The Transformation Center is a peer-operated center that is spinning off from M-POWER to strengthen a mental health focus on wellness and life recovery through dialogue, education, systems change advocacy, and peer support. We currently offer training for Peer Specialist Certification, Leadership Academy, WRAP Facilitation, Recovery Conversations for Providers and more.
The Transformation Center works closely with the six (6) Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) across the state. RLCs offer training and support for peers working and volunteering to promote wellness and recovery in the local communities.
M-POWER has a rich history of providing both rigorous advocacy for the rights and dignity of people diagnosed with mental health conditions and providing a wide variety of training opportunities to people in recovery. Notable moments from M-POWER’s history include:
- In 1987 M-POWER was instrumental in the passage of a Bill of Rights for clients in the hospital.
- 1989: The MBTA and its client Wentworth Institute removed a stigmatizing advertisement from the subways.
- 1990: The Lindemann Mental Health Center instituted a policy allowing a family member, friend and/or significant other chosen by the consumer/survivor to accompany the person during any or all of the evaluation and admission procedure desired.
- 1991: The Boston Housing Authority retracted a stated goal to reduce the number of people with psychiatric disabilities housed in Boston public housing developments.
- 1993: The Department of Mental Health established a policy with further guidance for restraint and seclusion.
- 1994: A statewide plenary meeting was held of 30 consumer/survivors, most of which were DMH clients, where statewide issues were identified and prioritized.
- 1995 – 1998: M-POWER collaborated with the Department of Mental Health and other stakeholders to create and pilot a consumer-centered crisis prevention planning process.
- 1997: M-POWER and Coalition leaders worked successfully with others to codify five specific psychiatric patients’/community program participants’ rights into law.
- 1998: M-POWER was awarded, on behalf of statewide leadership, two federal grants and a private foundation grant to develop a statewide leadership training academy, a prejudice reduction and cultural competence program, and a statewide network of consumer/survivors and their organizations.
- 1999: In November M-POWER organized and hosted the Imagine Care Conference. This statewide conference for Massachusetts’ c/s/x was one step towards M-POWER’s goal of creating a statewide network of c/s/x advocates and friends in Massachusetts. Also in 1999 M-POWER planted the seeds for the Consumer Satisfaction Team, “the CST”, as it was then known, surveyed the consumers of various mental health programs regarding their level of satisfaction with the treatment and living conditions at these programs. Today the CST works under a new name: Consumer Quality Initiatives, or CQI for short.
- Also in 1999, M-POWER held it’s first Leadership Academy
- 2000: Peer Advocacy classes began. These classes were taught by a variety of seasoned advocates, activists, and educators from within the consumer/survivor movement. Graduates of the peer advocacy classes have worked at a variety of programs as peer-advocates since the classes began.
- 2004: Peer Facilitators Program began. Currently, Train-the-Trainer sessions are being held with the RLCs so that each area can train its own peer facilitators.
- 2006: M-POWER and The Transformation Center held the first Peer Specialist Certification Training.
With the creation of the RLCs, and a greater role within the agency to do training funded by different state and federal agencies, it became clear that the advocacy and educational components needed to become independent of one another. We see both as vitally important in helping further the cause of recovery, changing systems, demanding rights. So we celebrate and thank M-POWER for the rich history they’ve given us, and wish them the very best as they return to their advocacy roots. We hope everyone will support the important work that they do.
We at The Transformation Center embark on our new journey with great excitement. Our vision is to become a center of excellence where people who use, provide, and fund services can find the information, education, and support needed to create excellence in services to all people diagnosed with a mental health condition in the state of Massachusetts.