Statement of Purpose
On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama called for a “national conversation to increase understanding about mental health” and directed Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Arne Duncan of the U.S. Department of Education to launch a National Dialogue on Mental Health.
Creating Community Solutions is an important part of the National Dialogue. It will give Americans a chance to learn more about mental health issues - from each other and from research. People who participate in these community conversations will determine if mental health is an important issue for their community and will discuss issues related to the mental health of young people. They also will decide how they might take action to improve mental health in their families, schools, and communities. A number of the community conversations, convened by local mayors, will be supported by leaders from deliberative democracy organizations.
What Is Deliberative Democracy?
Deliberative democracy is what happens when people are able to engage meaningfully with each other and with government in order to produce better decisions and better solutions to public problems. In deliberation, people compare values and experiences, and consider a range of views and policy options. In short, people with different opinions decide together what they think should be done about a public issue.
Creating Communty Solutions Leadership
These leaders in the deliberative democracy field are working together to design and implement Creating Community Solutions.
AmericaSpeaks’ mission is to reinvigorate American Democracy by engaging citizens in the public decision-making that most impacts their lives. www.americaspeaks.org
The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) is an alliance of the major organizations and leading scholars in the field of deliberation, public engagement, and democratic governance. The DDC represents more than 50 practitioner organizations, operating foundations, and universities, collaborating to support research activities and advance democratic practice in North America and around the world. www.deliberative-democracy.net
Everyday Democracy helps people organize, have dialogues, and take action on issues they care about, so that they can create communities that work for everyone. Its ultimate goal is to contribute to the creation of a strong, equitable democracy that values everyone's voice and participation. www.everyday-democracy.org
The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation and coordinate the activities of the National Issues Forums network. Its activities include publishing the issue guides and other materials used by local forums groups, encouraging collaboration among forum sponsors, and sharing information about current activities of the network. www.nifi.org
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is a community of practice, a clearinghouse for resources and news, and a gathering place for thousands of innovators in dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. www.ncdd.org
The National Institute for Civil Discourse will integrate research and practice to support and enable: a congress and executive branch working to solve the big issues facing our country, public demand for civil discourse and media that informs and engages citizens. http://nicd.arizona.edu