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Using the unique power of peer supports to enhance recovery and self-empowerment informs CAPS, a peer-run organization serving adults in New York’s capital region recovering from mental illnesses.

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CAPS Videos

Announcing Our First CAPS Videos

These virtual tours of CAPS programs introduce the viewer to CAPS' Victor Pagano Community Drop In Center (CDIC), the administrative areas, the upstairs music, art, and exercise rooms, and the 100 Clinton Ave. Apartment Program, Several staff members, members of the morning program at CDIC, and a resident of the Apartment Program share thoughts about their involvement with CAPS.

CAPS thanks Mary Reilly, who volunteered to edit the video.

Capital Area Peer Services

A group of members in front of the club.CAPS was founded in 1989 as Community Living Associates Program, Inc., by a small group of mental health service recipients in the Albany, NY, who envisioned a housing advocacy service that would be staffed by people in recovery from mental illness. Today CAPS has grown to include five programs:


CAPS, A Peer-Run Organization

A group of members in the club.CAPS, a peer-run agency that serves adults in the capital region of New York who are recovering from mental illnesses, uses the unique power of peer services to enhance recovery and self-empowerment. Our programs enhance the well-being of those we serve through increased community integration, systems advocacy, and problem solving skills in environments that foster self-determination. Capital Area Peer Services (CAPS) promotes dignity, safety, recovery, and community.

CAPS benefits staff and consumers by offering opportunities for companionship and activities, to learn and practice skills applicable to many areas of life, to become more integrated members of the community, and to avoid expensive or lengthy hospital stays.




I've never, I don't think, seen Jack Bauer stop to eat or do laundry. I wish I had his abilities to get so much done. Not to knock things about or blow things up, however satisfying that may be, but to get so much done in 24 hours. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are actually more than 24 hours in Bauer's days. This would, of course, be magic. I’m not sure how that would work for me as my relationship with magic is tenuous. For instance, I practice walking through walls daily and just end up with bruises. Am I frustrated at my lack of Bauer skills? Yes. Surprised? No. He's TV, after all. But our board of directors isn’t TV. It’s very real and does seem to have some Bauer skills as it has gotten amazing work done in the last 8 or 9 years I’ve been a member. We've managed to turn a shakey organization into a financially solid one and one that is now active in the larger mental health community.

Surprise is what I usually run into when I talk about serving on a board of directors, especially for a non-profit organization. One person usually has to do all the work, no one can get along, it's a thankless job and usually a grandstand for one strong personality--I've heard them all. I haven't seen it on the CAPS board.

My life is enriched by serving on CAPS' Board. I've gotten to work with and learn from many bright, creative, motivated, dedicated, talented and highly experienced community members, many of them with years of experience working in Albany's traditional and peer mental health communities. I have training opportunities I would never have had otherwise. I've learned to live with and learn from dramatic organizational ups and downs, to work through disappointments and satisfactions, through frustration at my own inability to give 300% (Yes, I DO get so much out of serving on this board that I wish I could give 300%!)

My involvement has helped me personally in other ways, as well. It’s helped me become aware of my "way too many ideas" mind and focus on one thing at a time. OK, maybe 2 or 3 things at a time. I've weathered confusion, usually over budget reports, and the excitement that frequently comes with CAPS' reorganization and growing presence in the community. Jack Bauers we're not, though. Without Bauer’s endless technological resources against grand world destruction schemes, we are more like McGuyvers, working with bits and pieces, pulling rabbits out of hats with horrendously tight resources.

The laws of physics claim that it's easier to take things apart than to put them together. So why does Jack get the big bucks? Just asking.

Regrets? None. Unless you count that more than 24 hours in a day thing. But then, I've always had that regret. That, and the walking through walls thing. I'll keep practicing.

Category: Board Blog

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Contact Details

Capital Area Peer Services
354 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12208-2311

P 518.427.5056
F 518.427.5059

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Capital Area Peer Services
354 Central Ave.
Albany, NY 12208-2311

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