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

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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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An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time

An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time in Kansas City,

We met at the Kauffman Foundation after the Global Women’s Entrepreneur’s summit. I’m building a business to help people learn accurate information about the psychiatric system, namely that mental health treatments are not evidence based, and psychiatric labeling often does more harm than good. I thought you knew some of this research based on our conversation.

I thought you understood that psychiatric survivors have a different approach than disease marketers.

Peggy Swarbick and Laura Ostrow are psychiatric survivors, here at the Carter Center social inclusion

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11 Mental Health Research Ideas

Recently, my favorite blogger, 1boringoldman.com did a post about four of NIMH”s mental health research grants that add up to $10 million. $250,000 each…. for what? It turns out they are basically me too studies or finding out answers that are irrelevant or already solved, or solutions harmful to us.

So here are some free mental health research ideas for these people to see whether or not they actually want to help us. These are ideas of programs that could help folks with mental health labels to move towards control of their own lives.  All of these programs could generate very

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FAQ about the Distress Model

These are questions that came up from one of our most thorough critics. We thought we’d reproduce them as a blog for anyone who has questions about our approach.

1. Our system is broken and people are dying: and veterans are dying: I know this too. This is why I feel like we need a whole new system, not just fixing the old system. But getting a very clear handle on what is broken and what works is useful. Also, I don’t think I’m leaving people in the lurch by building an alternative, because I’m not tearing down or working

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10 Easy Ways to Reduce Mental Health Care Costs AND Improve Outcomes

Right now many Missouri and Kansas mental health centers repeatedly face huge budget cuts.  In fact, this is true nationwide. We simply can’t afford as a society to keep spending as much money on useless mental health care costs.  Right now the mental health system faces a choice that is also being faced in the energy, agriculture, freshwater supply, transportation, and education. In all of these areas there are market failures causing a re-allocation of resources away from science-based, effective, low-cost solutions. We are subsidizing unsustainability by pouring money into these systems in directions that make problems worse, not better.

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Have an adventure every day!

This weekend we competed in The Trashboat Regatta. I like to have an adventure every day…. and this was mine. I hauled the boat down to the river and when I got there people asked if I knew a 1000 mile swimmer was going in. I put a note on his Facebook page and asked him to visit the conference I was at on the river over the weekend.

Me with Dave Cornthwaite and Ben Stiff from his crew. Alicia Staley is on the right. We all want to adventure every day in patient advocacy

It was kinda deja

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On-Page Search Engine Optimization 101

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is making your page so that Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are more likely to to pull up your particular website. There are certain techniques to use that make these web crawlers are more likely to find you. This post is about on-page SEO, which means editing your blog post as you go to improve your search results.

See the face? On-page SEO can help people see things they didn't before.

How on-page SEO can help readers find you:

One thing to keep in mind is that 80% of people won’t click past

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Douglas Coulter: PTSD is a reaction, not an illness

Lasting Emotional Reactions to War, Rape, or Crime Are Not A Disease

A PTSD reaction is not an illness. Trauma is an event that requires adjustment of human thinking and life, moving and adapting in a survival situation. Combat, prison, rape, burns, and many other events can force us to reevaluate our boundaries and self image.

Douglas Coulter rode this rig halfway across the country to Alternatives 2011, the national mental health recovery conference. Here is his story of a PTSD reaction.

Here is my story:

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted…” Matthew 5:4.

I think

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Anonymous – My epiphany on DBT, Trauma, and Undiagnosing Emotional Distress

Undiagnosing Emotional Distress as an alternative approach for mental illness seems to be the issue.

I attended a presention by the DBT guru at my local community mental health center. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a type of mental health talk therapy treatment that focuses on mindfulness or being in the moment, tolerating distress, and developing people skills. The founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan, is a person who is herself in recovery from mental health diagnoses. She recently shared her story for the first time in the New York Times.

The pillowcase project from Fulton State Hospital in Missouri where

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Why people in recovery might know more mental health outcomes research than professionals

Self-education about mental health outcomes might be better than school training

My memorial collage for Al Henning who died of depression. If he had known of true mental health outcomes, he may not have given up.

As I’ve learned more about the problems with the mental health outcomes literature, I’ve explored ideas about the disease model of “Mental illness” compared to other approaches. I’ve been struck how much of my education is coming from peers in recovery and not professionals.  Why is it that so few of them know that medications help some people, but not everyone, and may

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Solution based advocacy part 2: The distress model points to complete recovery

Or which solution based advocacy rabbits we’re not chasing any longer……

We’ve been working with various strategy advisors lately as well as learning from many different points of view. We premiered our solution based advocacy approach on Martin Luther King Day. Stephanie Zamorra from Kansas City Sourcelink is one of the best small business development professionals in Kansas City. She heard my business idea right on day 1 of the Fast Trac entrepreneurship training program and told us to focus. She said, “You know the saying, ‘He who chases two rabbits doesn’t eat.’ ”

Lately we’re figuring out which rabbits

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How to Move Beyond Trauma

What is trauma?  

One of the buzzwords in mental health care is truama-informed care. Many people don’t understand what trauma informed care is. To put in very easy terms, it’s the idea that maybe our mental health symptoms come instead from our trauma experiences. We can move beyond trauma. This is how.

In alternative circles, we often speak of how to move beyond trauma.  Also to move beyond trauma we need to examine the basic concept.  We published Edward Duff’s personal story and how he can move beyond trauma last week. One definition of trauma that resonates with me

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6 lessons for mental health advocacy from the Google Gigabit Challenge Finale

What Psychiatry and Mental Health Advocacy can learn from the Google Gigabit Challenge Finale in Kansas City

Our business, Wellness Wordworks, was nominated as a semifinalist for Google’s Gigabit Challenge. Our mental health advocacy business plan creates care so efficient that people in distress can pay for it themselves. Wellness Wordworks’ product/service plan will use a video call in support line employing people who have moved beyond their diagnoses to help others get unstuck. We’ll also help people increase their online presence and get online for the first time. Our video based call in line will be a favorite resource

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Edward Duff: How truama changes the brain and behavior templates

Edward Duff talks about how trauma changes the brain. This is a response to an essay to be posted soon on Corinna’s personal site about “What Winning the Olympic Trials Taught me about Trauma-informed care.”

This post is an email conversation between Wellness Wordworks creative director Corinna West and Edward Duff  about how trauma changes the brain. It’s reprinted with small edits and permission. Edward Duff is a policy analyst in Missouri. This means a lobbyist. We’ll post soon about what lobbyists really do and some ways around this. Edward is a survivor of many psychiatric diagnoses, incarceration, brain injury,

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