I’m not satisfied. And anyone who knows me should understand that. But there are questions floating around. What are consumer affairs? What do they entail? Are they patients advocates? How many will the budget allow? Is there a vision for what this office should be? Whose input is allowed? did anyone order Merlot for the meeting?
Obviously the WordPress is confused by me because they can’t figure out whether they should send me information about Merlot. And since I haven’t introduced the concept of peer support to this discussion, they haven’t sent me a link about that idea yet. Never fear, dear reader, (I figure there are 1 or 2 of around) for that is precisely what this rant is about.
For persons outside of Milwaukee, let me fill you in. The Office of Consumer Affairs at the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex is operated by a different agency for the first time in several years. The question is, what do we want different from the way things had been run? When I started a few weeks ago, I helped introduce the idea of nights and weekend hours for peer support. There is a small group of us who are working on the different wards. Being naturally curious, I wondered about the planned discharge dates for some of the people we were assisting. I was told those kinds of decisions are made on first shift and since we were all second shifters, we didn’t need to worry out pretty little heads about that.
But does that make since to you? Wouldn’t you want to know what was going on and possibly even have input input into the decisions? When I see a person who says he thinks he will be leaving by a certain date and the date passes and he’s still there I wonder what’s going on? Does he need our help at this point? Are we hindering him from getting on with his life? Is there a plan?
So, I’m making money, things seem to have changed but since I understand I’m supposed to stir things up, am I really having an impact? The local oddballs group to which I belong is always on my back for results. If they weren’t so strange, they would know what we’re achieving.
A few months have passed since I originally wrote this blog post. We have had an impact. We are referring people to a program called CLASP which is designed to assist people with repeat hospitalizations. I’ve made some successful referrals to the program. I switched wards. The first ward I was working had too many violent incidents which proved unsafe for me. The staff seemed under siege. I did have some successes and even after I changed wards, the staff on my old ward want me to return.
Another thing I have noticed is the need for housing. WE have people who could be returned to the community but we have not been able to find as place for them. This is an ongoing issue. I wonder how many housing providers have been contacted?
The third and most puzzling issue is that sometimes very competent African-Americans have ended up on my ward, people who you would have never expected to be hospitalized. This makes me curious.
- Peer Support Relationships: Tips for Ending Well (peerwork.wordpress.com)
- What is Peer Support? (peerwork.wordpress.com)
- On the future of peer support: a simple proposal (hopeworkscommunity.wordpress.com)
- Second Chance to Live and Peer Support Video Presentation (secondchancetolive.wordpress.com)