Saturday, February 27, 2021

Comments by Purple

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • I’m a new member of the western Mass RLC. Very new. But I recently used just that word “radical” to describe my experience thus far — meaning far different and the roots of a revolutionary alternative to the institutionalized mental health system. The response of one community member was to say, “what’s radical? we’re just about creating connection between people, creating community”. But it seems to me that any great movement for equality and human rights has at its core a commitment to connection. That connection is ultimately the most healing, for me anyway.

    I write this to say that the RLC is a valuable resource, particularly the way “peer” folks go into inpatient settings and spread the word about alternatives, supporting others to find their voice and be proactive in their recovery. In a place of powerlessness (and I can’t think of any place where I’ve felt more powerless), a hand is respectfully extended. I imagine this is where services might be cut because it’s probably a pretty expensive enterprise. Also, the peer respite concept takes resources — this is truly beautiful. I haven’t been to peer respite but I want to support the continuation and expansion of beds. I hope we can come up with a way to keep the RLC’s ability to continue this practice.

    So, I’m wondering about solutions? It seems like direct action is called for and community organizing to this end. People may have mixed feelings about peer supports (as evidenced by this site’s comments) but I think we can agree that we need alternatives to the current MH system and the RLC presents a viable alternative. An important step towards rebuilding and human rights. A different model that we desperately need.

    Leah Esrick, RN