Editor’s note: This speech was delivered last fall by Ken Braiterman, my adopted dad and advocacy mentor. More of his writing can be found at KenBraiterman.com, and at MadinAmerica.com
When I found out I was getting a lifetime achievement award from the Riverbend Community Mental Health Center, I laughed out loud. I’ve been working since 1995 to close it down, or change its treatment mode from meds first to meds as a last resort when alternatives fail. I thought of rejecting the award, but that would be a small spiteful gesture.
Want to learn social media? Want to build your own job? Register Now! Spaces must be confirmed by Feb. 21!
Want to get connected with other people that know about complete mental health recovery? Become a certified “patient” advocate who can make a living helping people overcome their health care challenges? We can get you started! Click here to be a Kansas Grassroots Advocate! For only ($20, and there is a waiver for that $20) join the Kansas Mental Health Coalition to learn about grassroots advocacy. They have grant funding for hotel, food, and some travel reimbursement. We;ll have the
I’m one of those mental health discussion weenies. I’m an advocate who pokes my head in a lot of corners because I learned a lot time ago that everything connects and makes sense. Really, mental health discussions, environmentalism, industrial food, transportation, water rights – all of the painful issues right now boil down to the same thing – there are some people out there making a lot of money off doing things in a way that doesn’t make sense. So inertia and lobbying money helps us keep doing things that don’t make sense instead of working to help the grass
This January I went to Cincinnati for a cluster of three business conferences, and to explore possible expansion of my online network to a satellite city. During the third conference, I got e-mail rejection notices for all the pending grants I had for my business, some of which I had thought were locked up. My friends helped me through it and suggested more networking and work on clarifying business missions. They also suggested I stay in touch for another event the next weekend.
Bridge shot in downtown Cincinnati. Riding across the grate freaked me out some.
Poetry for Personal Power is now Wellness Wordworks’ premiere program and is filing for it’s own nonprofit status if we get your help on our Indiegogo campaign. Last fall we wrote a blog explaining our approach to stigma reduction, and why social inclusion campaigns are so much better. The main idea is that we teach all of the most valuable lessons of the recovery movement, about peer support, building resiliency and finding our own strengths. But we’ve put them together in a very short and simple package that we can send out to brand new audiences.
Business Plan Updates from Corinna West, Wellness Wordworks, and Poetry for Personal Power:
We missed you over the winter: Corinna West, the founder of Poetry for Personal Power and Wellness Wordworks, has been out of full time entrepreneurship activity much of the winter due to a spiritual emergency. This involved her deciding to follow the Creator’s guidance on life choices and business pursuits. You can read about the first part of this journey on her personal blog, with more updates to come out soon about the second half of the journey. Also, our main blog editor and board chair, Ken Braiterman, was diagnosed
Easter is Sunday, March 31, this year. “Tonight marks a milestone. I’m setting up an Easter/spring display at the antique mall booth I’m opening. This outward display of rebirth represents substantial personal growth in the last year.
Last Easter, I had a relapse. Wellbutrin caused mental confusion; I got lost on a simple, route I know to a friend’s house. Her cell phone directions didn’t compute. I missed most of the dinner, after plans to come early and help set up and to give her a special hostess gift. My friend and her family graciously invited
One is just an intuitive, empathetic connection that sometimes happens when people understand each other.
I also believe we can cultivate an ability to listen and connect deeply, to set aside judgments about how other people express themselves or react to a situation. When I do that, it often makes a real conversation possible. I’m not always successful at it, but I keep trying to learn.
Programs that Help People Connect Deeply
Soteria helps people connect deeply.
Ombudsperson programs, Soteria, and Open Dialogue all seem like practices that have
Ever since the Facebook conversations about the chance that funding for Alternatives conferences might have gotten cut, I wondered if folks were still thinking about, and discussing this. It kinda dead ended when the funds were assured. I think your raising it newly, and your call to action are right on time.
The upshot of the previous conversation for me was the possibility of seizing upon the uncertainty to propose new ways to produce the conference going forward. The specter of vanishing funds is still very much present. The Alternatives conference today is totally
Passover begins at sundown, Monday, March 25, 2013.
Lissa Tanenbaum The Passover Seder
With the possible exception of Sabbath once a week, Passover (Pesach) one week a year has the most my has the most spiritual resonance, and has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. It celebrated the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus, and also the beginning of Spring, a second form of redemption.
It starts with a traditional ceremony and meal, called a Seder. at sundown March 25 this year. Jews who live outside Israel, in the
More than usual lately, I am thankful for my friends. The other day, when I as sick, I was surprised by housework help, and two Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars.
Peers “get by with help from my friends.”.
The quality of my life and stress level improved tremendously when my friends Becki and Todd did household chores which were overwhelming to me because of physical pain. A cold and/or inclement weather made vacuuming my stairs, taking out my garbage, and bringing my mail inside a strain for me.
NAMI started when it became too common to demonize parents for their children’s problems.
This originally came from a post on Mad In America, about Jani, a six year old with a schizophrenia diagnosis, who has gotten much media attention which was sought by her parents. The comments link to the parents’ admission of child abuse, which may have pre-dated the psychosis. But the question is, is it fair to publicly criticize these parents? Is it fair also to put a child’s health information online?
My blog is directed at parents, not ex-patients who are well-represented in the recovery
People need good information. and less fighting over medication..
Editor’s note: As the author says, Wellness Wordworks is for good mental health information, and truly informed consent regarding psych meds. That must include information about alternatives to medicine, and dangerous long-term side effects. IT MEANS TRYING ALTERNATIVES TO MEDICATION FIRST, NOT AS AN AFTER-THOUGHT.
We are against “diagnosis and medication first for everyone for life,” which is still standard practice in mental health today. We believe most so-called mental illness comes from previous trauma, isolation, invalidation, and loss, which are not diseases, and do not respond to psych
Outreach is one important, vital and proven means of “reaching” the otherwise unreachable. It is proactive, not reactive, a preventative intervention, its about finding a Cho, Lanza etc. before they strike, and perhaps, turning them away from harming others or themselves.
Fiscally, the return on investment in prevention is dramatic. Money put into preemptive action against social ills yields anywhere from real bucks savings and dividends… 300 to 1000% return is a good deal on any investment, and it saves lives.
Can we prevent mass shootings?
It can address virtually any social need in almost any setting. Given the
Millions of native English speakers think they can’t write. Yet they generate thousands of clear, original sentences every day in conversations and e-mail. So why do so many clear, intelligent thinkers panic, and become illiterate, when asked to write their thoughts down?
Modern word processopr
Most were simply taught wrong, told to follow writing rules that are not even writing rules because they have nothing to do with clear, When they broke writing rules, the teacher scribbled all over their ideas in red ink, and deducted points from their grade. When the poor kid grows up, and has to