Exciting news is always welcome. One of our own steps out to bring national attention to those suffering due to lack of medical healthcare coverage. Links to articles in The Tennessean and USA Today are below.
The NBC Today show asked to interview Larry and Linda. The interview is expected to happen today. Airing of their interview is expected some time this week. Let's all send our best wishes and thoughts to this couple as they do all that they can to see that no one else needlessly suffers in like fashion.
Links to Larry and Linda's story:
Thanks for the support
by Larry Drain, hopeworkscommunity
The following organizations have offered support of "Dear Governor Haslam". They have put links to this site or printed the letters on their websites. I really appreciate it. I invite you or your organization to do the same.
Tennessee Health Care Campaign.
Tennessee Citizen Action.
Tennessee Disability Coalition.
Tennessee Chapter Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
WRITE GOVERNOR HASLAM TODAY
hopeworkscommunity | June 1, 2014
I'm sharing the news of my being among national Award Winners for accomplishments over the past year. It has been a pleasure to serve as State Director and local chapter President. And I consider it an honor to be recognized by DBSA national.
I appreciate all the wonderful support I was given by my fellow officers, Board members, and the chapter membership throughout the year. You may view the announcement on the national web site athttp://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=peer_chapter_spotlights
Congratulations to our 2013 Chapter Service Award Winners!
The DBSA Chapter Service Awards recognize exemplary service by DBSA
chapters, state organizations, and their leaders. Winners will be honored at the 2014 Chapter Leadership Forum in addition to receiving a cash award.
Steve Brannon of DBSA Jackson (TN) and DBSA Tennessee - Outstanding
Steve is an excellent role model for pursuing a wellness-focused life while living with a mood disorder. He fights stigma by openly sharing his journey in the local newspaper, on DBSA’s website, and on his weekly online newsletter. He has worked with the local police department to help educate and train police officers for crisis response teams. Steve was selected for DBSA Peer Advocacy Training and was a representative of DBSA for Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
At his local chapter, DBSA Jackson (TN), Steve gently encourages, trusts, and believes in support group participants. He instituted a monthly “share your inspiration” night in which group members report on what keeps them going, creating an environment of hope and personal growth. Steve is dedicated to further advancing DBSA’s mission into surrounding communities and across the state. The number of support groups has doubled in the past year under his direction, encompassing all major cities and some smaller cities across the state. He has traveled hundreds of miles at his own expense to conduct local chapter visitations as state director. Steve’s passion for the advancement of DBSA’s mission in Jackson and the state of Tennessee is so strong that he has diligently dedicated his time and resources for over a decade.
DBSA Tennessee - State Organization Service
DBSA Tennessee's amazing accomplishments made 2013 a rewarding year!
They supported chapters in their state by hosting educational presentations and training programs, giving them the tools necessary for successful chapters. With help from DBSA Tennessee, five local chapters were interviewed on television or radio to promote DBSA to the community. Leaders encouraged one chapter’s community outreach, resulting in a city-wide Mental Health Day declared by their mayor. DBSA Tennessee’s robust plan to help new chapters in the startup process helped find free meeting locations, assistance in affiliation fees and paperwork, and provided a sponsor from an already established chapter to assist the new chapter.
Five members of DBSA Tennessee attended DBSA’s Peer Advocate Training in Washington, D.C. and then created an advocacy plan for their state including a campaign against proposed budget cuts to close all 45 of Tennessee’s Peer Support Service Centers. DBSA Tennessee is a growing, thriving organization. With its advocacy for peer support and local chapter start-up, community outreach and commitment to peer education, DBSA Tennessee is one of the most energetic affiliates of DBSA.
DBSA Murfreesboro (TN) - Rookie Chapter Service
DBSA Murfreesboro began in July of 2013 with support from DBSA Tennessee.
The chapter started out with one support group, which saw its attendance
double in fewer than six months, becoming one of the fastest growing local
chapters in the state. The growth of the chapter can be attributed to the forces behind it that work tirelessly to get the word out about the group. Flyers and pamphlets are distributed to agencies and health care providers, the Salvation Army, local hospitals and businesses, and more. DBSA Murfreesboro provides post-hospitalization support for those who would otherwise have none. Educational materials, resources, and wellness tools are provided to each chapter participant. They have also started a family and friends support group.
Members of DBSA Murfreesboro participated in the state chapter meetings and backing of their U.S. Representative. For a chapter that achieved all of this in six months, DBSA Murfreesboro has a fine resume of accomplishments, but they consider their greatest success to be the level of support offered to each person who walks through their doors.
Resource Highlight: Core Beliefs of Recovery
By DBSA national web site
Avid peer supporter, blogger and mental health advocate in Tennessee, Larry Drain has composed a wonderful post on the core beliefs of recovery. This worksheet lists the core beliefs of recovery and the internal beliefs we may hold that are the opposite of these recovery beliefs. The idea is to evaluate where you fall between these two beliefs and think of how you may be able to create a better life by working more towards the recovery beliefs.
You may wish to use this tool in support group meetings to help individuals think through changes they want to make.
Core Beliefs of Recovery Tool at www.DBSAlliance.org
(Check out many more chapter resources available on the Chapter Management Section of the DBSA website!)
Greetings, everyone. This April training course in Milwaukee is open to Veterans not currently employed in VA peer support positions who are interested in qualifying for such employment. To access the application, either click on the link below, or see the attached document. Please note the March 25, 2014 application deadline, and thank you in advance for circulating this to interested Veterans as appropriate.
Application link: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/Survey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=8300
Best, Lisa Goodale
Lisa C. Goodale, MSW, LSW
Vice President, Peer Support Services
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance / DBSA
Veteran peer specialist training:
The issue of Medicaid expansion is a mental health issue. The fact is, we must prepare for the deaths of thousands of our fellow consumers because mental illness is not an attractive topic of concern, not a winning political issue. Let's face it, mental illness, left untreated, is not a pretty picture. So, mental health care must be made affordable. That's the reason we need mental health care provided for those who are the most vulnerable and the most desperate for proper mental health care.
And, so, here we are . . . are we ready to witness a huge, preventable loss of life? Or, are we ready to call on those we elected to serve us and let them know we expect them to step up and do the right thing?
Click on the link. Watch the video. Then you are welcome to click our Forums tab to create the topic you want to discuss.
Larry Drain, Legislative Liaison for DBSA Tennessee, published the flowing blog on his Hope Works Community blog site this evening. He is responsible for DBSA Tennessee's advocacy effort beginning with his Nov. 25, 2013 blog to bring attention to the crisis. Larry wrote:
"Now word has come that funding for peer support centers is to be totally stopped. The fate of 45 centers and all the people they serve is uncertain at best. The department has managed to find the smallest possible cut that affects the most possible people."
At Larry's recommendations, DBSA Tennessee became the first statewide consumer organization to take action; first, with a Christmas card to the Governor Campaign and, later, an online petition to urge Governor Haslam to cancel plans to close the centers. Recruiting organizational leadership, Larry was the first to post an "Open Letter to the Governor" from the State Director, DBSA Tennessee.
Additionally, Larry's strong desire to save the peer support centers led him to write numerous blogs, place numerous phone calls, and speak directly to leaders and advocates representing peer service organizations. He can take pleasure in the fact that his efforts were fruitful. And he can be comforted that thousands of the most vulnerable of our brother and sister consumers can enjoy the safe haven of 45 peer support centers in the days to come.
We applaud Larry for his work and perseverance. Thanks, Larry.
Peer Support lives
February 3, 2014
It was announced tonight in Governor Haslam’s 2014 budget for the state of Tennessee that proposed budget cuts that would have closed all 45 peer support centers in Tennessee has been rescinded and all peer support centers will be fully funded.
Thanks to a governor who listened and to so many who spoke out.
It has been a good night for all of us.
Much to be thankful for. Glad to have some good news to share.
News of our heros makes the front page of USA Today!
A large number of these men and women suffer from mental health challenges. They are our special brothers and sisters. Let's ask why they are without adequate treatment.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date,
scientifically-based tools and information. DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. The organization works to ensure that people living with mood disorders are treated equitably. Assisted by a scientific advisory board comprised of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders, DBSA has more than 1,000 peer-run support groups across the country. Nearly five million people request and receive information and assistance each year. DBSA’s mission is to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders. For more information about DBSA or depression and bipolar disorder, please visit www.DBSAlliance.org or call (800) 826-3632.
hopeworkscommunity posted: "The plan as it currently stands is to
totally and completely eliminate funding for peer support centers in Tennessee.
45 centers will close and the over 3000 people served a month will be left out
in the cold. The post below talks more about the situation"
Send a Christmas card to Governor Haslam
The plan as it currently stands is to totally and
completely eliminate funding for peer support centers in Tennessee. 45 centers will close and the over 3000 people served a month will be left out in the cold. The post below talks more about the situation.
What I am asking is two things.
1. Send a christmas card to Gov Haslam. Share your knowledge and
experience with peer support with him. Let him know Tennessee deserves and needs what peer support centers add to the mental health system in Tennessee. His address is:
The office of Governor Bill Haslam
1st Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243
address is .
Share this with at least 3 other people. Ask them to share it with at least 3
other people and so on.
This is the time to act. Let Governor Haslam know what you think. Make your card a Christmas gift to Tennessee.
The death of peer support in Tennessee.
There are 45 peer support centers in
Tennessee. Next year if things go as planned there may be none.
The initial recommendation of the commissioner of mental health to the governors request for a 5% decrease in budget was to recommend that 4.5 million dollars be taken from the budget for peer support centers. That would leave 0 for next year.
It makes you just want to shake your head. When I heard I emailed a
bunch of people. I thought I had misheard. I knew no one could seriously make such a suggestion. I was wrong.
Peer support centers do two primary things. They save money and they save lives. A lot.
For a few dollars a day per person served peer support centers give a chance at success for people who have never had success. People who have never made it in the community make it. The last figures I saw indicated a 90% decrease in psychiatric hospitalization. The savings from that alone should almost pay for the program. In a time when the jails are filling with the mentally ill how in the world can we shut down one of the most successful community based services we have?? This program defines the notion of “bang for your buck.” How is this in any way a savings?? We lecture our children about thinking before they act and considering the long term consequences of their actions. Shouldnt we expect the same out of ourselves and particularly our political leaders?
But it is more than an economic issue. It is more than a political issue. It is profoundly a moral issue and it is wrong!!!
If it actually sees the light of day it will be the planned abandonment of one of the most vulnerable populations in this state who basically have no where else to turn for this kind of help for a short term financial gain that in the end will cost far more than it saves. In plain terms it will be an act of large cruelty.
I urge you to stand loud and express your opinions. This is an old battle we thought done last year when support for peer support become recurring dollars. Once again we are a political football. Now is the time to end the game.
hopeworkscommunity | November 27, 2013
Veterans and the New Health Care Law
Week of October 21, 2013 Military.Com
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sent out a letter a few weeks ago to veterans explaining their options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new law will not change VA benefits. If a veteran is enrolled in VA healthcare, that coverage meets the standards for the ACA's insurance requirement. Most uninsured veterans are eligible for VA health care. However, not everyone who has served in uniform qualifies for VA health care such as Reserve or National Guard vets who served on active duty for training purposes only. Veterans who are not eligible for VA, and their families, could go to the Health Insurance Exchange. Another option, gaining Medicaid coverage, is limited in states that are not expanding the program. Here are some ways to enroll in VA care or determine your eligibility: (1) visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll; (2) call (8387); and (3) visit your local VA health care facility. For more information, visit VA, the Affordable Care Act and You webpage at www.va.gov/health/aca/.
For more updates on VA benefits programs, visit the Military Advantage blog.
S.L. Brannon D.Div..