Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THOUGHTS ON DAN FISHER’S PROPOSAL

                                 Carl Ransom Rogers (1902-1987) father of person-centered

Dan Fisher made a proposal for a bold new campaign to give voice to persons with lived experience.  I would like to make a few comments on what he had to say.  He had five main points and I will address each one in order.

1) The idea of protecting our human rights is certainly a good cause, but I wonder what kind of agreement we would come up with or what is meant by that broad terminology?  Does Dan mean we will fight to deny the state the right to lock a person up because the state declares them to be suicidal? That is just one example of what may separate persons with lived experience when the discussion gets beyond saying “protecting human rights” and down to defining what those rights are concerning people with a psychiatric label.

2) Funding is an issue that we also may not all agree on.  I am not sure all of us think as highly of the “peer-run policy and support organizations” as Dan Fisher does.  I know many persons with lived experience who have never heard of them.

3) Why would we want SAMHSA directing all of the funding for recovery and peer support programs across the country in each state?

4) & 5) These are wonderful statements, but I am not sure how Dan thinks we will “increase public knowledge” or that there will be a “transformation” of the system? Also, has meeting with other disability groups produced any results for us?

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA is a wonderful idea for those folks who think it produced something positive for them.

I would like to see the “peer-run policy and support organizations” go to Asheville, North Carolina and study under the folks at the Center for Participatory Change and then visit the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation, part of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture at Westmont College.

We need a policy platform that was derived from a true grassroots participatory process and our leaders need to be well grounded in what being human means so they can communicate that into policy language.  So called person-centered materials still do not adequately cover the spirituality of the person.  Hopefully then there would be a chance to have a transformation in the delivery system that would be designed by the people who wanted the systems help and that system would respond in a wholistic way. 

Ed Cooper, Director and Chaplain
Project Dream Again (est. 1988)

© Ed Cooper, November 11, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
    All rights reserved


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