Friday, November 21, 2014

Advocacy One Day, But Not The Next

On his blog today, Pete Earley posted a recap of a speech DJ Jaffe gave at the New York State NAMI conference earlier this year.  DJ Jaffe and his mentor, Dr. Fuller Torrey, are two of the most outspoken advocates for AOT legislation in the country.

I have blogged before about my feelings on what Mr. Jaffe advocates for.  He draws a very clear distinction between what he considers, "the most severely mentally ill," and others with mental illness.  I do not.  There's a thin line between stability and instability and I don't see the point in making a distinction between the two, because a person on one side of the line today can easily be on the other tomorrow.

So, here's the thing, Dj Jaffe:

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Week

What a week.

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, as I'm sure you know, and today is World Mental Health Day.  This year's theme is Living with Schizophrenia, something we know a lot about.

This week was also the week Kelli Stapleton was sentenced to ten to twenty-two years in prison for her attempt to end her and her daughter's suffering.  There are a lot of opinions about what Kelli did.  A lot of them aren't helpful, because this isn't a cut and dry issue.  This is a road flare on the side of the highway of the lives of parents of children like Issy; parents of children with severe autism or severe mental illness that comes with very real and very dangerous behavioral problems.  If you've ever read Kelli's blog, you know how difficult Issy's behavioral issues are. All you need to do is read the last post Kelli wrote before the fateful day she lost all hope.  And why did she lose hope? Because a team of professionals decided to back a teacher that was upset that the INDIVIDUAL education plan that was crafted by experts that had just had Issy in residential treatment might need to be tweaked to fit what SHE - a teacher who had never taught Issy before - thought was better. They told Kelli that Issy was not welcome to attend the public school in her home district -- at the school where Issy's dad was the Principal, mind you -- and they suggested Kelli consider homeschooling.  Forget how they felt about Kelli; this is a direct violation of federal IDEA law.

I hope that teacher and the administration that backed her feels they have blood on their hands. 

Absolutely Nothing

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Social Services Oxymoron


Why must I hand hold Tim's case manager through everything?  The man has been a licensed clinical social worker employed by our county health department for at least 6 years, yet he acts as if he has never had a single client before Tim.

Two weeks ago I asked him about permanent supportive housing options for Tim when he turns 21 and his ICG grant runs out next July. He had no idea.  I gave him the names of four programs in our area I'd heard of.

He had someone in his office call them and ask, hypothetically, how they work.  HYPO-FUCKING-THETICALLY.  This isn't hypothetical.  Tim needs an ACTUAL place to live. This dude is ACTUALLY his caseworker.

I swear, I'm starting to believe the reason the mental health system is so messed up is that the people running it all have a collective IQ smaller than my dress size.  And my dress size ain't all that small.

My father always says, "illegitimi non carborundum," which is Latin for, "don't let the bastards get you down." What's Latin for, "don't get mad, get even"?