I am both happy and dismayed by the responses to my last letter regarding
this issue. I am dismayed because dangerous drug mixes seem to be a
larger concern than I originally thought. I am glad because of the amount
of valuable info that was sent in response. I have chosen these 2 as
I feel these are the most informative.
Leslie Sladek of NAMI writes: “Consumers should always inform both
medical and psychiatric doctors of
all medications they are taking. We must advocate for
ourselves and know what we are taking, why we are taking it, and the
risks/side effects that may occur”. Leslie offers two websites. www.drugdigest.org and www.drugstore.com
sent a web site that allows consumers to enter names of their medication
to check for potentially dangerous side effects. www.consumermedsaftey.org/. You may want to file these addresses
and/or pass them on to others. The fact that these two ladies are Peer
Supporters speaks less to a bias and more to the fact that Peers Specialists
are encouraged to stay updated on data regarding our illness.
Luther King Day
. As the Nation
celebrates Martin Luther King Day and election of its first Black President
a few things come to mind. I have no doubt that were he alive
today Martin would be fighting for the rights of individuals in the
mental health system. The basic battles being fought today in this arena
are similar to the battles that were fought back in the 60’s for the
basic rights, respect and dignity due all humanity. Once a person is
diagnosed or labeled with an illness, they begin to carry the same burden
that Black folks had to carry prior to the passage of civil rights laws.
Obama means change and there is no reason why change should not involve
those of us in recovery. Stigma plays a huge role in how we are
treated. However, when the band plays such community events as ‘Arise
Detroit’s Neighborhoods Day’ we often find communities willing to
change their perceptions, provided someone tell them the truth.
We do our best to educate them about what happens in recovery when folks
are supported correctly.
Detroit Wayne County CMH, Michigan Department of Community Health, MDCH
Boards, Northern Lakes and too many others too mention, supported the
band and gave us hope. The way we chose to thank them is by passing
that same hope and support on to others, so we designed CHARGE. This
is not an arts program, nor do we do treatment. We simply provide a
safe, recovery centered environment and the tools for creative folks
to be who they are.