Obama’s mental health discussion comes to Kansas City!

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

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Clarifying business missions

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.

A potential business

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Why Support Poetry for Personal Power’s Indiegogo Campaign?

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.

1. Everyone goes through

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Special offers for fans: blog readers, Twitter Fans, and Facebook followers

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

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UnDiagnosing Unplanned UnConference schedule

Next week we are hosting a conference in Cincinnati in partnership with Paul Komarek of Defying Mental Illness. He’s helped me come up with conference planning details. This has been an exercise in delegation for me, because he has more of a mental health provider point of view and I have more of a psych survivor point of view. But I also am not in the city and I’m still processing the last of my spiritual emergency so I have to guard my energy levels.

Paul Komarek’s description of the conference:

Doing, Thinking, Feeling: To move beyond emotional distress we

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Advocacy victory – Public health care communicators

Recently I got an email from the National Public Health Information Coalition asking me to take their survey about creating a certification process for health care communicators. I didn’t like their survey so I sent the following email: I just took your survey about public health communicators and I think you totally overlooked the role of patient advocates. There are many reasons people in recovery might know more about health care than professionals. Also, one of the biggest risks in health care is iatrogenic harm, and patient advocates prevent that. Also, patient advocates are often much better at promoting prevention

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Don’t Have a Job? – Build Your Own!

Press release, Wednesday, November 28, 2012:

Don’t have a job? Make your own job.

Thanks so much for RSVPing yes or maybe to our Connect Power site build day this Thursday. Or thinking about it which is why you clicked this post. What if you knew Mark Zuckerburg before Facebook? What if you were a founding member? Well, I’m cocky enough to think this might be true for me.

I am running this open house style from 9am to 9pm, so feel free to come by any time during that day. My address is in Kansas City, KS. It’s right

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PressRelease – National Launch next Week for Poetry for Personal Power!

Presidentially recognized program to start national expansion in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau

Eight colleges and universities in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau are hosting Poetry for Personal Power, Missouri’s homegrown mental health prevention program which is being presented to former first lady Rosalyn Carter next month.

St. Louis, MO, October 19, 2012 Missouri’s homegrown Poetry for Personal Program is beginning a national expansion in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. SEMO Association of Black Collegians will kick off with an open mic to talk about overcoming adversity on Monday Oct 22 at 8 pm at the University Center

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Why So Many Children Take Antipsychotics

Kids playing on the Tricycle Challenge gear for Bike for the Brain. When children take antipsychotics, what is happening?

A recent article by Dr. Mercola points out the scope of the problem when children take antispychotics:

In recent years, there has been a massive increase so children take antipsychotics and other psych meds. Aggressive, and often illegal, marketing by drug companies is believed to be a major contributing factor when children take antipsychotics. In recent years, every major manufacturer of atypical antipsychotics has been fined for illegally marketing their drugs for unapproved uses. Prescriptions to make children take antipsychotics

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Bump up the Connect Power Buzz Factor

What is our Connect Power Buzz Factor?

Online buzz is a measure of social messaging impact. It’s the amount of tweets, Facebook shares, You-tube videos, Tumblr posts, and social engagement around a certain issue. For instance, my thought is that this year, the presidential campaign will show us the importance of buzz compared to corporate funding of campaigns. To a large extent, money can’t buy our interest, so buzz is a good measure of which political party is truly grassroots. This might be the first campaign where our aggregate voices are louder than all of the political ads.

You can

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Pyschiatric survivors can fund entrepreneurial mental health revolution

(This was originally posted on Mad In America.)

How We Want to Create Entrepreneurial Mental Health Revolution:

I’ve been working for 2 1/2 years on a system to provide non-medical care for people with emotional distress. I want it to be evidence based, peer provided, non-clinical, completely voluntary, cheap enough to pay for ourselves AND available nationwide and worldwide very soon. This is what I think our community needs to create entrepreneurial mental health revolution, and after spending around 6000 hours working through the permutations with much of your online input, I think we’re just about there.

Black history

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Rejection of Ritalin Leads Cameron van der Burgh to Olympic Gold Medal

“His parents had steered their youngest into sport to channel the excess energy that had seen him diagnosed with a mild form of ADD, rather that keep him dosed up on Ritalin, which changed his personality and dampened his spirit.” — Sport 24.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Cameron van der Burgh’s Olympic gold medal has more heart and meaning than just the happiness of winning. These are the words of Bev van der Burgh, the gold medallist’s proud mother.

Cameron van der Burgh wins Gold

“He swam that race for Alex,” says Bev, referring to the late Norwegian swimmer

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Getting In, Out, and Around: Overcoming Transportation Barriers

Transportation barriers

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has published a free guide to public transportation programs and policies, and how to advocate in your community for better public transportation barriers.

This brief guide to public transportation and private mobility policies, programs and practices can help people with diagnoses participate in community life.

It provides a series of recommendations for diagnosed people, counselors, and communities that can promote the ability of people to get in, out and around.

Programs that help overcome transportation barriers

The document, which includes portraits of half-a-dozen innovation programs, can be used to revamp

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AJ French: Half of Chicago’s Mental Health Clinics Close

This appeared in the first edition of the newsletter of Sacred Creations http://www.sacredcreations.org, reprinted by permission of AJ French.

Chicago, Illinois – Six of 12 Chicago mental health clinics have closed. This impacts 40 percent of clinic population,. Iraq Veterans are among the 3,100 lives disrupted by closings.

Individuals with Medicaid and Medicare are forced to end relationships with treatment providers of their choice, and seek mental health services elsewhere.

Movement Hopes to Re-Open Mental Health Clinics

The Mental Health Movement is a collaborative effort to reopen the mental health clinics. It is driven by peers within the mental

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Increasing Peer Support: A Radical Proposal for a Governor

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch could save a ton of money by increasing peer support.

Damien Licata, chair of the NH Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Council (my old job) asked me for some thoughts prior to his meeting with NH Gov. John Lynch, whose “broken” mental health system is being sued for civil rights violations by the U.S. Justice Department and others.

Here is what I told a friend to tell the governor about increasing peer support:

Public mental health systems all over the country are becoming economically unsustainable. State governments can’t afford to give everyone with a problem

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