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Live from PMHCA Conference

  Day 2 is half over here t the PMHCA Conference.  I forgot to mention that this is their 20th conference they’ve held, but that there was a year when the Alternatives Conference and the PMHCA conference were close together so the PMHCA conference was canceled.  So, if you want to be technical, this is the 21st conference scheduled, but the 20th to be held.

  After breakfast today, Ron Bassman, the keynote speaker spoke on his life experiences as both a patient in the mental health system in the 60’s and later a professional.  He offered many quotes of inspiration, read excerpts from his book, and in general built on how we need hope in order to overcome our obstacles, and that no matter what label society may put on us, we’re still people of value.  It isn’t what we are labeled as that makes us who we are, but rather what we do to overcome the lable that makes us who we are.  I’m going to be getting more information from Ron Bassman at  some point, and when I do, I will include some of his words in a future blog entry.  I left his presentation feeling encouraged and uplifted and in a sense as though I had received new marching orders to go forth and proclaim hope and encouragement to others while embracing them myself so that I can build on these things in my own life.

  We broke off into workgroups after Ron Bassman was done speaking.  I attended one on, “The Many Doors to Consumer Empowerment”.  I received a hardcopy of a document that explains how various organizations work together to form the mental health system, in addtion to explaining various accronyms, such as CSP, C/FST …etc.  the group was encouraged to get involved in the various plans such as County Mental Health Plan, and Service Area Planning.  Other areas we were encouraged to get involved in included, CSP at the local, regional, and state level if possible.  Also we were encouraged to ask questions about the various plans that ultimately dictate what will be implimented into the menal health system, or what will be dropped.  We should find out why service X is available in one part of the state and not in our part of the state in addition to finding out what we can do to take an active role in molding and shaping a Recovery Oriented mental health system.

  In addition to info I learned in the workshop, I’ve gathered a bunch of handouts from a wide variety of places since I arrived here.  I hope to offer at the least summaries of some of the info so others might benefit from it at well.

  For now, I’m signing off but will be posting more either later today or sometime tomorrow.


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