My Riverbend Mental Health Center Acceptance Speech

Editor’s note: This speech was delivered last fall by Ken Braiterman, my adopted dad and advocacy mentor. More of his writing can be found at, and at

When I found out I was getting a lifetime achievement award from the Riverbend Community Mental Health Center, I laughed out loud. I’ve been working since 1995 to close it down, or change its treatment mode from meds first to meds as a last resort when alternatives fail. I thought of rejecting the award, but that would be a small spiteful gesture.

Then I realized that the award made me feel

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Free Two Day Conference in Topeka for Kansans

Want to learn social media? Want to build your own job? Register Now! Spaces must be confirmed by Feb. 21!

Want to get connected with other people that know about complete mental health recovery? Become a certified “patient” advocate who can make a living helping people overcome their health care challenges? We can get you started! Click here to be a Kansas Grassroots Advocate! For only ($20, and there is a waiver for that $20) join the Kansas Mental Health Coalition to learn about grassroots advocacy. They have grant funding for hotel, food, and some travel reimbursement. We;ll have

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Obama’s mental health discussion comes to Kansas City!

I’m one of those mental health discussion weenies. I’m an advocate who pokes my head in a lot of corners because I learned a lot time ago that everything connects and makes sense. Really, mental health discussions, environmentalism, industrial food, transportation, water rights – all of the painful issues right now boil down to the same thing – there are some people out there making a lot of money off doing things in a way that doesn’t make sense. So inertia and lobbying money helps us keep doing things that don’t make sense instead of working to help the grass

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Clarifying business missions

This January I went to Cincinnati for a cluster of three business conferences, and to explore possible expansion of my online network to a satellite city. During the third conference, I got e-mail rejection notices for all the pending grants I had for my business, some of which I had thought were locked up. My friends helped me through it and suggested more networking and work on clarifying business missions. They also suggested I stay in touch for another event the next weekend.

Bridge shot in downtown Cincinnati. Riding across the grate freaked me out some.


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Business Plan Updates from Corinna West, Wellness Wordworks, and Poetry for Personal Power:

We missed you over the winter: Corinna West, the founder of Poetry for Personal Power and Wellness Wordworks, has been out of full time entrepreneurship activity much of the winter due to a spiritual emergency. This involved her deciding to follow the Creator’s guidance on life choices and business pursuits. You can read about the first part of this journey on her personal blog, with more updates to come out soon about the second half of the journey. Also, our main blog editor and board chair, Ken

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Liza Faith Casey’s Easter Reflection –2013

Easter is Sunday, March 31, this year. “Tonight marks a milestone. I’m setting up an Easter/spring display at the antique mall booth I’m opening. This outward display of rebirth represents substantial personal growth in the last year.

Easter basket

Last Easter, I had a relapse. Wellbutrin caused mental confusion; I got lost on a simple, route I know to a friend’s house. Her cell phone directions didn’t compute. I missed most of the dinner, after plans to come early and help set up and to give her a special hostess gift. My friend and her family

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Tina Minkowitz on How to Connect Deeply and Relate to a Person

I have heard many ways people can connect deeply.

One is just an intuitive, empathetic connection that sometimes happens when people understand each other.

I also believe we can cultivate an ability to listen and connect deeply, to set aside judgments about how other people express themselves or react to a situation. When I do that, it often makes a real conversation possible. I’m not always successful at it, but I keep trying to learn.

Programs that Help People Connect Deeply


Soteria helps people connect deeply.

Ombudsperson programs, Soteria, and Open Dialogue all seem like practices

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By Clif Wright – Why Alternatives Conferences are Obselete

Are Alternatives conferences obsolete?

Ever since the Facebook conversations about the chance that funding for Alternatives conferences might have gotten cut, I wondered if folks were still thinking about, and discussing this. It kinda dead ended when the funds were assured. I think your raising it newly, and your call to action are right on time.

The upshot of the previous conversation for me was the possibility of seizing upon the uncertainty to propose new ways to produce the conference going forward. The specter of vanishing funds is still very much present. The Alternatives conference today is

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A Spiritual Awakening Around Passover

Passover begins at sundown, Monday, March 25, 2013.

Lissa Tanenbaum The Passover Seder

With the possible exception of Sabbath once a week, Passover (Pesach) one week a year has the most my has the most spiritual resonance, and has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. It celebrated the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus, and also the beginning of Spring, a second form of redemption.

It starts with a traditional ceremony and meal, called a Seder. at sundown March 25 this year. Jews who live outside Israel,

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By Liza Casey — “I Get By With “a Little Help From My Friends”

More than usual lately, I am thankful for my friends. The other day, when I as sick, I was surprised by housework help, and two Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars.

Peers “get by with help from my friends.”.

The quality of my life and stress level improved tremendously when my friends Becki and Todd did household chores which were overwhelming to me because of physical pain. A cold and/or inclement weather made vacuuming my stairs, taking out my garbage, and bringing my mail inside a strain for me.

How My Friends Got Me Through a Bad

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By Elvia Knoll – I’m for Good Information, Not For or Against Psych Meds

People need good information. and less fighting over medication..

Editor’s note: As the author says, Wellness Wordworks is for good mental health information, and truly informed consent regarding psych meds. That must include information about alternatives to medicine, and dangerous long-term side effects. IT MEANS TRYING ALTERNATIVES TO MEDICATION FIRST, NOT AS AN AFTER-THOUGHT.

We are against “diagnosis and medication first for everyone for life,” which is still standard practice in mental health today. We believe most so-called mental illness comes from previous trauma, isolation, invalidation, and loss, which are not diseases, and do not respond

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Clif Wright – How to Prevent Mass Shootings

Outreach is one important, vital and proven means of “reaching” the otherwise unreachable. It is proactive, not reactive, a preventative intervention, its about finding a Cho, Lanza etc. before they strike, and perhaps, turning them away from harming others or themselves.

Fiscally, the return on investment in prevention is dramatic. Money put into preemptive action against social ills yields anywhere from real bucks savings and dividends… 300 to 1000% return is a good deal on any investment, and it saves lives.

Can we prevent mass shootings?

It can address virtually any social need in almost any setting.

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Writing Rules andTips for Our Bloggers

Millions of native English speakers think they can’t write. Yet they generate thousands of clear, original sentences every day in conversations and e-mail. So why do so many clear, intelligent thinkers panic, and become illiterate, when asked to write their thoughts down?

Modern word processopr

Most were simply taught wrong, told to follow writing rules that are not even writing rules because they have nothing to do with clear, When they broke writing rules, the teacher scribbled all over their ideas in red ink, and deducted points from their grade. When the poor kid grows up, and

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By Sarah Knutson – Treating Trauma is an Urgent Public, Not Personal, Need

Treating trauma is a community problem, not personal.,

A woman is beaten in the United States every 15 seconds. Society pays the cost in mental health budgets. courts , cops, corrections, substance abuse, and children’ services. The real social cost of trauma has been well known to people who work in those systems for years, but there is no consensus about what to do, or how to build political support, for treating trauma.

treating trauma is essential. People like Cheryl Sharp and Shery Mead are bringing the role of treating trauma in mental health to the forefront,

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By Imogene Joseph – We can’t choose handicaps, but can choose limitations

A blind person did not choose to be blind, but can choose limitations blindness places on his life. That’s even more true of limitations caused by emotional distress. We can’t prevent the trauma that triggers it, but can choose limitations it imposes on our lives. Many people enjoy reliving their negative experience. To see their experience as somehow positive would seem would absurd to them.

There’s a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

If you’re not ready to see or accept that we don’t choose to be blind, crippled, or post-traumatic, but can choose limitations such

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