Saturday, October 16, 2021

Comments by Lilly0578

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  • After reading this I am not sure where to even start. I guess I will first respond that where you placed the statement about loosing readers should have been several paragraphs up. I FORCED myself to read this whole opinion you have made based on an article that made you angry…. I have been a trained peer Certified in my state by UNC school of social work because I worked hard to meet the criteria to become a state certified peer. This was 9 yeas ago. I am also a certified WRAP facilitator and I am by no means an ophile. I stood on the cusp of our states Medicaid system accepting my employment position as reimbursable. I was hired 2 months before the standards changed. My first day at work I was so thrilled to get a supervisor who understood WRAP and had been trying to provide it to his “consumers” (whatever word you choose to place there) with his limited knowledge of the program. He saw me as a respectable and smart employee. At the time I was hired as a para professional because the only “peer” jobs were with acute cases of SMI and I knew I did not want to put people in the hospital….. I was forced into one many times in my youth and my goal as a peer was to help people see a path that would suite them and keep them “well”. I do not subscribe to the thought that well looks the same for everyone. I am not a minion and I loved the people who gave me the training to be a “certified peer and WRAP facilitator”. I was trained in my job my several people and my peer status was left to me to share with my co workers. I was not put in a separate box because I was a peer. I was not forced to attend therapy I had supervision. I attended all the same meetings as my co workers. I could go on and on but this company was my first and last good experience as a peer. My first day with this company I asked the person I was training with about a co worker who was VERY tall and passed us in the hall. Her response was ” OMG he is on of those peer people I can’t wait until this trend ends because they do not belong working with us” I did not react I spent the whole day with her and was myself. As the day ended with her I asked her how the day had gone in her opinion. Fantastic she complimented my interactions with “consumers” so I then mentioned the co worker she was talking about earlier the “lowly peer” and I told her “I AM a peer I took classes to work just like you did. Mine were shorter because I do not want to be a clinician at this time I just want to help people who are hurting” I tell this story because about 9 years ago I was tolerating this ignorance and condescending attitude. That company went under and was consumed by a large corporation. There were no WRAP groups in our area so I started speaking with people and putting groups in place. As long as I could bill for them the company did not care. I found a co facilitator who was a “professional” but also a WRAP facilitator. She is still my best friend and I adore her and her thought process. We ran groups together and had a “consumer” who would not leave her home go on to work part time and go on to go to college. Not everyone was helped by WRAP and I was ok with that. There is no standard that solely reflects a path for EVRYONE. That is the beauty of blending peer based services with clinical practices. In life you have to follow multiple steps to achieve a goal in most instances and the bit about having a case manager add WRAP to your service plan is like real life. All you have to do it let the case manager know you want to attend a group. As I went on trying to implement groups in an area the “professionals” became less and less inclined to give up hours they wanted to bill for because we worked on a fee for service basis. Companies bastardize what peers are or look like. And any in fighting in the peer community should STOP at once. We should agree to disagree on approach but stand united as peers. Almost a decade later the national changes I hoped to see come about are starting to happen. I can talk with someone about med management and talk about the pros and cons of their medications. I will print out and read over with them the pages of warnings and side effects so that if they choose not to take medications they are doing so in an informed way. I encourage people to question their Doctors as well and have a healthy dialogue on their “treatment options”. I practice this myself. Does my newest PA writing my script like it NO WAY (she’s in the old school I’m a Dr. God complex category) but she is who my insurance will cover so I practice what I preach when seeing her. I go to therapy not because of my job (because there were YEARS I worked in our field without medication or therapy” but I have been through a lot and have a PTSD episode that makes me no less of a peer. I was injured in my job extensively trying to help someone. I am not at this time a employed peer but I am still a peer. I cheer for the peer movement and I talk to newly certified people. I am practical on how the work force will treat them. And I still talk with anyone who is struggling as a peer employed or wants you know what peer employment looks like day to day. The 5 F’s as a valid statement. But only we as peers can demand to be treated with respect. And we do so by going to work like everyone else in society not begging for exceptions because we are “sick” but showing what a work in progress can look like successfully. So to all peers including you I ask. Stand together work together through differences because if you do not if we do not then it is a divide and conquer situation! The people who blazed trails for todays standards did not go through the HELL they did for infighting but to unify!