About Creating Community Solutions

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. With over 200 community conversations (and still counting), it has given Americans a chance to learn more about mental health issues - from each other and from research. Communities across the country are taking the lead in practicing our best democratic traditions of active, respectful citizen engagement. They are bringing people together ot engage in a dialogue about mental health, to elimiate the misconceptions behind mental health problems and to identify priorities for community action. 

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

This effort is truly a one of a kind collaboration. The organizing group consisted of six different national organizations:

America Speaks logoAmericaSpeaks’ mission is to reinvigorate American Democracy by engaging citizens in the public decision-making that most impacts their lives. 

Deliberative Democracy Consortium logoThe 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 logoEveryday 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 logoThe 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 and Deliberation logoThe 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 logoThe 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