Adding to comment- In comparison to the state psychiatric hospital in Connecticut that cost $1,800 per day for one bed is what I was told. Insurance and the government will pay that amount of money and people spend many years in those places cycling in and out. That is $54,000 plus per month a total of $657,000 cost for one person, a year for a place with almost 200 beds. Go ahead and multiply, (This is information that was shared with me)
Adding to comment-
In comparison to the state psychiatric hospital in Connecticut that cost $1,800 per day for one bed is what I was told. Insurance and the government will pay that amount of money and people spend many years in those places cycling in and out. That is $54,000 plus per month a total of $657,000 cost for one person, a year for a place with almost 200 beds. Go ahead and multiply, (This is information that was shared with me)
Yes “The one simple decent thing to advocate for is medical insurance parity that will be available to someone hoping to titrate off psychiatric meds.”
My writing is to bring awareness. How do we get the insurance companies and all the government fundings that support the psychiatric, rehab, prison institutions model to start supporting people to heal/recover/awaken to live their best human experience what that means for the person? But also what could we do while we wait for the government and insurance companies to catch up and face the truth about what works well and is supporting people to move forward from excruciating painful experiences. Raising money for the Support a Seeker Fund is a step that people could take and support the work at Inner Fire now!
I read the comment about how much Inner Fire cost per month. I reached out to Inner Fire and asked, how much does it cost per month
Here is the response that I received,
“Inner Fire does everything in its power to keep costs as low as possible. We are a non-profit entity, and the Executive Director and Founder took no salary for the first 6 years of operation and currently earns just over $45K per year with no benefits, an hourly rate well below the prevailing minimum wage. All other Board members receive no compensation. It is difficult to provide a high level of personalized care with rich programmatic content without substantial salaried staff and professional therapists. While most work for far less than they could earn elsewhere, this still adds up to our largest single expense. High quality, healthy food is our next largest expense item, but we consider it to be a crucial element in recovery. All this adds up to an average cost of about $575 per day, and $17,500 per month. While we know this is beyond many people’s means, we actively fund-raise to assist those who may need financial assistance and have been able to subsidize more than $700,000 in such costs since our founding. We fervently wish we lived in a country in which health care was a right and not a privilege, in which all could access the highest quality care, and providers are fairly compensated for what is often extraordinarily challenging work, but we do not. We know that Inner Fire cannot be for everyone at this time, but strive to make the program as affordable as possible and are always seeking other ways to serve everyone and anyone trying to reclaim their lives from the ravages of psychotropic drugs.”
In comparison to the state psychiatric hospital in Connecticut that cost $1,800 per day is what I was told. Insurance and the government will pay that amount of money and people spend many years in those places cycling in and out. That is $54,000 plus per month and $657,000 for one year for a place with almost 200 beds. (This is information that was given to me)
Thank you everyone who read this letter, leave a comment and share, I pray for change, human rights and justice for all. Sharing my thoughts are never an easy thing because I have experienced trauma and so at various times I must work through pain connected to the situation I am dealing with. I am also very aware that they’re only “my thoughts,” because of my worldview (IPS). I choose to work on respecting others world view to connect and be peaceful with each other. I want to say that I don’t know of any alternative doctors (unless I count the nutritionist). When I speak of alternatives, I think of being able to sit with the discomfort, practice awareness, forgiveness, empathy, relaxation, personal responsibility to self and society, shame resilience (Brene Brown) hope instead of fear (IPS), validating the traumatic experiences (TIPS Trauma Informed Peer Support), not calling myself an illness (WRAP Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and being allowed to work through the pain and heal (My OWN Life Experience), living and being included in society, etc… there are also spaces like Toivo http://www.toivocenter.org that offers a holistic healing space, IPS Intentional Peer Support http://www.intentionalpeersupport.org Western Mass Recovery Learning Community http://www.westernmassrlc.org that sees the human being and not a diagnosis, and Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry http://www.chrusp.org . Believing in God I remain hopeful.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and write your comment of congratulations and wishing me peace and tranquility, you know how important that is to hold on to. I continue to learn and grow. Once I learn, I don’t want to unlearn, but I realize that I do have a choice.
Spiritually I was always growing in awareness, as I mentioned my grandmother always read bible stories to me as a child. I have been reading interesting books and participating in Oprah Winfrey’s Lifeclass, and Super Soul Sunday, there are so many spiritual teachers and leaders who share their stories and what they have learned and overcome, at http://www.oprah.com or on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
I want to take the opportunity to share this list of organization and people in the recovery support business that has been supportive. I got great information and training from Advocacy Unlimited (AU) http://www.mindlink.org, Focus On Recovery-United, Inc. (FORU) http://www.focusonrecovery.org, Intentional Peer Support (IPS) http://www.intentionalpeersupport.org, emotional CPR http://www.emotional-cpr.org, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com, Laura Delano’s website http://www.RecoveringfromPsychiatry.com and Chaya Grossberg has a strong campaign Breaking Free of Psychiatric Drugs http://www.chayagrossberg.com. Of course, there are so many more recovery organizations, people reaching out to support other people and the internet makes it easier now, than in the past. Staying connected is important to me, I continue to learn more each day and would like people in my ordinary position to be able to do the same.
It was so nice to meet you at the First Mad In America Film Festival, Arlington, MA back in October 2014, your vision, performances and music is inspiring. http://www.facebook.com/dylantighemusic
Thank you for sharing and doing what you do!
Yeah, I get that.
I feel like that is a big statement, it makes me want to say, I don’t know what is best or work for anyone else, I respect everyone’s path that they take. I could only share my story. I know at one point I got an “uh oh feeling,” when I asked for the drug I saw on television that described all the things I felt I needed from a pill, and was told no, that I had to use one with an unknown long name before I could get to the one I saw on TV because of my insurance. This made me think “why.” Once I started thinking I didn’t stop, then I started asking questions until I figured it out. but I had to ask for myself. I learn a lot of coping skills to take care of my emotions, from a lot of people that have been there and done that before me.
I am glad to share this part of the story with others. You say that you are “…approaching nearing the end of a long withdrawal, many drugs.” I only know for sure my own experience on that subject. I see a lot of information here at MIA on the subject to educate people.
The peer support roles are very valid and worthy roles and the people who do them impress me all the time. I mention my role at the behavioral health clinic, it was a few sentences in a short paragraph. I wrote over eleven pages telling the horrific details in that environment for many months, it is a big subject. There are so many of us telling the same story about these environments.
Thank you for the comment on the kids, I feel I am the fortunate one, a work in progress. When we share our stories we are all mutually supporting each other. Thank you for sharing and encouraging!
I get so much from so many, I am humbled to be able to share this part of the story that others may be encouraged as I have been. I can’t use the word help when it comes to these young people I get to use the role mother to connect with, we are just learning and living one moment to the next with each other, sharing, caring and sometimes having to let go and then rebuild again. I don’t know the struggle you have with your son but I see that you are on MIA learning, sharing and reaching out, your kind words are appreciated. Thank you and God bless you too!
The feeling is mutual, I’m a proud to know you as well! I appreciate all the work that you do at Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. http://www.mindlink.org.
It was almost two years ago we ran into each other at the train station in New Haven. I shared with you the progress I was making and you told me you could tell that I wasn’t on any more psychotropic drugs because you didn’t see that glossed over unfocused look in my eyes. You said you felt energy and life coming from me. You told me that I must read an article by a friend of yours Laura Delano, Finding the Meaning in Suffering: My Experience with Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (in a Nutshell), and you were right, it was an amazing read and confirmation to stay strong.
Greg and you were very encouraging for me to share my writing at MIA, that you appreciated my voice. Thank you for that!
Ted Chabasinski, J.D.
Thank you for saying well done!
There are so many that are being labeled who are suffering. We live in a society where titles before and after our names mean so much more than the person sitting in front of us. I remember writing in my poetry, the empowerment and emphasis on “I”m a lawyer, I’m a doctor.” I am guilty of that mindset and needed to learn to respect everyone individually and trust myself.
Life is a journey and everything counts, if I didn’t see behind the scenes at the behavioral health clinic, I would probably be still writing speeches thanking the therapist and doctors for the labels, and blank faces that they showed me sitting across from them.
Getting the opportunity to look back and see that when I sat and shared my hopes and dreams they did not see all that I can be, I saw that. So yes you are right, mothers and fathers can work wonders, that’s why we must share our stories so others may take back their lives.
Yes it is!
On Inner Peace – I am constantly learning.
On children being a mother’s true joy – once I stopped trying to see all I wanted to be in them, I am able to enjoy their uniqueness separate from myself. There is a book by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children, that validated what I had come to understand in life and so much more.
Blessings to you also,
I Daniel I am so glad I took the time to read your piece. Thank you for sharing! Keep doing what you are doing. Good men cannot sit by and do nothing.
Happy New Year Julie! Thank you for sharing your story. Truly inspiring and I know people using eating disorders as a coping method will learn a lot from you. So glad people are sharing these stories. We mustn’t shut up. Fear wants to paralyze us from the trauma we endured, but so glad you have found your voice and living your life! Namaste
Hi Deron thank you for sharing. May all healing energy be with your wife Carrie and your family.
I am from a small island, where the hexing way of life is taught from an early age where I came from, which means I had a double whammy choosing to seek psychiatric services when I was experiencing difficulties trying to let go of coping skills that weren’t working for me. I am grateful that I was born a peaceful soul and figured out that I needed to connect with that Peace again.
Today I am drug free from psychotropic drugs, and I connected back to my culture and examined all the things that I was taught. I am working on eating healthy and exercising which stabilizes my mood just fine with out harmful drugs. I know I have more work to do and I am hopeful instead of feeling doom on drugs and the lack of no control taught to me about hexing.
Thanks for sharing Chaya! Appreciating and being present in each moment.
Drop the labels of diagnoses, hold on to our hope, take responsibility for our own lives and start seeing ourselves as human beings having valid human experiences.
My comment above, “…of course what happened to me at my work place for standing up is probably why one would choose to assimilate rather than stand up…’ I’ve learned that words are important and if you don’t explain your thought behind the word if you are not a grammarian or well versed on vocabulary it could be misconstrued. My thought behind the word “assimilate” is when I sat at the staff meetings with the license clinicians and they made jokes about a client’s circumstance, I did not laugh, even when it was uncomfortable being the only one at the table not laughing.
When diagnoses were thrown out I asked questions and think, what has been happening in that person’s life? Fox example one psychiatrist really liked using the word “grandiose” I became aware of this and paid attention to what he was referring to. The last time he was talking about a person who was having marital difficulties, employment, financial and shelter issues. The doctor said he/she has grandiose delusions talking about going back to school and going back to his/her homeland to help the people. Why would this doctor call this person grandiose? This person does know that they are having difficulties why they are at a behavioral health clinic seeking help. The doctor mentioned that relationship, food clothes and shelter are unstable. Perhaps after the person get these things stabilize they could work on the dream. But isn’t helping others we know for sure is the best thing human beings do for each other. Is it not better to give than receive? Perhaps if the focus was to help this person stabilize the basic needs of food clothes and shelter instead of labeling and drugging, this person could then help themselves then move on to help others. Ask the question, why do you want to go back to your homeland and help people? Why do you feel education is important to do that? What kind of trauma’s has the person lived through or saw happened to others? Is it grandiose to want to help others even when you are at low point in your life, or is it just showing that you are still trying to awakening to being your best self in this life?
When I read your comment almost a month ago my response was, “I hear you.” I decided not to post but to respond at a later time when I had more time to write my thoughts behind those three words.
Here is the thing, that table in the staff room at the behavioral health clinic where I use to work (I recently found a new job working for a recovery organization) was a place where people place articles, pictures, and such to share. I have read some interesting pieces and shared three articles myself, On the Urge to Take My Life, and My Decision to Take It Back From the “Mental Health” System Instead, by Laura Delano, Please Defend the Right to Bear Arms, by Deron Drumm, Response to “Power Needed To Make Potentially Dangerous People Take Their Meds” by Greg Benson and several pieces by Mary Ellen Copeland. Perhaps I shared these pieces after I heard negative comments related to the subjects, from coworkers about people diagnosed with mental illness but mostly because I sincerely wanted to share recovery and hoped I could encourage coworkers to see that people could live up to our full potential as human beings, it shouldn’t be all about drug pushing, and labeling people, but everyone is an individual worthy of love and connection.
I was the only person with lived experience of accepting a diagnosis for too long at the staff meetings, I knew it was fifteen against one, so sharing the articles was my way of responding to them, without being seeing as aggressive or taking their comments too personally, or the last comment from the compliance officer, “you are sensitive…’
Before I shared the articles on recovery, the articles shared by the staff (psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers) were insightful, sometimes humorous but overall informational. I noticed that the other staff member(s) started sharing negative articles towards people diagnosed with mental illness. The table became a place of “that’s what you think, this is what I think about…” So I stopped reading the articles that were placed there, I got the message, there would be a lot more negative articles coming. This is why I chose not to place this article by Dr. Eric Maisel there. I think someone said, “An eye for an eye make the whole world blind.” Forgive me I think it was Gandhi but not sure. Here is the thing, I am not blind, I have awakened to see what is going on in the mental health system and humanity, and peace and love is what will win. I read a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “When I despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always.”
I have to accept the part I have played in the system, of accepting that titles and degrees meant that someone knew me more than I knew myself. I know I could say that is what I was taught about being inferior and superior, my lack of proper grammar is not of an inferior mind but inferior education. Still doesn’t stop me from being able to learn and grow and when we know better do better. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. We have to stop judging each other; Mother Theresa said she saw Jesus even when she saw a homeless person. With my experience of people judging me, my race, my color, my weight, my sex, my geography etc… I now see that I am the homeless woman on the street and she is me. I have to accept responsibility for the times I refused to learn something new to help myself one example is when I was introduced to WRAP, it took months perhaps a few years more to engage, not sure how long I was still dying slowly. I had adapted to the helplessness not knowing about recovery, once I took the Pathways to Recovery and recognize that I was in recovery and had been for a long time, I kept on the track of learning and I took the WRAP course and now use it as part of my wellness tool.
I know change can come we have seen it all through history. I choose to stay aware because even when I wasn’t, I was still involved, people making choices for my well being while I died slowly. Listen, we all have to do our parts, I heard a character playing Martin Luther King, Jr., say in the movie, Lee Daniels, The Butler that the domestic worker was a very important part of the Civil Rights movement, getting America to see all it’s people as human beings. He talked about maids, butlers, nannies, etc… doing this work with dignity, that we learn not to fear each other. As a recovery support specialist I carry this ideal with me, I share with coworkers, peers, about recovery, I see no man greater than the other. I know that some recovery support persons might want to say well, now I am on the other side of the table and also judge others, this attitude help keeps the mental health system where it has been, of course what happened to me at my work place for standing up is probably why one would choose to assimilate rather than stand up and say yes I am not a machine, I am a creative human being and I don’t think in a box.
So I allowed these coworkers to get to know me, but fear of a person calling my self a well being and not an illness scared them, basically worrying about keeping their titles and degrees, the first chance they got I was written up as a diagnosis.
There is fear in this country and globally towards mental illness. One fact is because it is being called mental illness and excluding a group of people who most of the time have been bullied and experienced trauma, and not looking at all humans as a whole who all have a mind and therefore, mental health is important.
Did Hitler fear the Jews? Did European Americans fear African Americans that were enslaved? We see what happened there in history World War II and Civil War. Do you think with all the horrible murders, suicides, and mass murders happening in our country and around the world that this fear of people diagnosed with mental illness that the society we live in now would round people up and take away their human rights as we have seen in history? I like Deron Drumm do not like or ever want to touch a gun but, I learned that a law was being passed to put everyone who ever seek mental health services in a database. I also read in another article that NAMI had some approval or say in a community in California of people diagnosed with mental illness having to carry a White Card. This is what I have learned and see and make me ask the question, where will this awful road of blaming everything on mental illness go and taking away people who have suffered human rights.
My life experiences have taken me to now accepting personal responsibility and I know it is cliché but if I could awaken in this world anyone could. So accepting personal responsibility means my time working at that behavioral health clinic ran its course. I know they are only doing what they know, but I know for sure that everyone could learn and grow. Perhaps some of them are in the dark ages right now on mental health, but we all could still learn. I just know that the people at that address do not get the last say on human rights. That I know for sure.
I read this piece many months ago when it was introduced to me by a friend. I came to it today just to get the title of it, but decided to read it again. I barely got to the end of the seventh paragraph when I became tearful. I love my tears and feeling all my feelings so this is not a sad thing it is beautiful and joyous to be alive, I felt that.
The first time I read it, it gave me validation, connection and that I am not alone, getting off the psychiatric drugs and it helped me to raise my voice about it. I remember placing a copy in the staff room of the behavioral health clinic where I worked, but I didn’t cry, I felt courage, empowerment and strength.
I could only explain this two different frame of emotions by telling you about when I watched the Titanic movie years ago three times within the month it came out. The first time I didn’t cry, the second time I cried a lot and the third time it all made sense. Who are what I connected to at each time and the human mind to learn and grow and choose. Thank you for sharing your story Laura, truly inspiring. Namaste
Wow! Thank you! Well said! I was about to print and leave a copy in the staff room of the behavioral health facility where I work as peer recovery support. However I am reminded by a quote from the Dahlia Lama that says our main purpose in life is to help others and if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them. Some of these people are rooted deeply in their degrees and titles and cannot see the human being sitting in front of them.
I’m also reminded that I must continue focusing on the change that need to happen and put the work and energy into that rather than fighting the old. We must continue being our best selves and hold our heads up and do this work of advocacy sharing recovery and even changing the word recovery to being human and having human experiences. I thank you Dr. Maisel for this very hopeful piece. We all must do our part. We are all in it together this human experience.
Yes Leah, we must all do our part.
Hi Chaya, I met you at AU in Wethersfield, CT when you were filming sex and psychotropic drugs. A conversation I would like to continue with now that it is in my consciousness I am much more aware now of this.
Hi Leah, I sure hope the people who could stop the Murphy Bill are listening and that we are reaching out to our legislators. Everyone in recovery are sharing the same thing this bill will do more harm than help. It is another form of bullying those who already suffered bullying and are feeling the pain and need a way to safely heal, find hope and be empowered to live our best lives, we are further being picked on even more. I feel disgust as I tackle this same experience in my work life. Continue writing and sharing.
“The world need authentic beings to have the courage to be who they are,” Mark Nepo. Thank you for sharing so honestly Chaya. I met you not too long ago and your energy is one I felt have so much to share with the world. “You are a creator of your life, you do this by your intention, I believe I heard Oprah or Gary Zukav said this recently. You have stated your intention to live well and have people around you who share that hope with you. I look forward to all you have to share with the world! ~ Corrine