RTP: ACA and Recovery Webinar, Klein on Contentment, Can's Journey

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Recovery to Practice HIGHLIGHTS

MAY

02 2013

Volume 4, Issue 7

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Register for RTP's May 9 Webinar, "The Affordable Care Act and Implications for Recovery-Oriented Practice,"<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubA_p9-2nPsk9mUNONlyBf04mhPz7UYb8G2S3RQJdqYSr-14Pa9FmPvyqaHKJ4D6EhU5m4HfBxUFwhQN8o0nQMHgnp5pT0BjmVXSw3oFMo1_3j7QvvlLfotfd_ABaHFV5qj13MARUNoU1PaajYGBztP0RDLB3AE8nMAVLamx98yr7gjwZDFJQTmbAqGhC6CyMi_0k3-_WIUb3IGtj9FXXB8GcGa8zADqAg4=> to learn how implementation of healthcare reform can reinforce and expand the recovery orientation of behavioral health care.

Contentment by Mitchell Klein

As a psychiatric survivor, I often find myself attuned to certain written, presented, or spoken themes. Lived experience is a great teacher. Moving beyond personal experiences and sharing them with others brings hope that they will one day do the same.

An article published in The Washington Post on October 15, 2012, was written by the parent of a man who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The father wrote about his son: "The last time I visited him, he was holed up for a while in a small room a caseworker had found [for] him in a Mission District rooming house. His only furniture was a bare mattress on the floor; a rat and flies were his companions. Sadly, he seemed content."

The last line in that paragraph tore at my heart: "Sadly, he seemed content." Over the years, I have worked with many homeless people who were very content with their way of life. Many expressed they felt free and unfettered by the "bondage" the rest of us have to deal with. Not all people who are without homes are living that way by circumstance. Some have chosen that lifestyle. Just as some people enjoy living in apartments in big cities, others enjoy a cabin in the woods, a house in the country, a horse farm, or a cardboard box over a subway grate or bare mattress on the floor.

How many of us became what our parents wanted us to become? Are we the doctors, lawyers, or business tycoons they had envisioned?

I talked to a friend about his son, a successful businessman who had been with his partner for more than 15 years. They loved each other and had recently gotten married but "sadly" my friend would never have grandchildren.

Who is this "sadly" about? Why was the article's author sad his son was content with life in his small room? Maybe he wouldn't be content with a small room-or a two-bedroom ranch in the suburbs. What might make the author happy might not make his son feel the same.

I've been in homes overlooking the ocean-homes that cost millions of dollars-while talking with people who were still miserable, struggling with addictions and other issues. I've sat on park benches with people who didn't know where they would sleep the next night, and they were some of the happiest people I've known. I was never saddened by the idea that people on park benches or in shelters or rooming houses weren't content.

People with psychiatric labels can live in torment and many often do. I know I have. Yet, when I hear one of us is content, it brings me joy-not sadness-regardless of the circumstances. So, to the dad who is uneasy about his son's contentment, I say rejoice for your son's happiness. He is living his life, not yours. If you can do anything to help him live the way he wants, do it if he allows you to. It's amazing how much joy this kind of simple act can bring, and you can share it together, even if it only happens once in a while.

Mitchell is a Regional Advocacy Specialist at the Hudson River Field Office, New York State Office of Mental Health. Contact him at Mitchell.Klein at omh.ny.gov<mailto:Mitchell.Klein at omh.ny.gov>.

CASD Research and Practice Brief 11

The Center on Adherence and Self-Determination (CASD) explores ways for people with mental health conditions to achieve their recovery goals while being fully engaged in services that support self-determination. In its 11th Research and Practice Brief (R&PB), CASD responds to conversations linking mental illness to violence. The compiled articles, including RTP Project Director Larry Davidson's "One Response to One Reaction to the Newtown Tragedy,"<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubAHhEDnBISBmSA3WAiBqTJJo-V5K18QvMIf2zCkyLq_QnAgwau8dlsXwvAzOxsj8PRFKu7DyFNZvMVYXi5oIm3M42WEpGdjqGzpInhOfNWTj7X59No5oZ1d2mNTqjrNx11-J9FEq-gwfwHQ51bbLpaLYbsbpZB5ngpfhtYbkwZy0w==> address the damaging effects such statements have on people in recovery from mental health conditions.

Read the R&PB<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubDRr3zl0g9ePkl7guUhHobV8DUk6wvqxkT3lWl9FsweKtA4H5rpPCfZ8ADNx8Nzy1O3_yuI4E3w1qYOvhkz2Ti5iHltDLHAeDw0b9JCNfOicgMOt912G7FtklotL_nSp3y97iZdZCIo-V_V41c8Ultkw__2tFYNWe3ESyq54xyM0ODT7NotSsJwpoI7VzeXa93zMfL8zvsPTsXp49A7rcEM>.

CMS Navigator Grants

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced its marketplace Navigator grants (funding number CA-NAV-13-001). The Navigator program will help consumers understand new coverage options provided by the Affordable Care Act as well as how to take advantage of consumer protections and navigate the health insurance system to find affordable, appropriate coverage. Applications are due June 7, 2013, and awards will be announced in August.

Read the grant synopsis<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubA8geHOKoGPS35e9zneQi9EH_b3uTIsLGrEP-7ELtRVPmoakqimdtI9smBQwylfcekMKuQ1-KyenKjW5wIHvYcALc8-5UZ2X-3l7w2rItk2Fp3eU_AexPT4w4MRtzcEUuOmHDYPWMm6KcCnkztv7rnP-l2czLqWXTF0MjrM6MZYNvpDAL8D1iGFFkur_otqQXhIMKSoEFC0nISfHtZVVLmdbVRtF7D_QaFT9iVnJpCPto5ai5KaS8Za3emA1JL9b-6HXsWi0QrOSljolFKCIM6R>.

Can: A Healing Journey

After years of unsuccessful medical treatments for depression and bipolar disorder, Can Truong, an Asian American, joined the mental health consumer movement, pursuing recovery through self-determination and peer support. Filmmaker Pearl Park documents Can's journey as he tries to reconcile cultural norms with his traditional Vietnamese family and new perspective on health and happiness.

Read more<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubCluweQ49vJ0gMyv2-98TdW-cuasz0WgWgGOvJYSdbimTiZ3GjHax905CSf_3tNjuUgAawPCdjL3FrBUP4ECpp3_qBeEVARVqZDBhNxSJVd77UgG6dTLcaEgcBkOoUQ0xs=>.

RTP Wants to Hear From Recovery-Oriented Practitioners

We invite practitioners to submit stories describing how they became involved in recovery-oriented work, and how it has changed the way they practice.

RTP Wants to Hear From You, Too

To submit stories or other recovery resources, please contact us at 877.584.8535 or email recoverytopractice at dsgonline.com<mailto:recoverytopractice at dsgonline.com>.

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We welcome your views, comments, suggestions, and inquiries. For more information on this topic or any other recovery topic, please contact RTP at 877.584.8535 or email recoverytopractice at dsgonline.com<mailto:recoverytopractice at dsgonline.com>.

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Join Our Listserv<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001gFjfjoIXubCGv5ryoedPyV2ImPIWxDSdLAaEeKScoO2SywCcWBno18wNWFhuFeJbQ7JDEys06-JE9WlMKhOsPpcLsosRkj8THggVhbSxdjejBLvz-m2QjmiY91ZU2YlxyQk2mkq6TzrFB6ojgnSF7cesb7NgvzKC>.

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The views, opinions, and content of the Recovery to Practice Highlights are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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