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avatar for Sally Zinman

Sally Zinman

Sally Zinman has been a worked in the mental patient rights movement for almost twenty-five years.

In 1977, Sally founded a client-run organization called the Mental Patients' Rights Association in West Palm Beach , Florida. This organization developed a small unfunded all-volunteer client-run community center and shared living space . These were to become one of the first client-run drop-in centers and supportive housing projects in the country. Later, in Berkeley,California, in 1985,she helped found the Coalition for Alternatives in Mental health, known as the Berkeley Drop-In Center, one of the first funded self-help agencies in the country.

Sally's interest has been in systemic change as well as direct services. She was a founding member of the California Network of Mental Health Clients, a statewide rights organization, working to develop and expand self-help groups throughout the state, to confront stigmatizing attitudes about mental health clients, to provide a strong voice of, by and for mental health clients and to promote and instill the rights of clients. Today she serves as its Executive Director.

In 1986, Sally co-edited and wrote articles for Reaching Across : Mental Health Clients Helping Each Other. This book has been used by mental health clients and professionals throughout the country as a manual for understanding and starting self-help programs. A sequel, which Sally co-edited and for which she also wrote articles , Reaching Across 2 : Maintaining Our Roots/ The Challenge of Growth, was published in 1994.

Sally is a workshop presenter, keynote speaker and consultant on the issues of the clients' perspective, self-help programs, the self-help movement, and rights protections, throughout the United States.