InvisALERT Solutions – ObservSMART

Archive for the ‘Personal Stories / Lived Experience’ Category

Coping With Chronic Pain: Good Advice Is Easy to Give but Hard to Take

Like many people, I live with pain every day. I’m lucky that, for the most part, my pain is tolerable and doesn’t interfere too much with my life. I walk slowly—but I walk. I sleep badly, but I sleep. It’s tough to sit in a car going long distances. Fortunately, my wife now does the...

Beyond the Pain: Insights From Individuals Living With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a significant contributor to disability among Americans, with an estimated 51.6 million people experiencing chronic pain that lasts longer than three months. (Rikard, Strahan, Schit, & Guy, 2023). Regardless of its source ­– whether medical or unexplained origin – chronic...

Peer Support Workforce Shortages Anticipated: What You Can Do

Imagine this: You are the manager in a behavioral health agency that has decided to hire peer support providers in your workforce. This position can give the agency a boost in revenue, additional help in needed areas with personnel shortages, and hope and practical help to service participants. You...

Working Works: Considerations and Resources for Navigating Employment in the Recovery Journey

Behavioral health best practice incorporates a whole-health perspective that emphasizes wellness, is person-centered, and focuses on the whole person and their strengths, not their illness (Swarbrick, 2006). Occupational wellness, that “personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s...

Consumer Perspectives: The Synergy of Housing and Employment Services in Mental Healthcare

This article is part of a quarterly series giving voice to the perspectives of individuals with lived experiences as they share their opinions on a particular topic. The authors are served by Services for the UnderServed (S:US), a New York City-based nonprofit that is committed to giving every New...

Working Toward Employment: A Journey of Growth and Support

As a young woman, Lisa was told that she would never work. She suffers from serious mental illness and has experienced multiple traumas during her lifetime. Now 59 years old, she lives in a supportive group home and is a participant in the Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) program at...

Lived Experience as a Professional Pathway

The philosophy of The Mental Health Association of Westchester’s (MHA) housing and employment services and peer support is rooted in the principles of person-centered practice and the belief that individuals with behavioral health conditions – even those with histories of instability or little...

Just Another Day

What does mental illness feel like? It feels like drowning, alone and helpless, surrounded by nothing but inky black water, and deafening silence. As an icy chill creeps down your spine, a paralyzing numbness begins to set in. Breathing is very difficult now as you feel a sudden scalding hot...

Helping Families Cope with Serious Mental Illness: Maternal vs Social Work Instincts

I am a Social Worker. I am also a mom of an adult child with SMI, specifically bi-polar disorder. My child is 23 and I pray that she welcomes God into her life. That’s the mom in me talking. As a social worker, I want her to get a job, find a great partner who will love her, and become as...

Consumer Perspectives: Overcoming Mental Health Challenges

This article is part of a quarterly series giving voice to the perspectives of individuals with lived experiences as they share their opinions on a particular topic. The authors are served by Services for the UnderServed (S:US), a New York City-based nonprofit that is committed to giving every New...