“Mental health stigma hasn’t gone away”

Originally posted on Pennsylvania Mental Health Issues:

Article Link

This August 28, 2014 article on The Guardian website talks about various types of stigma surrounding mental illness and points out that not every solution to preventing or decreasing stigma will work on every type of stigma.

English: 1857 lithograph by Armand Gautier, sh...

English: 1857 lithograph by Armand Gautier, showing personifications of dementia, megalomania, acute mania, melancholia, idiocy, hallucination, erotic mania and paralysis in the gardens of the Hospice de la Salpêtrière. Reprinted in Madness: A Brief History (ISBN 978-0192802668), from which this version is taken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This is ridiculous and it needs to stop.

Originally posted on Desertpeace:

Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments.


The Forever Threat: The Imminent Attack on Iran That Will Never Happen

Compiled by Nima Shirazi AT


“Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic program…”

- Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005

Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.

After insisting it is “time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who…

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How not to treat someone

I had an interesting experience during a training session on Good Clinical Documentation at Milwaukee County On our handout were examples of notes that might have been written regarding case managers encountering mental health consumers. The notes included plenty of low hanging fruit with egregious examples of opinions stated as if they were facts. The case manager was supposed to be doing a lot of med monitoring in these examples. But of course the consumer was an alcoholic. The case manager’s dislike for this woman, Mary, showed through from the very beginning and grew worse.

Aside from checking on her medication, the case manager, Jane, was supposed to be helping her to find housing. Here, Jane proved to be the case manager from hell. There was one message about housing applications without any hint of follow through. As if Jane could not be bothered. The worst note from Jane was when she wrote that Mary had shown up to meet with her in a restaurant without her pill-box so she could check it. As soon as I read that,  I spoke up, declaring that such a move would have violated Jane’s right to privacy. People who receive case management services do not deserve stigma. I would no more dream of checking anyone’s medication in public than I would go to the bar for a few drinks with a consumer.

People who taking psychotropic drugs need their privacy and deserve to be assisted in the least restrictive environments possible. In the final note regarding Mary, it was discovered that Jane died in her apartment and had not been observed by Mary for weeks. She did not do a wellness check and she did nothing to help her. Obviously, no case manager worth her paycheck would treat anyone like that, would they?




I was a Willowbrook youth worker

One of my first adult jobs after leaving the US Army was at the notorious Willowbrook State School on Staten Island. It was an institution for people with developmental disabilities. If you google Willowbrook you will find that it had been exposed by Geraldo Rivera when he was a reporter. On television and in a a book he tore the lid off a pattern of neglect and mistreatment. We need to protect vulnerable people like those who were at Willowbrook so that they can feel safe and secure that their needs are being met.

They need to believe that the caregivers in and out of institutions have their best interests at heart. We need to understand that as workers we are putting their needs uppermost in our minds. In the idealistic days of my youth, i believed that social change was possible. We baby boomers could get into the institutions like Willowbrook and make a difference.

It was only summer but the things I learned while on that job stayed with me as I began to work in the mental health field. It is hardly surprising that I work in a hospital much like my mother. It was her influence working with developmentally delayed adults in our home that led me to apply at Willowbrook. I still think it is possible to change the system, otherwise I would have quit long ago. I am looking forward to America fulfilling the promise that was made regarding deinstitutionalization. Recovery is possible.right here

Crooks buying crap

I just read an eye-opening story about the seedy world of debt collection in the New York Times. It  was enlightening to learn about the shady practices of this industry of bottom feeders who are making big profits on the backs of poor people. Those who became over-extended, lost jobs, grew old became ill or otherwise lost their ability to pay their bills.

A lot of the story focused on some scumbags in Buffalo, a deeply depressed city with people trying to rebuild their lives. It was shocking to read that debts many years old and which would no longer appear on one’s credit report were being sold and re-sold for pennies on the dollar. There were all kinds of illegal and unethical practices discussed and I recommend that people read the article and follow through with complaints to your state attorney general, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the financial regulators in your state. Ask questions when someone contacts you about money that you supposedly owe and force them to prove that they are the legal owners. Ask yourself how old the debt may be and don’t automatically promise to pay anything. You may have already paid and there’s no need to enrich these crooks.

Team Dark Skin





There have always been dark and lovely people since, after all, our earliest ancestors were Africans. But people of white skin have long-held the dominant positions in the world. Until very recently Africans throughout the diaspora lacked political and economic power. Thus it was not surprising that those who were the darkest were often ridiculed. Throughout the world we have devised products and surgeries that will make us look white. Or at least change our features so that they are less identifiably African.

At the same time there are movements that celebrate our dark skin, our often coarse hair and thick lips.    Langston Hughes wrote I am the darker brother. I am that brother, because I am also a very dark brown. Those who appreciate me celebrate my features and I celebrate theirs. That is why I was excited to find black atheists and other non-believers on Facebook. Most recently I found a sister who proclaimed she was president of Team Dark Skin. This woman would have been one of my favorite cousins. It is not that she is only with dark and lovely people like her. In fact, she is with all types of people on her Facebook page and having a good time.

I decided to look up the hashtag Team Dark Skin and found all kinds of posts on twitter and pin interest. I believe this is a way of proclaiming the positives within us, similar to when James Brown proclaimed, “say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.”And someday we will have the power that was stolen away from us by bullets, bibles and self-hatred.

Nafeez Ahmed: Gaza, Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

Originally posted on Rise Up Times:

Never mind the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel’s escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory’s 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas – and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.

Nafeez Ahmed    theecologist.org  18th July 2014

Israeli tanks massing on the Gaza border … but do the soldiers know what they’re really fighting for? Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi via Flickr.

If Palestinians develop their own gas resources, the resulting economic transformation could in turn fundamentally increase Palestinian clout.

Israel’s defence minister is on record confirming that military plans to uproot Hamas’ are about securing control of Gaza’s gas reserves

The conquest of Gaza is accelerating. Israel has now launched its ground invasion, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 260, 80% of whom are civilians.

A further 1,500 have been wounded and…

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