It would appear that the US Peer Leadership Team Members are being hit hard with physical deaths, disease, are experiencing loss of personal power, run the gamut of failed coalition foibles, frequently participate in peer cannibalism, lose momentum with false stop/starts, failed releases, lack of national representation… is this is our swan song (even before we fully launch)?
Genius and Madmen. Niche market? What market?
US Peer Workforce? The Certified Peer Specialist (and endorsements)?
Certified Peer Specialist, Community Health Worker Promotora, Forensic Peer Recovery Specialist, Transition Age Youth Peer Specialist, Recovery Coach, Wellness Coach, Family Peering, Vet-to-Vet, Disease and physical comorbidity Peering (Integration) + more?
We are cartographically lacking and we’re unorganized for the most part. Times are slippery and couldn’t be worse. President Trump, the WH, the people and towers of power in place, the guns aimed at us, trending budgetary and programmatic dessimation of SAMHSA/CMHS, the defunding of peer program initiatives in Rockville, the stalemating in the hallway to the SAMHSA Tsarina’s office, the New Century Bill (2017) and well, people dying “unexpectedly” and unexpectantly conspires to our realizing we must breath slowly, slower to catch up to climbing in elevation, running it pedal to metal.
Those of us who receive US Community Public Mental Health services nationwide are still dying 25+/-> years earlier of those of you who share lived experience but can afford private mental health services.
The haves and the have nots. Certainly.
The average age of death for a service recipient of Community Public Mental Health services is now 52 y.o., gender notwithstanding. Color of skin is unvaried according to the numbers dying early deaths who apparently are long-term psychiatrically treated with psychotropics and who received clinical or medically necessary invasive psychiatric “care” for what appears to be upwards of 40 years/per life and physical death. People of color are dying in mass and we’re dying quicker than those who come from a place of White Privilege.
The rest of us fell into peer support and servicing the community while working underemployed or working probono and are paid on average $12/hour nationally. A buck less per hour if you’re a dickless wunderkind. The CPS seemed like a good idea back in Georgia back in da day with Fricks, Filson and the State of Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Medicaid impresario(esse) who so heroically crafted the language for Peer Supports and Services to bill Medicaid for psychosocial rehabilitative and mental health rehabilitative peer support deliverables (that do vary state by state with no uniformity).
Currently <46 states in the US and 3 Territories hold space for the Certified Peer Specialist certification (and endorsements) rapidly making grounds in psychosocial rehabilitation, mental health rehabilitation and expectant Integrated environments.
I will continue to address the phenomena of Peer Cannibalism in peer supports and services. I’m referring to the whackadoodle malbehavior exhibited by particular malcontent bad seeds who claw and hiss at the national community. Typically there is enormous variation in mood, pressured speaking, emotional volatility, forgetfulness, increased ingestion of mood altering substance(s), impulsivity and a general DSM-V related descriptiveness to a tee, unfortunately, because I must unequivocally agree with the symptomatic nature of the, well, disease.
Ridiculously, the eventual and apparent rabid virus of Madmen co-exist with us.
Typically Cannibals run by the seat of their pant(s) with a gross inability to muster basic focus or practice inherent skill set to self-manage business preferring instead social media dessimation blurring fact/madness supporting their delusion de jeur.
Don’t know about you, but I’m looking for higher moral and ethical ground. I need that.
I aspire to work with nice and good people. I remember when a handshake was a contract. White Privilege conspires at the national level. Am I mistaken or do most of the national trainers (m/f) look lean, if not skinny, tanned, rested, have dispensable income, travel on their contractors’ dime, frequently charge $2500+/training opportunity for WRAP (R), IPS (R), ECPR (R) and/or utter ridiculous rates for Dialogic Training (R) and get away with it?
I know how the +2% in our “national” community of trainings and trainers de jeur live.
At Alternatives 2017 in Boston next month, I at least say I’ll be taking step by step slowly, and I will be wearing sunglasses to avoid flying spit aimed at me by Madmen, with the sole intent to attend AltCon17 peacefully. I continue to have faith in the work. We attend heroically en masse. I’m seeking the peaceful. The mindful. Eye contact. The truly powerful. I am saying no to desperation. I need community. I need to dig and remember why I got into the death business before the fat lady sings.
We’re dying quickly. Life is short. A mentor of mine, Steve Harrington, signed every one of his postcards, letters, notes and our calls with “Live It Up!”