The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Radio Interview Experience

The radio interview went VERY well! Kim Iverson (radio talk show host) and I discussed episodes, her personal experience with mental illness through her mother, and how family reacts to one suffering an illness.

I shared how I realized that something was wrong after a nurse contemplated with me that I was sick because I had been to the emergency room several times for not eating and I was not taking care of myself; showering or even moving! Kim's mother had an episode and Kim was forced to drop out of college to take over her mother's business while she was sick.

The interview was for about seven minutes. I felt really good about sharing my story and the interview overall. Thank you for everyone's support on this event!

And a special thanks goes to kim Iverson and her radio staff for having me on the show and for allowing me to share my story. Thank you!

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., NAMI, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Radio Interview w/ Kim Iverson

I will be featured on Kim Iverson's radio talk show tomorrow night on Friday, January 29, 2010. We will discuss my personal experience with schizophrenia, so tune in! These are the radio stations:

(www.yourtimewithkim.com)
AUSTIN- KAMX (7PM-Midnight)
BUFFALO- WTSS (7PM-Midnight)
DENVER- KALC (7PM- Midnight)
INDIANAPOLIS- WZPL (7PM- Midnight)
KANSAS CITY- KKSN (7PM-Midnight)
MEMPHIS- WMC-FM (7PM- Midnight)
NORFLOK- WPTE (7PM- Midngith)
PORTLAND- KRSK (7PM- Midnight)
WICHITA- KFBZ (6PM- 11PM)

Thank you for your support!

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI, Embracing My Mind, Inc., or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Peer-to-Peer Turnout

The Peer-to-Peer Orientation on Saturday had a great turnout. Fifteen people attended the event and nine people signed up for the course. During the event we had a group discussion on myths and misconceptions of mental illness. Almost everybody participated in the discussion which made me very happy. Also, I was able to share my story.

If you are interested in attending NAMI's Peer-to-Peer course you may participate in the first group meeting on January 30th at 1 pm. There are nine classes, the group is from 1-3pm. Location: at the cafe at 2001 Martin Luther King Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315. For more information contact me, Ashley, at 1-888-839-3191.

For more information on schizophrenia you may go to the following sites:

1) Embracing My Mind, Inc. (EMM)
2) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
3) Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Speak Out, Support Your Peers--Wed. Jan. 20th

Fulton County mental health centers are debating to discontinue offering services to people living with a mental health diagnosis, who do not have health insurance. This is an outrage!

When I first moved back to Atlanta I did not have health insurance, however, the center assisted me with group therapy and enabled me to participate in a program to help me get my medicine. I am very thankful for the Abilify Assistance Program. How many other people are in the same predicament?

There will be an open forum on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 (tomorrow) at 10 AM in the Fulton County Government Center Assembly Hall, 141 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia. This meeting is open to the public.

People like you and I can attend the meeting and share views on the matter. I will definitely be there to support peers in need and to comment on the situation. If the County discontinues providing needed services such as therapy and medication for people without health insurance we are in trouble!

For more information you may contact the Office of the Clerk to the Commission, (404) 612-8200 or visit the Fulton County website at www.fultoncountyga.gov. If you live in the Atlanta area, please support this meeting!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Peer-to-Peer Orientation

Hi,

Me and a peer will lead a NAMI group called Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Course. The class is FREE open to all groups living with a mental health diagnosis. The nine-week class focuses on relapse prevention planning among several other coping strategies. Orientation is Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 2 p.m. located at 2001 Martin Luther King Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315.

The class will meet each Saturday starting January 30, 2010 and ending April 10, 2010. For more information about Peer-to-Peer call me, Ashley, at (888) 839-3191 or visit the NAMI website at www.nami.org. Oh yeah, and did I say the class is FREE!

(Note: This is not an Embracing My Mind, Inc. group. The Peer-to-Peer course is affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness organization.)

To learn more information about schizophrenia visit NAMI or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Changes to EMM Website


Hi,

Recently, I made some changes to our Embracing My Mind,Inc. (EMM) website. I would love for each of you to check out the site (again) or for the very first time and to give feedback. Oh yeah and don't forget to sign the guest book, to check out the "Upcoming Events" page, and well EVERYTHING. Thank you for your support!

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yesterday's Woman's Group

Yesterday, I participated in a woman's support group at the place where I receive treatment. I have not been to this group in a few months so I saw some familiar faces and some new faces. I was really looking forward to the group, and I am glad I went. We expressed a range of emotions throughout the meeting about each of our feelings and outlook on life.

One question came up about someone's mental illness: is it pride or depression? The individual was isolated, but wanted someone to reach out to them, but just didn't know how to get someone else's attention. I thought that was a very interesting question, me not knowing much about depression learned a lot. The answer to the question, was it is depression and NOT pride.

My therapist said it plainly, depression is 'detached, dejected, guilty, and isolated.' The group came up with suggestions to reach out to others. We came up with several ideas and agreed on one- start small, don't send a mass mailing of thinking of you cards, start small.

Also, during the meeting I spoke to my therapist about my vivid dreams, (which I discussed in my post a few days ago titled "Red Flag") because the clerk never called me back to reschedule my appointment with my doctor, and when I called back the receptionist said the appointment clerk will call me back; just a lot of run-around. Anyway, my therapist said I should definitely mention the vivid dreams to my doctor. However, she also said because I did not have any changes to medication recently, I could just be a vivid dreamer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Customer Service

Yesterday, I called my doctor's office to reschedule my appointment for an earlier date, instead of March, to discuss my vivid dreams with him. Instead of scheduling me for an earlier appointment, the receptionist asked me why I want to reschedule. And I replied 'I want to discuss some side effects of my medicine with my doctor'. Why was that necessary, what if I had other plans and just wanted to reschedule, would they deny me?

Anyway, they were booked the month of January so I am trying for the next best thing, February. The receptionist asked me for my phone number so they can call me back with another appointment date. (Note I called in the morning to reschedule the appointment) An hour before the clinic closes I called them back for my appointment date, the same receptionist told me that the appointment clerk does not get her messages until the end of the day, and will call me back with another appointment date tomorrow. Well, I wish he would have said something before so I would not expect a phone call from the clinic all day. So, hopefully, they will call me back today with the appointment. Effective customer service, uh?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Second Time Around

I just applied for the Georgia Certified Peer Specialist training. The training takes place in the beginning of February and will last two weeks. Last time I applied and was denied because there were so many applicants, I hope this time I will get into the training program.

This training is very important to me because it is recognized by the state and will officially allow me to guide others on their path to recovery. This will give me more experience on how to help others. Plus this certification will prove to others that I am serious about my goal to help other people living with a mental illness. Please wish me luck, and I keep you posted on my status!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Red Flag

I have been having vivid dreams for a long time now. After sharing this information with my step-father he said that a red flag popped up in his mind and that I should discuss this information with my doctor. My medicine could be causing me to have vivid dreams.

I did not know it was an issue, having vivid dreams, but I will reschedule my appointment with my doctor for an earlier date to get his opinion on the matter. Now, I am fascinated by my dreams, I go to an online dream dictionary to interpret them, and sometimes the interpretation is right.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shifting Gears


Today I had a little setback, actually it is a HUGE setback, it's about my school. I visited a financial aid counselor to discover that my school has not received my information from FASFA yet. It is a four week process and tuition is due next Friday, I know I cannot get that kind of money in time. Therefore, my financial aid is on hold so I will not be able to start school this semester. This upsets me, but not totally. I'll focus my attention on facilitating more groups and carrying out needed trainings, such as Georgia's Certified Peer Specialist Project.

The training is for people living with a diagnosis of mental illness or dual diagnosis. It prepares people to provide peer support to other individuals living with a diagnosis. There are organizations that seek Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), this certification would definitely benefit my organization Embracing My Mind, Inc. It costs $85 excluding hotel expenses. I've applied to the training before but was denied because there were so many applicants. I'll try again, wish me luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Changes


In the spirit of the holiday season I updated the template, I hope you like! This year is going to be my year... I am starting school in a couple of weeks and a new fun project, I am facilitating a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) group called Peer-to-Peer Education with a couple of my peers from the NAMI training I did back in September. I am very excited about the group. We will start it in a couple of weeks as well. The class provides education on various serious mental illnesses and allows group participation on several exciting activities.

With all of the holiday spirit I have been very lazy and neglecting my followers, I'll make it up to them by blogging more frequently. Now it's time for me to work on the flier for the group.

HAPPY NEW YEAR:)