Advocacy is A Vital Force for Change

Good morning everyone. It is only 3:47 am as I’m writing this post. Sigh. Such is the life of someone with DID.

Anyway, I wanted to shoot out this post to let you know what I’m up to. Man, am I busy!

Illinois House Mental Health Committee

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I’m going today to the capital of Illinois, Springfield, to give testimony before the House Mental Health Committee of our state legislature who give advisory information to form the budget for the Illinois Department of Mental Health.

I’ll be speaking on three points:

 

  1. Share my mental health experiences
  2. What has been helpful in my healing
  3. Offer recommendations for overcoming barriers that need funded

I’m very humbled and excited to be taking part in this important committee discussion. My topic will center on prevention because I firmly believe if we focus on changing the lives of children, we can keep from needing to pay for the health problems they will experience as adults. That will save millions, perhaps billions of dollars.

(I’ll post my testimony below)

The Illinois Mental Health Planning & Advisory Council (IMHPAC) 

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I recently got involved and was accepted to the Illinois Mental Health Planning and Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of providers, insurers, and people living with mental health conditions to offer input on policy to the Illinois Divison of Mental Health (IDMH).

So far, I’ve only attended one meeting held last month where I was voted unanimously for acceptance. I’m looking forward to being part of the committee to help shape the policy and funding in my state for mental health services.

Sticks and Stones Digest 2018

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I also have a new book! I’ve given it the title Sticks and Stones Digest 2018. I can’t really remember why I chose Sticks and Stones LOL, it was probably a little who suggested it and I have a hard time turning them down. It is 2018 because a majority of the information was presented by me in that year.

Sticks and Stones is a compilation of the best of my posts for the past few years. It includes information on how childhood trauma changes the brain, integration, child alters and the latest research on DID.

Sticks and Stones Digest 2018 is available on Amazon and only costs $6.99. Please consider purchasing one. I could use the money and I guarantee there is lots of information in this book that is highly helpful. Please don’t forget to leave a comment and rating for the book!

Here’s the Link to Sticks and Stones Digest 2018

Advocacy is a Vital Force for Change

During the seven years, I lived inpatient on a psychiatric, I learned just how much advocacy. The first election that was held while I was there I had to fight to get to vote. They said there had never been an interest in it before, but I insisted it was my right, and of course, it was. They promised they would take me to my voting place, but the ride never came.

I raised a huge stink and the next time there was an election, the election board sent a team to the facility so that we could vote. One of the people who decided to vote in that election was very ill, but I reminded the facility director that it was his right as a citizen, so they reluctantly allowed him to do his duty as a citizen.

There were many other battlefields I fought on while inpatient, but my point is this. If we sit around on our laurels and never speak up to make change happen, then it will not. It’s not enough to sit back and complain to peers about the state of our mental health system, we need to raise our voices in a positive way to let the powers that be know what will help.

The loudest voices in the lobby of a state or federal assembly are the ones who are heard and funded.

Thanks for reading this website. It means so much to me. Keep those comments coming! They encourage me to keep on carrying on!

Don’t forget to check out my new YouTube series! I’m very excited about doing it. Don’t worry, the quality of them will get better as I get my YouTube legs.

 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure-page-001An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure-page-002References An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure-page-001

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Advocacy is A Vital Force for Change

  1. We have been fighting our insurance company now for 17 months to get into treatment for our eating disorder and trauma. I’m just not sure what else to do to get them to see that we need this. I don’t know what else to do. They are refusing to pay, and we are 5 feet four and 92 pounds. Ray

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    1. Hi Ray. The disparities are enormous for mental health compared to physical health care. Insurance companies and legislatures don’t even flinch when faced with paying for illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis or heart disease that cost this country’s insurance industry billions every year, but they sneer at treating any mental health condition. It’s a horrible situation based on discrimination and fear. The only way to change this mess is to be proactive and advocate loudly for change. I’m sorry you can’t find help, Ray. It sucks. I am working hard to help change things for people like us but it is taking longer than necessary. Shirley

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      1. The general psychiatric units have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to eating disorders and complex trauma. In fact, none of them will except us anymore. The other thing that they won’t except us on is because of our visual impairment. This is just not right! There’s only so much longer they can expect us to keep holding on. We have been fighting them for 17 months! We can’t even do our trauma therapy because of the physical state with her eating disorder. Our dietitian has cut our appointment times in half because the eating disorder is so ingrained that her work cannot be effective. We just want treatment! We just feel like it is too much to ask though. Hopefully your talk today can change some things.
        Ray

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        1. I know Rayette. I’m sorry, very sorry, for what you are going through. It is harder than most people understand to deal with severe trauma in childhood issues especially when they are compounded by physical problems and eating disorders. We desperately need more providers who are highly-trained in treating DID and all that goes along with it. You are not alone in your dilemma. I hear from people all the time who are caught up in this stuff. Shirley

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            1. Yes. The House Members were extremely engaged while we gave our testimonies. The Chair Person kept telling us over and over that they were working very hard to find solutions and I believe her. They were respectful and responsive. They asked questions and took suggestions on how to improve the bills that had already been proposed. Afterward, we sat with the Director of the Illinois Mental Health Department and her assistant. She was warm, involved and did not act condescending. She treated us like honored guests and truly listened. I’m exhausted today but I feel my voice was heard. That is very new for this state. Traditionally, people with mental health disorders have been either ignored or treated like second class citizens. I reminded the legislature and the director that people like myself who have mental health problems are voters and they need to remember that. There are millions of us who will vote for people who will listen but not for those who do not. That seemed to make an impression as well. Thank you for asking! Advocacy is vital if we want to see change. Shirley

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