Dear Readers of New York City Voices,
City Voices has undergone many changes since Ken Steele’s passing.
For the past eight years our Editor-in-Chief has been Dan Frey. Dan was Ken’s protégé, and put a tremendous amount of time and energy into the paper. It was under Dan Frey’s leadership that City Voices became a 501c3 not-for-profit enterprise.
With not-for-profit status comes independence, and with independence comes responsibility. City Voices is undergoing some major corporate restructuring. The fact that you are reading this issue attests to the fact that we have many people who consider this paper as important as I do.
Our views, our cultures, as people who use mental health services, are quite eclectic – and so is our voice. How – or IF - one self-identifies as a person who uses mental health services is a personal decision. In New York City, the DOH & MH uses the term “consumer”. So with due consideration of those who have expressed objections to that label, City Voices will continue to be “A Consumer Journal for Mental Health Advocacy.”
There are those who will object to ads from pharmaceutical companies. And there would be those who would staunchly defend their personal decisions about psychiatric drugs. Personally, I am all about giving people the tools they need to make informed choices for themselves, and that is my vision of the purpose of City Voices.
Ken Steele was my friend. We traveled together to many conferences, and had many long discussions. I miss his brilliant mind, subtle humor and huge presence. Back then, I was listed in the Masthead as Staten Island Editor. Ken’s goal with this paper was to get people interested enough in those issues which impact on our lives to communicate, to organize, to get involved in the mental health planning process and to become registered voters. The quality of our lives was supremely important to Ken Steele.
Now, as Editor-in-Chief, I am asked to over see the operations and content of Ken’s dream. It is with humility and gratitude that I approach this daunting task. Ultimately, it has to be a team effort, which will allow City Voices to flourish. Consumer, survivor, recipient of services, ex-patient, psychiatric inmate, mental health client – this is our voice. This is where we build community.
Angela Cerio, CPRP
New York City Voices