tv [untitled] August 5, 2013 8:00am-8:31am PDT
advocates and consumer advocates who identified hoarding and cluttering as a unique challenge to san francisco in particular and this was well-before the tv shows and before it had a lot of notoriety and brought out in some circumstances and it was a group of folks, advocates in our office, to deal with these challenges and we need a place to come and meet and talk about it and give each other peer support. that is really a testament to the amazing advocacy of people who have worked on this, who have directly experienced challenges with hoarding over the years. so we ran a support group for many years. we still run it on a weekly basis, drop-in, peer support group. and then we kind of branched into had a conference. so we have had the biggest conference on hoarding for the last 15 years, in the united states, and quite possibly the world. we just had it back in may. one of our specialtis that we see yourselves doing is really bringing together advocates and people directly affected by
hoarding and cluttering challenges and stakeholders such as researchers and clinicians and throughout the world, really acting as a hub of resources here in san francisco. so i would say that as far as specific resources that are offered around hoarding and cluttering challenges san francisco, we have, i think, through mha and our colleagues we have more to offer than other locations in the country. as an example, we have the conference that attracts around 400-500 each year and a weekly support group that anyone in san francisco can come to, if they are identify as someone who has experienced challenges with hoarding and cluttering and i should back up, when they talk more about language and why that is so important, when we talk about mental health
conditions. so we'll use the word "hoarding and cluttering" now, but there is quite a bit of thinking on our end and other national leaders how to change that, because "hoarding and cluttering" is not the nicest term and loaded with stigma itself and we would like to look at a different way to phrase that and maybe it's "collecting and acquiring." things like that. it's still known as "hoarding and cluttering" now and we have a task force we had for 7-8 years and i co-chair with the doctor from sfhs and we meet to identify what is needed? what are the gaps in the system? right now, one of our hot-button issues is trying to find a centralized intake point for anybody who is experiencing
hoarding and cluttering and needs services. that right now typical goes through the department of aging and human services and adult and protective services and other stakeholders, to identify, so if my case manager is working with me on that, what is the one place i could call to make it simpler? right now, i think that tends to be us and we can do our best to triage that out. but that is one focal area that we're working on and also working more closely with the department of building inspection and other city agencies around collaboration. in addition, to the task force, gillian is going to talk about the specific peer-based services that we offer, but we really ramped up in last two years on looking at different approaches. so while we don't provide direct clinical services and by that i mean,
one-on-one visit with a counselor or therapist or what not. we have really moved into the field of peer-based services and as gillan will talk about, we have a peer response team through the community behavioral service and that we have five peer responders who work as part of that, who have also experienced hoarding challenges themselves. and are in recovery and are supporting others in the community. so we have worked with over 50-60 people in the last two years. anybody can receive support from that. it's free. if to anybody in san francisco. there has been a huge demand for services, one-to-one peer-based support. you call us, john, one of the coordinates or our other staff you want support, we'll meet
you on-site, at the office and provide that one-on-one peer support and that has branched out into more groups and i will we'll talk more about a variety of peer-run support groups that are are valuable free of charge and those are 12-15 weeks in our offices. entirely run by peers, and a lot of different goal-setting and a lot of different structure in those meetings each week. the one other clinical group we offer is a resource to anybody in san francisco is the 16-week treatment group. now we don't run that group ourselves. as i said, we're not clinical -- we don't offer clinical resources per se, but we have different providers trained in cognitive behavioral therapy who utilize our office space and we host the group. it's a more structured 16-week program. so that is another
group that meets twice a year and we're just finishing up one now. the great things about some of the services that we offer, it's all free. no charge to anyone. and we're in the process of, knock on wood, searching for more resources to greatly expand what we are offering now into a couple of surrounding counties and that is through partnerships that we have with the university of california-san francisco. there are a variety of things outside of use and ucsf and it was traditionally classified within obsessive-compulsive disorder, led by dr. carol matthews often as different resources as well and dr. matthews is one the leaders here in san francisco. monica works there as well. there is a variety of other
professional organizers that we can link folks up with in the city and outside of the city, as well as cleaning services, when needed. adult protective services obviously for situations when there are more urgent issues or an immediate danger to self. we have very close linkages with them and it's always a good idea for folks to call us too, rather than jumping to a report on something like that. because a lot of times that can be avoided, in many cases. i am about a minute away from my time. so let me see what i can throw in and invite gillian up. i am going lead some business cards as well today and we have got tons of printed resources and powerpoints and stuff to send out to folks. i would love to have council members contact me or other members of our team or send
materials through joanna, but there is a lot of materials available for folks facing that challenge. >> make sure someone talks about the awards. >> oh, the awards ceremony? >> yes, please. >> i think jules and terri can. welcome to verian, who has done an amazing amount of work in just nine months? four months. [ laughter ] >> i should know that. verian has been a tremendous asset to mha and has done amazing work as far as our peer response team over the past four months. it feels like a year. welcome verian. >> welcome. >> i am verian pierce, and i am a peer responder and i
started as a member of the action group, which one is of the support groups we have available at mha, and i came to a point in my life i just needed to deal with this issue. and a friend -- i told a friend, i am a hoarder. i had this realization and he told me about the action group, and mha and i went and it was -- these are people i can speak to about this shameful behavior. there is so much shame and stigma around this behavior and coming to the support group or talking to john or having a peer responder come to your home, it's the first time in many, many years that most people have allowed someone to cross their front door, because there is so much terror, if you see how i live, you will think i am a terrible person. so we just live in isolation.
it's a very isolating disorder. so i started the support group or i joined the support group as a participant and then one evening, john franklin, our team leader came in and said there was a peer responder position open and i just thought that is for me. so i got it and here i am and it seems like it was just the right fit and it seems like i have been here for a long time. but we do -- the peer responders, we do one-on-one home visits. that is one of the primary things that we do is we go to people's homes. we kind of give them an assessment; they know it's a peer, someone who also lives with these challenges. so we're a safe person to let into their home, who isn't going to judge them. we can assess the situation, help them strategize where would they like to start? where would they like to go?
how do they see their life happening? and give them tools that we have to deal with the clutter, and we tend to -- we're available on a weekly basic. we like to encourage them to become self-sufficient at some point. but there are varying levels of clutter. so some people need more help than others. and we also offer the treasurer's class, which works with the structure group that goes through the book, and the exercises in the book. and another one called "the treatment group." it's amazingly helpful to gain insight into the thinking
patterns that get us stuck in the behaviors and underlying beliefs. the action group is for people who are ready to take action, you know? one is for insight and understanding. the other is for actually ready to deal with the clutter and we're coming up with new ideas for new groups like support groups for family and friends of hoarders. for youth, you know, children who demonstrate a tendency towardss this behavior can be taught early on. it comes to a point it's unlivable and by that time in your life, you are have had time to accumulate stuff and you are not as mobile as you were in your 20s and 30s and you have more stuff. so it's really rewarding for me just to
go and give people hope. this is something that is new to them. it was new to me. that there is actually a recovery, actually recovery is possible with this. and actually the first big event that made me realize i wanted to be part of mha was the awards ceremony and i saw all of that love and how many people were coming together to celebrate people in recovery from mental health challenges. so that was a really wonderful experience and brought me into the whole world that i am in now and loving it. so i am not sure if you wanted me to finish? thank you very much. >> thank you. so terri you can start with that award. >> all right. thank you very much. good afternoon council members. thank you so much for this
invitation today. my colleague terri byrne and i, i am gillian plumadore and i will start right off the bat with the mention of our awards ceremony, because idell wants to hear about it so much. we have -- this is our third year -- we have worked to put on the mental health services act award ceremony, which specifically exists to honor peers in our community, who have made advanced in their own recovery, who are out there in the community, doing amazing things, things that a lot of them a few years ago, maybe even just a few months ago never knew were possible for them. and so we are right now, terri and i are staff co-chairs for the awards ceremony committee. it's an ongoing process. we'll be meeting for the next few months and we'll be holding
the awards ceremony in october. there will be more information available about that in the next few months. we are putting together our fliers, and our nomination forms, and doing outreach over the summer. so you will be hearing more about this, but remember you heard it here first. so we're really looking forward to that. it's going to be a fantastic event. and verian so eloquently pointed out, it's something that is a transformative event for many of the people who attended. we heard from many, many people it's that it's the first time that they realized what a supportive and powerful community they belong to. does that cover it for you right now? all right. what we're here to talk to you about this afternoon is language and why language matters. and i want to start out by saying that we don't want to assume that any of this is actually knew to you, new to you because you are experts if
the field of disability and the conversation that is happening around language in other parts of the disability community. we hope to have it more be of a conversation with you. we're here as much to learn from you as we are to share our own experience and thoughts. terri. >> is this on? >> yes. you can pull it up to you and it will come on? >> can you see me? >> yes. >> great. so one of the quotes that one of my favorite quotes around the issue of language is by mark twain who says, "the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." so i think what we all know about language and how language can heal, words
can help, and words can also hurt and words can hurt deeply. >> yes. >> so we really just wanted to get the conversation going. we have many roles in our positions, but as a program coordinator to stigma-reduction program, we go around to the community and we do presentations and we just discussion what "stigma" is and each presenter presents the stories about their lives and idell is one of our fabulous peer educators and we talk about the experience, living with mental health challenges and conditions, stigmas we have experienced and the road to wellness. so we really have a lot of conversations about stigma and how stigmatizing language can be. as we all know the definition of "stigma," the one we use it's really a negative belief about a group of people. and i think in the mental health world, there are still
so many terms and so much language that is accepted, that we want to really raise people's awareness when we go into the community. just because these words are being used doesn't mean we have to continue to use them. >> okay. that is one of the things that is of importance to us to raise awareness because so much language is used out of habit because people don't know there are other options and we certainly want to make it clear we're not talking about any checklist of appropriate words versus inappropriate words. what we're talking about is a basic concept., that we want to talk about people respectfully. we want to show respect for their experiences and we want to talk about their experiences as accurately as we can and just grasping that concept is a huge step forward for a lot of people. i meant to make the point when
i was speaking before, but i want to make it clear what we're specifically talking about today is english as a language and about spoken and written english. but mhasf has a practicing program and one of the things it's addressing is finding appropriate -- culturally appropriate language to use about mental health challenges throughout our community. so that is something that we are conscious of and that we are addressing. >> i think the other thing we would like to talk about is where this language came from. where this language comes from? it essentially comes from the medical model and we're now living in the recovery model and that is what the mental health services act is all about and what we're hoping to move the world forward in a recovery-oriented language. i know you are aware of people's first language and we still have people who will say,
"that guy is a schizophrenic." you know? or she is a "borderline." or pointing at people and labeling them and it's very important that we use people-first language. that i am a person with the experience of living with schizophrenia or i am a person with a borderline personality or i am a person who is struggling to really establish relationships. we really encourage people to talk about their experience and not so much what the diagnoses is. because that is clinical language, needed for insurance carriers, so that the doctor can get paid and there are other reasons why that language is used, but we encourage people to use real people language. how do i describe my own experience with depression and to describe to people what it looked like and not just a diagnosis. because people experience all kinds of things differently and that is one of the
conversations that we have in our presentations. >> there are subtleties with that, of course. it's entirely an individual's prerogative to describe their experience in any terms that they like. that is an individual right. however, we really, really strongly encourage people to think about the language that they use when referring to someone else's experience. now i can say, for example, in another area of my life, i am queer. because that is something that i feel is an indivisible part of who i am. i can't separate that out from me and still be the same person. however, with my experiences, for example, with being diagnosed with schizoeffective disorder in my 20s, i would say i experienced hearing voices, or i experienced a reality that differed from consensus
reality. so i used different language talking about different things in my own experience because different things apply, but it's crucially important that we say that people have the right to define themselves as they wish. but we always, always need to be careful when we are talking someone else's experience. >> language is living and i think in the medical model, the focus has always been on the illness. what is wrong with you? i am the doctor. i have the cure. you take what i say and you will get wol.well. in the recovery model, i am the experiment expert on myself. i may choose to get the support of the medical field and it's me directing my care and that is the strong difference, where the focus is not so much on the illness, but the focus in the recovery world is about me as an individual, me transforming my life and me healing, however
that will look. i just saw myself in the mirror there. [ laughter ] >> i think one of the things that we came to talk about today is how do we change the conversation around language? what can we do to make positive contributions to that conversation? and one of the biggest areas that we're actually making advances in is the media. the media is one of the largest perpetrators of stigma and we're actually starting to make inroads in media and one of the most exciting developments there, and it's just been the past few months. i think it was the end of last year or the beginning of this year, the associated press endorsed new style guidelines when reporting on mental health challenges and they are far more positive and i carry around a copy of these in my
satchel, so i can show it to people, because i'm so excited about it. one of the things that is happening is that we're actually starting to see some positive portrayals of mental health challenges in the media one one of the good friends of the mental health association of san francisco is patrick corrigan, a researcher, says you have to replace that with a positive image and that is what is starting to happen and it's so exciting. just for being here, talking about this publicly today is helping to contribute to the conversation that is making visible changes in our society. because language is not only one of the best -- it's one of the only ways that we have to convey our experience of the world of, but it's also one of the most powerful tools that we have to create and shape our
reality and the world that we live in. so that is where we're moving with that. anything to add to that? >> i think you summed it up very nicely. >> we would love to hear any questions or comments that you might have or anything that you want have to share with us? >> thank you very, very much. i was going to take the questions at each, but i just remembered each of the presenters is different and maybe we could do this in a stylish way to take a few minutes, if any of the council members have any questions, because this is mental health association. it's going to be different from the next presenter. any of the staff have any questions?
>> through the chair, this morning i received an email from someone reacting to the agenda that we sent out and they couldn't unfortunately be here not to ask the question, but make the comment and asked me to read that into the record if that is okay? >> yes. >> with respect to the upcoming meeting, i would like to make two points. first i find the use of the word "recovery" to be inappropriate within the context of a commission on disability. maybe mental health professionals see it that way, but we know that the ada second prong definition respects the fact that a history of disability or discrimination does not end with a cure. i encounter so many who feel that once meds are prescribed
the disability ends. second, as we read over and over, almost daily when a person with a psychiatric disability is deemed as a danger, i am frustrated that law enforcement never seems to be included in these types of meetings and fail to progress their understanding and no one really sees this as a disability issue. and was sent by logan hopper, who is a member of the public and an ada disability consultant. >> i think those are excellent comments and excellent points to raise. terri, can we talk about the police aspect first? >> at solve we attend the crisis interventions and do our
presentations and discussions about stigma. michael coordinates that with the police force and more and more officers are volunteering now, which is a really good sign. they used to be mandated -- told to go and this last class we had a lot more volunteers and just shows you that the culture is changing. so there is hope. and i want to say about recovery, i know many people think when we say "recovery" we mean "cure ," and we don't mean cure at all. when someone is recovering from a stroke "recovery" there are many, many definitions to "recovery." and essentially one of the main definitions i have seen is to have "living a life that is meaningful to me." >> exactly and "recovery" is, what we talk about "recovery"
it's a process. and it may not be the ideal word. language is evolving. language always evolves and the words that we use today may not be the words that we use a year from now or ten years from now and we'll always find better, more appropriate language to use, but the alternative to the concept of recovery is hopelessness; that we as mental health consumers will never get better. that we'll never have fulfilling lives and that is not our reality. i spent part of my 20s homeless and schizoeffective disorder and i am here talking to today. i am working full-time. i am not taking psychiatric meds by choice and that is what my recover looks like and it means that i am able to live a full, productive, and
fulfilling life. and i absolutely agree with the discussion surrounding the exact terminology. but i really can't take issue with the concept. and whatever words we use to describe that experience of moving forward with our lives, of finding things that work for us, of finding ways to be happy and fulfilled in our lives, that is what we're talking about with recovery. the word may change, but the concept stays the same. >> thank you so much. thank you so much. >> thank you for inviting us. >> thank you. we're going to keep moving on and we're going to move to team c, mental health and veterans. lara star. >> hi good afternoon and thank you for giving me an opportunity to talk to you guys all again.