, we abhor the murder of George Floyd, and we are outraged by what this murder represents in regard to a history of police brutality in communities of color, and how this brutality is linked to larger processes of systemic racism. We join the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the American Medical Association in their call to end police brutality and racial inequality in this country.
Edwin I Levin, CEO
Ross Ellenhorn, President
Collected Statements from A4CIP Member Programs: