The AMPLIFY training unites mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, with allies, especially in the cross-disability movement. AMPLIFY has been given successfully throughout Oregon, plus in Ghana (see photo), Africa and Mexico City. Here’s how YOU can bring it to your area.


Amplify WorkshopHere’s your chance to bring an exciting training to your community that unites for real change in mental health care, especially drawing on the strength of allies!

Interested in bringing Amplify to your area? Just email MindFreedom at action@mindfreedom.org, or phone the office 541-345-9106.


Build Alliances to
the Voice of
Mental Health Clients:


Draw on the Strengths of
the Disability Movement
to Empower
Mental Health Consumer/Survivors!


Amplify Draws on Expert Presenters Who May Include:

  • Bjo Ashwill, MS, LPC, NBCC: Co-presenter in the MFI AMPLIFY training.BJO ASHWILL, MS, LPC, NBCC, (right) is a teacher, counselor, award-winning playwright, actor, dancer, photographer, comic, dream worker and advocate for people with disabilities. Top speed of 8.5 mph in a power wheelchair.
  • DAVID OAKS is a psychiatric survivor who has been a community organizer in the “mad movement” for 35 years. He directs MindFreedom International, an independent coalition based in Oregon celebrating its 25th anniversary. He is on the boards of Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition and USICD.
  • KRISTA ERICKSON is a psychiatric survivor and cross-disability advocate in a center for independent living, who is on the board of directors of MindFreedom International. 
  • And others!


Who Could Benefit?

This team has created an acclaimed model of grassroots collaboration to support the self-determination of people labeled with psychiatric disabilities.

All are welcome at an AMPLIFY workshop! This event is for both new and experienced leaders, especially:

  • Mental health consumers.
  • Psychiatric survivors.
  • People with any disability label.
  • Cross-disability agencies and consumers.
  • Allies such as family members, students, academics, providers, advocates, activists.
  • Any agency or professional whose work involves mental health or any disability.
  • YOU!


What Happens?

This is a hands-on participatory workshop with fun, stimulating and helpful small and large group exercises and networking. 

Participants at the end of this half-day or all-day workshop will emerge with personal and professional growth about these basic questions: 

  • ‘Basics of mental health consumers/psychiatric survivors working with allies:What’s this about, anyway?
  • Historical perspectives: Mental Health consumer/psychiatric survivor voice and Independent Living Movement. Who were the bridge builders?
  • So What’s The Big Deal? Covering the basic unifying principles from National Council on Disability to Olmstead to CRPD. 
  • Overview of an ‘Opal Network’ Model: Uniting consumers/survivors and cross-disability to reach public. 
  • What are the barriers to blending social change movements, including cross-disability?
  • What are the strengths gained when blending movements?
  • How do we overcome the barriers? What are the steps in the plan of action?


Summary of Training Objectives:

  1. Train key staff and participants of cross-disability and other allied groups, such as centers for independent living about ‘complex cultural competency’ for inclusion of people diagnosed with mental disabilities. 
  2. Identify, empower and support new and emerging leaders in allied communities, especially youth. 
  3. Broaden mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor voice, inclusion, leadership and participation among allied groups and agencies in the mental health and disability fields.  

For a “Flavor of Amplify”… 

…You can check out the enthusiasm of presenters and audience in this five-minute ‘sampler’ video on Youtube, click here.  

Praise for AMPLIFY workshops from participants:

  • Lynne Dixon of Portland Oregon: “The workshop was practical and there were lots of connections with other people. I will get more involved locally now.”
  • Adam Kutrumbos, client advocate, Cascade AIDS project, Portland, Oregon: “I liked how it involved everyone and encouraged voluntary participation. I like the historical perspective paired with current possibilities and opportunities for the future. I will drag these ideas back to where I work. Keep up the good work.”
  • Justin Combs stated, “The pace was great, fast, informative but not overwhelming.”
  • Steven Diehl of Corvallis liked, “The history of grassroots movements in the State… Breaking up into smaller groups to brainstorm on answering questions.”
  • Debbie Garouette of Grants Pass said, “I did not realize that this networking was available in the State of Oregon.”
  • Dean Westwood of OHSU in Portland said he liked, “The interactive nature, the honest effort to ‘listen’ to participants.”
  • Brian Wilson of Salem said, “Very informative, enlightening and enjoyable.”
Interested in bringing AMPLIFY to your area? Just email MindFreedom at action@mindfreedom.org, or phone the office 541-345-9106.

In ‘RELATED CONTENT’ below you can see samples from a past AMPLIFY, though each training is tailored for the specific event. 

Below, you can find a PowerPoint, poster and handouts from a sample workshop; official letter of support from State of Oregon; essay and speech about connecting our movements; and more. 

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