Showing 6 of 6 comments.
I also wanted to respond to the writers comment which they must have deleted
Thanks for the offer and compliments!
In delving into the website .not sure your group is my cup of tea. like the other commentator said, it seems like a lot of self-promotion and jargon.
Your point about supporting people who are, like it or not, in the system is well-taken. There is just something uncomfortable – is it naivete or enthusiasm? – about this project you advertise. My argument is not that peers workers are not great people with fascinating and important stories but more that by neglecting to be real with the issues facing peer workers, you are risking collusion with the system (made up of individuals) who maintain their power over peers by hiding the bad intentions of their hiring practices.
Shouting HURRAH and giving fist pumps before each peer support session seems a bit demeaning to the people who really are stuck in these unappreciated jobs. My critique is more on the realm of a sense of concern that the wool is being pulled over the eyes of the peer workers, but this time, by each other.
again, just thinking out loud in response to your advertisement above
Glad you like it!
Sometimes ideas that look good are kinda rotten in the core. Reminiscent of how deinstitionalization simply resulted in the rebranding and decentralizing of institutions (now they are open-air prisons of community mental health services, ACT, day programs, nursing homes, residential facilities, Rikers Island, and pharma-induced early death and physical immobility), I see the peer support movement as a modern representation of the occupational therapy /busywork/ slave labor of the asylums of yore too. Low below poverty line wages, eye-roll level of relavence and respect, no opportunities for growth except to escape, and.. yippee! now, introducing the appearance of a grassroots movement without any real power that honestly seems to be sugarcoating the whole thing. If the city of NY and agencies that hire peers do think this no-cost support group is a good idea……. There must be something in it for them because they are increasingly being faced with a very transient peer workforce whose eyes are open to the infantilism of their jobs. Just a few pats on the back and sexy progressive language and we all feel great about these mostly dead-end jobs?
Wondering if this project is weirdly in cahoots with the oppresive system at large…. perhaps unbeknownst or in ignorance…?
Just some additional thoughts
Yes sick and tired of that euphemism
I created a log-in to respond to this piece.
THe project described above is exceedingly confusing to me. Take a used/co-opted sector of society and offer them the opportunity to become friends with each other for the purpose of being less livid and angry at their life circumstances, …. resulting in better coopted peers for the abusive MH system??
Every licenced otherwise official role in the mental health system has a component of “supervision” – PAID sessions with a supervisor or other experienced professional in the field aimed at offering support and advice about the difficulties and challenging situations the patient-participants are enduring…. No wonder HTH and other agencies that use peers are excited about this…. get the underpaid slave laborers to use their own UNPAID time to process their experiences in their (oftentimes) humilating and underappreciated jobs….?! Sounds fabulous
what is said supported/peer-supervised peer supposed to do? – go to their boss and demand higher wages or respect because “hey, i was talking to my peer colleagues and they want more pay and respect too?” L O L literally
sounds like the peer support conferences offered up by the city – where at the very least people get some time off work and 2 free meals, but in reality every peer worker there is rolling their eyes because that free lunch does not in any way improve their living and working conditions… i imagine what is cool is that peers will learn about the outrageous conditions other peers are putting up with at their jobs — cleaning toilets, enforcing meds, hospitalizing people, sitting silently during meetings, being talked over at every opportunity, and most frequently Leaving the Peer Workforce for other less humilating and better paid jobs.
Seriously unclear about what is the motivation behind this peer support network if not to create a more docile “supported” peer workforce who will be taking their complaints to each other on their own dime/time rather than to their bosses…
win-win for employers, rose-coloured glasses for the peers
PS – Also pretty interersting to see who all is creating this network – looks, not surprisingly(according to the website) like a group of social workers, psychology majors, psychologists, people with lived experiences (though not peer specialists) who surely lack the understanding of what it is like to work as a peer in the system