After the first public screening of “Minds on the Edge” about 120 people broke up into smaller groups to discuss the issues raised by the program and how they play out in the Philadelphia region. WHYY is making those reports available and invites you to join the continuing conversation.
The event was supported by a grant from the Scattergood Foundation. Learn more about the event here.
Participants in the civic forum were mostly involved in behavioral health in some way, as a practitioner, provider, advocate, government official, consumer or family member. A sprinkling of citizens with no professional or personal involvement in the sector was invited by the organizers, culled from the mailing list of the Great Expectations civic dialogue project.
These structured conversations were led by moderators trained by the Penn Project for Civic Engagement. The names of the moderators who teamed up to lead each group are listed at the top of these reports.
The groups began by listing the moments in the “Minds on the Edge” program that had the greatest impact on them. Looking jointly at that data, they teased out a list of underlying issues raised by those key moments. They supplemented with other issues they felt were important to behavioral health in the Philadelphia region, but which were not raised directly by “Minds on the Edge.”
Each breakout group’s members then voted for the issue that they most wanted to delve into in greater depth. Small working groups of three to five people were set up to do a detailed analysis of each chosen issue.
For each issue, these small teams drafted a definition of success, listed key obstacles to success, key assets that could be used to achieve success, then a list of useful actions that could either help overcome obstacles or exploit assets.
Each report presented here has a similar structure, reflecting that process.
These reports offer numerous insights into what goes right and what doesn’t go well in the behavioral health system in this region, and what could be done to improve it.
Many people left WHYY’s Civic Space that night with an understanding that, whatever their multiple frustrations with the quality of behavioral health services in and around Philadelphia, the region handles some of the issues raised by “Minds on the Edge” better than many other areas of the country. And they left with a better sense of the many assets the region has that could help it attain the ideals of success defined by the breakout groups.
We hope you find the reports useful and revealing. To join in the conversation, check out the continuing online dialogue about Minds on the Edge at onlinetownhalls.org.
Chris Satullo Executive Director of News and Civic Dialogue WHYY
Dr. Harris Sokoloff Director Penn Project for Civic Engagement
More info: Visit the Minds on the Edge main page