Posts Tagged ‘Careering’

Our sensitive overlords at the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care are holding a conference this weekend; their 3rd in a series spanning two decades. I must be in pretty bad shape to consider this good news, but beneath the layers of shmooze and self-congratulation must lie some potential toward changing hearts and minds in the bureaucracies they toy with. That’s what I tell myself, looking over the program schedule (PDF), which kicks off July 10 with a private all-day Consumer/Survivor/ Peer/Expert Meeting to develop a National Consensus Statement on Trauma-Informed Care. Heaven knows it is time for that or something like it.

From the pink flower-embossed, healing brochure:

The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) has been sponsoring conferences that have defined the agenda of what needs to be done to recognize, understand, spark, and speed the healing and recovery process from violence and trauma.

From Dare to Vision in 1994, to Dare to Act in 2004, and now Dare to Transform in 2008 we are moving closer to real action for positive and lasting change. Our Goal: Revolutionizing Human Services with Trauma-Informed Care.

Trauma-informed programs and services represent the revolutionary transformation as the “new generation” of mental health and allied human services organizations and programs that serve people with histories of violence and trauma. Trauma survivors and consumers in these programs and services are likely to have histories of physical and sexual abuse as well as other types of trauma-inducing experiences.

These adverse experiences often lead to mental health and other types of co-occurring disorders such as health issues, substance abuse, eating disorders, HIV/AIDS, and contact with the criminal justice system. Unrecognized trauma also may lead to misdiagnosis or mistreatment of consumers and survivors.

When a human service program becomes trauma-informed, every part of its organization, management, and service delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma impacts the life of the individual seeking services. Trauma-informed organizations, programs, and services are based on an understanding of the trauma survivor’s vulnerabilities, which traditional service delivery approaches may inadvertently exacerbate and, as a result, cause re-traumatization.

This shift marks the change from a place that merely
carries out services to one that becomes a safe place of healing for the people it aims to serve. It is from this place of understanding that we have come together at Dare to Transform – a starting point for revolutionizing our systems of care.

Program highlights:


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That would be the self-named Chosen who speak as icons of lucidity, praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster on behalf of the crazy folk. Included in this week’s devotion to exploiting the children they deny they drove insane, NAMI held their National Day of Prayer for Those with Mental Illness on Tuesday. Though I myself adhere to the rational, evidence-based and Atheist religious affiliation, I confess to finding the prayer itself so deeply moving, I bowed my head over a porcelain throne, with eyes closed and fire in the belly, and upchucked a fairly gushy stream of my own.

From NAMI’s website:

O, God, we gather here together today, as people from many different faith communities. We come before You, remembering all those persons whose lives have been touched by mental illnesses. We give thanks for those persons here who have given of their time and talents to do what they are able to help persons who are dealing with mental illnesses in their lives and in the lives of their families and friends. We give thanks for the improvement in medication and treatment programs that have enabled persons with mental illnesses to live productive subservient lives. We pray that our society would do everything possible to make early diagnosis and treatment a standard operating procedure. We pray and ask that stigma be removed, so that persons and their families would get the appropriate help neuroleptics as soon as symptoms appear. Guide each one of us, and help us, as we endeavor to bring help and hope more of this to those families and individuals.

We remember in our prayers those persons with mental illnesses who need to obtain access to their prescribed medications, treatment services, and counseling in the Gulf coast states where Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left devastation in their wake. We remember in our prayers all those who are in mental health crisis as a result of the horrible experiences they had during the storms and the devastation they experienced following the storms. We pray that our nation can respond in a timely and humanitarian way to this urgent mental health care need. We pray that in our own local communities, we can provide the appropriate health care for mind, body, and spirit to enable individuals to be on their journey of Recovery. Amen

Read in unison:

The faith community says to those people who suffer from the symptoms of mental illness, and to their family members:

We will walk with you. And God walks with you. You will not go through this alone.
A walk through the apple-blossom field of historical fact brings up a whole nother side of our pious neighbors who have been so provoked. O well, another place, another time:

March 15, 2002 Psychiatric News Online, CMHS Budget Cuts Harm Consumer Involvement:

The full announcement read, “NAMI urges the Bush administration move to terminate federal support for nonprofit organizations that actively challenge the scientific basis for mental illness and its treatment or forward an ideology that undermines the role of families in treatment and recovery (particularly so-called ‘psychiatric survivor’ organizations) that promote an agenda hostile toward increasing access to mental illness treatment services.”

Within a few days, the statement was withdrawn by NAMI’s new executive director, Richard C. Birkel. Birkel wrote to [Mindfreedom’s David] Oaks, who had requested a meeting, saying that NAMI had not and would not “engage in actively discouraging federal funding for any groups simply because we disagree with them.”

Who can say what NAMI stands for? And that’s the point, the strategy of all abusers, to sow confusion, re-define the terms of meaning and rewrite history. I apply to NAMI, the Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness, that revelatory Suskind quote, referring to the unnamed aide to George Bush, who told Suskind the following:

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Drugged to the gills in stultifying stupidity. Stay free high!

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