RESPECT Theatre Troupe honored Not Alone with another very special made-for-radio drama. The program entitled Too Big A Secret, talked about physical abuse in the home and posed the question, “If a friend confides in you about a family secret, should you tell anyone else that secret?”
My favorite broadcasts are most often programs featuring consumers; I learn so much from them, they inspire my efforts in my daily work and we always seem to find lots to laugh about as we chatter away during the broadcast. This week was no exception; our guests were Paul, Paige and Jeri, Nebraska people with responsible positions in their community, courageous people who have brought leadership to the Peer Support Movement, and people who struggled personally with the effects of mental health challenges.
Again this year, we had the privilege of attending the At Ease USA luncheon to raise support for Nebraska military families experiencing the effects of trauma or emotional injury.
Not Alone welcomed Dr. Christiana Bratiotis with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Grace Abbott School of Social Work to talk about the book she co-authored, “The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals” and to give us an insight into the disorder called hoarding. We learned since hoarding involves emotions, thoughts and behaviors, and genetic factors in addition to life events and cognitive challenges that trigger these behaviors, hoarding disorder is now included in the new DSM 5 (the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
Walter Hudson, founder of Vet to Vet in Ohio and President of Resilience Advocacy and Associates in Ohio, and Jane Winterling, one of the outstanding writers of the Mary Ellen Copeland Wellness Center joined Not Alone today talking about WRAP plans for past and present members of the military and their family members.
From time to time we invite friends to Not Alone who have experienced a brain disorder and are willing to share their personal story as an encouragement and incentive to people living with chronic brain diseases. Sometimes it’s tough to speak of illnesses, treatments, lack of treatment, loss of family, and dreams. However, courageous people have taken the pain and isolation they once experienced and are using their life story in helping others develop opportunities to find the help they need, hope, and healing that can change lives and make them meaningful once again.
Gayle Bluebird has been an inspiring friend to The Kim Foundation and to Not Alone for a long time. It was a privilege to welcome her to this week’s broadcast. Gayle became a leader in the consumer mental health movement in the 1970s, when, as a young girl, she experienced severe depression. Instead of receiving treatment that aided recovery, Gayle was further traumatized by the abusive custodial care provided. She learned the importance of being an advocate for her own wellness, and since that time, has taken leadership in developing peer healing opportunities for other people.
Our guest today on Not Alone, Dr. Patricia Deegan, was one of the innovators and early contributors to the Recovery and Wellness model for people diagnosed with mental health disorders. Motivated by personal experiences and her intense study, Dr. Deegan created a program called CommonGround, a web app to support shared decision making in the psycho-pharmacology consultation. This helps people prepare to meet with their psychiatrist and jointly arrive at the best decisions for recovery and wellness.
On this broadcast of Not Alone, we were pleased to welcome Father Steven Boes from Boys Town. We’ve always been proud of Father Flanagan’s Boys Town. Since 1917, Boys Town has been opening arms of love and acceptance to youth in need of understanding, rehabilitation, and reunification with family. Boys Town, which began near Omaha, now has a campus and facilities in 15 locations across the U.S., offering programs that touch the lives of more than 1.6 million people each year.
On Not Alone, we welcomed Dr. Jennifer Stuber with the University of Washington School of Social Work who helped create a nationally recognized model for journalists and media professionals to enhance the understanding of psychiatric conditions and help remove stigma associated with mental disorders. Recognizing that journalists play a critical role in communicating the truth about these disorders and that journalists have the power to change stereotypes, Dr. Stuber teaches how to write with awareness, how to avoid negative stereotypes, and encourages consumers and family members to become proficient in telling their stories and leading change by involving the media.