Culture Matters Campaign

Below is information regarding an exciting project sponsored by the NYAPRS Cultural Competence committee. Our teleconferences are held on the second Tuesday of the month at Noon.

Dear NYAPRS Community,

 Our Cultural Competence committee is kicking off a project called ‘Culture Matters in My Life Journey’ and we want you to be a part of it. This is an invitation for people of any race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender expression in recovery from psychiatric disabilities and/or co-occurring substance use disorders to share their stories and the impact culture has played in their recovery. Providers of behavioral health services are also encouraged to share their stories.

Here are some suggested topics you may want to consider when creating submissions:

  • How diversity has influenced your recovery
  • Challenges to receiving culturally appropriate care
  • The role spirituality has played in your recovery
  • Experiences engaging and navigating the behavioral health system in the United States in comparison to your country of origin.
  • Challenges to providing cross cultural services

Submissions should be sent to along with a completed consent form. A copy of the consent form can be found below. We look forward to reviewing your work.

Theresa Hall, Committee Co-Chair
Luis Lopez, Committee Co-Chair

Culture Matters: Our Strength is in our Difference

Sharing Your Cultural Competence Story of Recovery

  1. Why culture matters in recovery?
    Understanding and embracing ones unique cultural experience can be invaluable. Differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, preferred language, and expression of my world views add to the richness of the recovery experience and should be celebrated.

  2. Why share my story?
    By sharing your personal story of recovery on the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) website, others will be encouraged to embrace their cultural being, see it as a strength, and demand services that are relevant and appropriate to them. This will inspire others to envision the hope and recovery that is possible for every person with a psychiatric disability.

  3. How can I share my story?
    There are a number of different ways that you can document your story of recovery, e.g., through photographs, prose, short stories, and/or poems. Your story will then be shared by posting it on the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services webpage, on its Cultural Competence page. The submission can be made through by electronic transfer (e.g., as an email attachment or fax) or mail carrier (“snail mail”), as well.

  4. What important facts should I know and understand before I decide to submit my story?

    • Your material will be used to promote public awareness and education, and to support empowerment and recovery for people with psychiatric disabilities. To fulfill these goals, your material will be widely shared with the public by posting it on NYAPRS’s internet website and Facebook page. It will therefore be available to anyone who visits the NYAPRS website. When you give permission to post your story of recovery on the NYAPRS website, it is important that you are comfortable with how widely it may be disclosed once your permission is given.

    • While we prefer to post materials in the form that they are submitted to us, sometimes we may need to make modifications to make a particular piece suitable for public display on our website. Therefore, NYAPRS will retain the right to modify, delete, alter, or refuse submitted media or photographs.

    • Some of the information contained in your story may contain your “individually identifying health information,” which is protected under both federal regulations (HIPAA) and New York State Law. Information that is protected includes any information that identifies you as a person who receives or who has received behavior health and/or substance use services. This would include your name, if it is provided in a context that reveals that you received mental health services.This is why it is YOUR CHOICE whether or not you wish to have your personal recovery story posted on our website or Facebook page. Furthermore, if you choose to submit your story and have it posted, we also must obtain permission from you before we can disclose your name or any other information that might identify you as the individual that created the work.

      • If you submit a photograph that depicts more than one individual in a manner that might also reveal their individually identifying health information, they must also submit a completed Permission Form before we can post the photograph on our website or Facebook page.

  5. What rights do I have if I submit my personal recovery story to the NYAPRS website and Facebook page for publication?

    • You have the right to choose how much information we can use to identify the material you submit as your work. You can tell us that you prefer that your work be anonymous, that only your initials be used, or you can give us permission to disclose your full name. You can also ask that a made-up name be used rather than your real name.
    • It is your right to choose whether or not to have your written media, photograph, or other material used for the website or Facebook page.
    • If you agree to give permission to have your personal story, photograph, or other submitted media used on the website or Facebook page, you can revoke (take back) your agreement at any time by contacting NYAPRS. However, if you gave permission to post your material and we have already done so, the revocation can only apply to future disclosures once your material is removed from the web page and will have no effect on material that is already in the public domain.
    • You can also indicate a time frame in which you want your information to be on the website.
    • You do not have to agree to have your personal story, your photograph, or to have any of your information used on the website or Facebook page, and your refusal to do any of these things will not affect your ability to obtain services from the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.
  6. Agreement and Signature:

    I have read and understand the information presented in this permission form, and have had a chance to ask any questions I may have about the submission of my personal recovery story. I now agree to the following:

    I am submitting materials that tell my personal recovery story to NYAPRS for the purpose of posting it on the NYAPRS internet website and Facebook page.

    I authorize the following to be posted on this site (initial all that apply):
    _____ Written personal recovery story created by me.
    _____ Photographs, videos, image or other likeness of me
    _____ Poem
    _____ Other (describe)

    When my information is posted (initial one of the following):
    _____I wish to remain anonymous (no name will appear)
    _____I do not wish to remain anonymous. I want my name included and displayed as follows:
    (Indicate how you want your name displayed: full name, first name only, initials only, or “made up” name).

    I want my information to be displayed on the website:
    a)---------------- at the discretion of NYAPRS, that is anytime NYAPRS wants to
    b) ---------------- only for this time frame: from_______to_________(please indicate the period of time in which NYAPRS can use your information)__________________________________

    Print Name: ____________________________________________________
    Address: _______________________________________________________
    Sign Name: _____________________________________________________
    Email Address: ___________________________________________________
    Date: ___________________

    Contact Information:
    New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
    194 Washington Avenue, Suite 400
    Albany, New York 12210
    518 436-0008