Saturday, November 26, 2022

Comments by DMHMASSCPS

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • Sara,
    For me to get a job as a “Peer Specialist ” for Massachusetts I had to be willing to identify myself as a person who experienced recovery from both mental health and substance abuse.
    I was let go from a job at MRC due to having dyslexia. Because of this employers wouldn’t offer me a job so getting work as a Peer was the better than living on SSDI.
    SCS

  • Joshua; getting involved in the “mental health system” has been a problem for me. The system is a bureaucracy and individuals who have experienced emotional distress can get locked down after speaking with a “Mental Health Provider”. I have been treated in a locked unit and I was not happy.
    Now, I have worked as a “Certified Peer Specialist” for the last ten years. Most of the time I worked with people who either were living on the streets and needed shelter or folks who had been confined in jail; sent to a psychiatric “Hospital” and needed a place to get support while looking for housing.
    My work has put me in conflict with “The Mental Health System”. For example, I was suspended from work twice for “unprofessional behavior”. These suspensions were attempts to put me in my place or shut me up. But, I realized that as a Peer Specialist being popular with other staff was not always possible. I also have been able to prevent people from getting locked down by listening to their concerns and acting as an advocate. (The “The Mental Health System” in Massachusetts is kind of F upped!”) My new supervisor may read this and we don’t have a trusting relationship.
    -Oh Boy- Here We Go Again-
    During my life I have received ‘therapy’. I have a ‘billable degree’. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor working on a treatment team my employer billed the state insurance fund. What I learned from being on two sides of the locked door is that having people to talk to who make the effort to understand your situation is good for my health. Some people I share with are friends who are in a twelve step group, or my running club or folks I meditate with.
    Building walls around myself and not talking with friends after experiencing a psychologically traumatic event led me to see a therapist. I was lucky because I opened up and this helped me. Now in my work I get to help people who want to have someone to speak with. After CV-19 there are some people who feel isolated and enjoy getting support. I don’t need to diagnose folks or develop treatment plans with them. In another job I support people who have experienced a traumatic event, I do this as a member of a team by providing those who have experienced trauma with education and support.

    I thought this comment would be interesting to folks who read this blog.

    Wishing U and all who read this a Peaceful Heart .

    SCS

  • Thank You for the work Tim,
    I volunteered at Occupy Bostons’s Medical tent after losing a job as a disability examiner with Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission due to my dyslexia & ADHD that caused me to be slow learning a case management software program in training. Then I begged my way back into employment and became a CPS at a homeless shelter.
    Having worked in a PACT with a “billable” degree as a Rehabilitation Counselor using my own recovery has been rewarding.
    I am not sure how the nuts and bolts of online Peer service works. I enjoy sitting one on one or in groups but there is a large group of people suffering and isolation can be a contributing factor in the course of a mental health issue and interfere with recovery.
    In my work I have run into situations where supervision helps a great deal. There are some folks who have problems that are just to complicated for me to help to resolve based on my personal experience. In such situations being a resource of information on getting someone support is a role I could see myself helping with.
    My own experience is that I have received good and poor treatment from professionals. Also, through self help groups I have had good support and advice and some that was not healthy. Online Peer Support can lead to ethical concerns and I think being clear about what a person in distress can expect and what a CPS can provide in terms of support should be agreed upon by both parties and documented.There is also my concern of preventing someone from hurting themselves or others. So, just being experienced in recovering from a psychological condition does not exclude me from running into the issues “clinical” mental health counselor.
    This is something I hope to learn more about. SCS, M.Ed.,CPS

  • Boston isn’t listening

    From the point of view of one who was a CRC (rehabilitation Counselor) and has been a CPS for the last eight years at a homeless shelter, one issue that is important is unionization. Another issue is management.
    Both Management and SEUI just do not know what to make of me (us?). One social worker/ supervisor wanted to push me out the door and then the local union rep was willing to open the door. This was more than three years ago but I have stuck around.
    When I started another guy joined me as a PS but failed to complete the CPS training.
    I was offered more hours but declined the offer because management were not honest with me. They wanted me to work four and five hour shift and it was an hour commute each way. I can’t afford to live in Boston. DMH management brought in a new CPS. A new type. She was a politically appointed PS. A real insider with good experience and good at supporting folks. But from day one not honest with me. After a disagreement about the ethical treatment of shelter guest between me and management I was shown the door. I learned that being driven by values and acting on these values can put your job at risk. This new “Peer” a NAMI hot shot chose to work with management to keep an eye on me.
    Because I was not politically connected the union reluctantly helped me to stay at work. When I came on board I was on SSDI and begged to get a job with insurance. There has been some progress made but curruption of some “Peers” is a concern.
    Uncertainty is something I live with. Not all Peers are good or bad. Most of my days are good but I have had a few bad ones. Treating guest fairly is not a bad day.
    I am now on my 5th social worker/supervisor. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I see my work as a chance to reduce the mortality associated with homelessness. But, ignorance of some campus police, mental health workers and clinicians is hard to overcome. Sometimes I feel instead of studying rehabilitation counseling spending time getting politically connected might have been a better way to spend my time.
    My advice to a new PS is learn about self care. I went through some burn out. I take the training available so steps I advocate for are informed by more than my own experience. I have gained the respect of most of the folks I work with yet a few (including s PS) are in the range between hostility to uncertainty. There are ways to help others without being a CPS.

  • From the point of view of one who was a CRC (rehabilitation Counselor) and has been a CPS for the last eight years at a homeless shelter in Boston one issue that is important is unionization. Another issue is management. Both Mangement and SEUI just do not know what to make of me (us?).
    When I started another guy joined me as a PS but failed to complete the CPS training.
    I was offered more hours but declined the offer because management were not honest with me. In my interview DMH anagement said things but never followed through. Soon after this a new CPS joined. A new type. She is a politically appointed PS. A real insider with good experience and good at supporting folks. After a disagreement about ethical treatment of shelter guest between me and management. I was shown the door. I learned that being driven by values and acting on these values can put your job at risk. Not being politically connected I needed the union to help me keep the job. And the local stewart wasn’t going to back me up so help from another site’s union rep bailed e out.
    When I came on board I was on SSDI and not politically conected. Uncertainty is something I live with. Not all Peers are good or bad. Most of my days are good but I have had a few bad ones. At DMH unless you are politically connected and obediant to social workers who can be coercive towards guest you get in hot water. This can happen if you have a bad day and don’t bow to the stupidity of old tie mental health workers and capus police. Treating the homeless folks fairly is not a what I consider a bad day.
    I am now on my 5th social worker/supervisor. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I see my work as a chance to reduce the mortality associated with homelessness. But, the ignorance of management ; some campus police, mental health workers and clinicians is hard to overcome. Sometimes I feel instead of studying rehabilitation counseling, spending time learning the politics of coproizing your values would have neen better training for this particular position. My advice to a new PS is learn about self care. I went through some burn. Advocating for a culture of respect may be OK for e but there are union embers ore interested in talking about how to get overtie pay. I take most of the trainings available. Except in the winter because hoeless folks need ore support at such ties. The steps I advocate for are informed by more than my own experiebce. I have gained the respect of most of the folks I work with, yet a few (including a PS) are in the range between hostility and uncertainty in my “support” system. There are important ways to help others without being a CPS. I a now hoping to just get work as a Case Manager. Good Luck and have a peaceful heart.

  • From the point of view of one who was a CRC (rehabilitation Counselor) and has been a CPS for the last eight years at a homeless shelter, one issue that is important is unionization. Another issue is management. Both Mangement and SEUI just do not know what to make of me (us?). One social worker/ supervisor wanted to push me out the door and then the local union rep was willing to open the door. This was more than three years ago but I have stuck around.
    When I started another guy joined me as a PS but failed to complete the CPS training.
    I was offered more hours but declined the offer because management were not honest with me. Soon after this a new CPS joined. A new type. She was a politically appointed PS. A real insider with good experience and good at supporting folks. After a disagreement about ethical treatment of shelter guest between me and management. I was shown the door. I learned that being driven by values and acting on these values can put your job at risk. Not being politically connected I needed the union to help me to stay at work. When I came on board I was on SSDI and not politicallt conected. Uncertainty is something I live with. Not all Peers are good or bad. Most of my days are good but I have had a few bad ones. Treating the homeless folks fairly is not a what I consider a bad day.
    I am now on my 5th social worker/supervisor. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I see my work as a chance to reduce the mortality associated with homelessness. But, ignorance of some campus police, mental health workers and clinicians is hard to overcome. Sometimes I feel instead of studying rehabilitation counseling, spending time getting politically connected might have been a better way train for this particular position. My advice to a new PS is learn about self care. I went through some burn out. I take most of the trainings available. The steps I advocate for are informed by more than my own experiebce. I have gained the respect of most of the folks I work with, yet a few (including a PS) are in the range between hostility and uncertainty in my ‘ support” system. There are important ways to help others without being a CPS. Good Luck and have a peaceful heart.