General

On Death Upon Death

Do you know a lot of people? If you do, as I do, there will come some painful time of multiple deaths.

I went through this the first time in 1989, when 13 people died in one year, three in three days at one point. Martin, in a car wreck; Ed, from AIDS, and George committed suicide, unable to regain enough of his abilities after a stroke for his life to make sense. Then it was...
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General

“Trauma-responsive” means “Inclusive”

Today I had another saddening conversation with someone who was convinced that "only abuse, neglect, and  maltreatment" are trauma--nothing else. I am saddened because that leaves so many of us out. And I  know my stuff was showing (for those who remember, it's kind of like "having your slip show") when I spoke with a woman in Georgia whose organization worked with combat vets who had PTSD and TBI.

What makes us so protective in this way? What prevents us from...
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Change

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Diagnosed With Mental Illness

Well, we sent yesterday's version of this post out with a much more gruesome photo than necessary – and missing a few edits that make it a little clearer. My editorial assistant and I sometimes have differences of opinion about what I want as visual portrayals (I don’t care for things that disturb me to the point of turning away even it might make for more readers!).  Believe me, he’s a good egg.  So the image with this repost is perhaps not so graphic?  And with a little more meat on its’ bones. Without further ado:

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Change

How To Make SAMSHA’s “Health Homes” Work for the Homeowners

SAMHSA defines health homes as “a team-based clinical approach that includes the consumer, his or her providers, and family members, when appropriate.” Done right, they could provide a needed “home base” for people with chronic health conditions or impairing mental health conditions to coordinate care. This includes organizing multiple services from multiple providers. But as with any new major system, there are challenges.

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Cultural Concerns

Why We Control “Touched” People Instead of Asking “What’s Wrong?”


When I grew up in Southern Appalachia, it seemed like everyone had a family member or knew someone who was a little strange -- “quare” or “teched,” we said in deep accents.  So long as they didn’t behave in ways that were dangerous, these “teched” people were tolerated.  You could be a little (or maybe a lot) different, and as long as you knew your place, played nice, and didn’t cause too much trouble or embarrass people too badly, you could make do. It’s been said that if you put a fence around the South, you’d have an asylum. But in the days when there was more space between people and places, there was also more tolerance for the “local eccentrics” – they were just neighbors and family members.

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Cultural Concerns

Trauma, Spirituality & Faith: Webinar for All Organizations Dealing With Traumatized Refugee Populations

Is your organization equipped to deal with the aftermath of trauma in refugee populations?

In 2010 the State Department admitted 48,282 refugees to the United States. In 2013 the number was 69,926. Look around the world: from current conflicts and historical hot-spots, people are seeking shelter and safety. These people have experienced trauma and they are dealing with its aftermath. Increasingly, they are dealing with this aftermath here in the United...
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Change

The Difference Between “Curing Mental Illness” and “Improving Mental Health”

On one side is the medical model of "mental illness" and on the other side is a strategy that promotes mental health.

Position One: Curing Mental Illness
If I have an “illness” I can seek a “cure.” If I seek a cure I am likely to—since pills cure so many things—look for the magic bullet of a pill.  If I am “sick” you can’t...
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