By Ann Burgess, Tina Minkowitz, and Pat Risser – We must go beyond alternative treatments

We need to keep creating and developing options beyond alternative treatments, an “underground railroad” of peer respites for crisis opportunities, instead of the same old warehousing, involving hopelessly long and deep interruptions that just lead people to decay and death.

What’s amazing is that we are doing much of this in some places on a shoestring. It is remarkable that people and organizations are stepping forward for a hand up, rather than a hand out.  That is the neighborly, paying-it-forward thing to do, not wasting our human resources, which costs

Combat Arts KC - Beyond "Alternative Treatment"

Combat Arts KC – Beyond Alternative Treatments



We need to find ways of giving people physical alternatives, beyond alternative treatments, such as yoga, and martial arts, with the understanding of how to master one’s energy.  One can manage his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, with natural simplified ways of mastering the energy of information management, through the arts as well.

Between all of us, we do have the know-how!

Tina Minkowitz responds:

Creating this kind of menu of information from a holistic perspective is great.  People need to think about specific things they can try, as well as some of the more overall ways of looking at oneself and life that people have found helpful.

Pat Risser adds:

Pat Risser

Pat Risser

I guess the necessary policy change I see is that we need to support the individual with individualized approaches beyond alternative treatment.s

The system uses a cookie-cutter approach, diagnosis and treatment that can be grouped in ways to get Medicaid.  A person has to have a label identifying what’s wrong with him in order to identify and qualifgt for the treatment(s) for that label. That system is necessarily limited.

Shery Mead, creator of Intentional Peer Support

Shery Mead, creator of Intentional Peer Support

To change it in order to create something more individualized will require a more fundamental change than adding “alternatives” to the list of treatments. I think we’ll need to change the definition of treatment to a definition that is beyund alternative treatmenst, more like “help,” that includes the mutuality of Intentional Peer Support.

The current situation identifies what’s wrong with the person, and what will “fix”the person.

A change would also have to look at prevention. Instead of fixing depression in Patient’ X, we might address the underlying cause of poverty or something similar.

What beyond “alternative treatments” helps you?

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