By Sarah Knutson – Treating Trauma is an Urgent Public, Not Personal, Need

Treating trauma is a community problem, not personal.,

A  woman is beaten  in the United States every 15 seconds.  Society pays the cost in mental health budgets. courts , cops, corrections, substance  abuse, and children’ services. The real social cost of trauma has been well known to people who work in those systems for years, but there is no consensus about what to do, or how to build political support, for treating trauma.

treating trauma is essential.  People like Cheryl Sharp and Shery Mead are bringing the role of treating trauma in mental health to the forefront, nationwide.  Shery

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By Faith Rhyne – Peer Support in Disease Model Agencies: A Compromise that Helps Many People, Part 1 of 2

Peers at a recovery conference in Kansas

I think it’s best if I begin by acknowledging that I have pro-Peer bias and conflicted feelings about my job doing Peer Support in a disease model agency.  I believe most state-funded community mental health centers (CMHC’s) provide poor and harmful disease model care.  People in those systems do not support recovery if they are complicit with harm, such as coercive or non-informed “treatment” with dangerous medications and the use of clinical language that supports stigma.

Peer Support in disease-based agencies can challenge the medical model or reinforce it, depending on

Continue reading By Faith Rhyne – Peer Support in Disease Model Agencies: A Compromise that Helps Many People, Part 1 of 2

David Hilton, Part 2: Good Anger, Bad Rage

David Hilton Would Not Take Care of Himself

My Mentor Was A Giant in the Mental Health Empowerment Movement

Note: David Hilton, Part 1 looks at David Hilton’s contributions to the mental health empowerment movement, and being my mentor and partner in New Hampshire.

http://wellnesswordworks.com/david-hilton-part-1-activism-friendship-anger/

David Hilton

When facts and experience contradict an ideology, rational people question their ideology.  Ideologues deny the facts and cling to their ideology.

My best friend, colleague, and mentor in the mental health recovery and empowerment movement, David Hilton (1953-2003), repeatedly ignored his own experience, and followed his anti-medication ideology  to repeated episodes of

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David Hilton, Part 1: Activism, Friendship, Anger

David Hilton Changed the World His Anger Killed Him

David Hilton Photo in David Hilton Memorial Conference Room, NH Bureau of Behavioral Health

Anger alone is a self-defeating, unsustainable motive for a lifelong commitment to social change.

This is how David Hilton (1953-2003) inspired me to change the system, and how I learned to combine his inspiration with my own personal qualities to sustain a lifetime of activism.

Plaque in David Hilton Conference Room

When I met my friend David Hilton in 1997, New Hampshire had the best mental health system in the country.

The bureaucracy wanted to be

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What good peer support looks like

Randy Johnson (blue shirt) in a team building exercise to build good peer support in Kansas city

A story with an example of good peer support: Lots of people ask what really good peer support looks like. Here’s Ken Braiterman, our board chair’s story of how he build himself a great peer support team: http://kenbraiterman.com/how-i-built-the-ability-to-be-happy/

This post is a three way conversation that kind of started between Corinna West, and Adinah, our volunteer coordinator, and John, her good friend who is also a psychiatrist. We’re posting this conversation below to illustrate four things. 1) Good peer support has to be

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How Distress Language Cured Corinna West’s “Psychosis”

By Ken Braiterman

(NOTE: Corinna West gave me permission to write and post this story using her name.  She read, reviewed, and made suggestions prior to publication.)    

Corinna West and Ken Braiterman: We Taught Each Other to Use Distress Language

One night in 2008, Corinna West called and said she was “psychotic.”  She was afraid she’d be fired, go to the hospital, and lose all the ground she’d gained.  She had lost sleep and was hallucinating, she said.  When the “symptoms” started, she got scared, and called me for support.

Disease vs. Distress Language

In those days, Corinna

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New Hampshire Could Reduce Costs by 1/3 by Lowering Nursing Home Care

How most states could quit confining people and cut mental health care costs by 1/3

This is an expansion of Corinna West’s blog on Please Cut our Budgets, We’ll Tell you How. One of the main problems in mental health care is the outdated assumption that institutional care confining people away from the community is best.

Chris Hansen, fighting against confining people. She's a collaborator with Shery Mead, sporting a "You Bet I'm Noncompliant" T-shirt at Alternatives 2010 in Pasadena, CA.

In New Hampshire, it has come down to a lawsuit. The Civil Rights Division of the US Department

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