Friday, September 14, 2012

Mental Health Diversity from Kentucky's Appalachians

 [A Peer Recovery Support Specialist (P-RSS) is an occupational title for a person who has progressed in their own recovery from alcohol or other drug abuse or mental disorder and is willing to self-identify as a peer and work to assist other individuals with chemical dependency or a mental disorder. Because of their lived experiences, such persons have expertise that professional training cannot replicate.]

Waltr Lane, has been described by some as a controversial Appalachian social commentator. His first person stories about resisting authority, moon shining, dynamiting fish and cockfighting have made him a person of interest across Kentucky. Waltr, (a hit and run survivor) is married, has a family and is a contract employee of The United Mine Workers of America.

Please read Waltr's story and poem and learn from his words. Additionally, consider how ‘supportive employment' and evidence best practices combined with an AOT law could help individuals stay out of jail and give them the incentive to stay in treatment, therefore assisting them to find the 'bridge to recovery'. GG Burns - KY Mental Health Advocate
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Recoverized, But NOT Cured
By:Waltr Lane, who lives in Eastern Kentucky and is a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist.


When I was put in jail for loitering, people said that made me a certified public nuisance. It really didn’t annoy me, because I was happy in jail. I had more freedom there than in the State Mental Hospital. Besides, the coffee tasted better.

I have always had problems with being therapized. Years ago, I believed a live psychologist. Many times the psychologist said she threatened to kill the President of the United States and nothing happened (that is freedom of speech). I decided I wanted to threaten somebody more important than that. I started threatening the President of the University, because he was someone everyone knew.

Wham! Bam! There were carloads of cops and off to jail I went for loitering. The police had more sense than that lying psychologist. Threatening people is called terrorist threatening and a 'go directly to jail' offense. Yet police are discreet and use common sense. They didn’t want to publicize our stupidity. I was arrested for loitering and then shipped to the state mental hospital. The hospital social worker told me the judge sent word that I would be in jail or the hospital until I got out of the city. I have been run out of the city but I went to trial and plead guilty and apologized. The judge asked me how he could stop me from loitering. I said that I had nothing else to do.

And, bam, back to jail I went and then back to the state hospital, where I have spent several seasons off and on.

I finally escaped from a locked ward and hitchhiked home to the mountains. I went to the local Mountain Mental Health Center. Idleness is the enemy of good behavior. So the therapist helped me find a minimum wage job. I behave for the money. This paid more than the Pepsi a day I made working in the hospital. I have been therapized, psych rehabbed, recoverized -- but never cured. 

Recently, I imagined something again. It was recommended that I imagined to regale the staff at the mountain state hospital about how I enjoyed my stay. I thought I was to talk about every available male staff laying hands on me at once as a pacification technique. Because of the nature of the questions the schedule maker asked, I thought I was to give a first person account of some inherently private experiences. My wife, who heard the state man give me the date and time, shared my delusional ideation. But he never called back and said I misunderstood.

Apparently the hospital man had contacted a PhD person for the politically correct and official view of mental hospital life from an academic standpoint. I ain’t cured but I know better than to argue with the hospital man’s story.

I wonder why publishers print my writings and I get to speak nearly everywhere except I wasn’t going to speak in the next state where I was given a printed invitation and not interviewed. I still ain’t. I don’t like going where people recognize that a satirist is a dangerous person to mislead.


The Hillbilly Poet, Prison for Minds
By: Waltr Lane

The four staff
sat in a circle seance,
Keyboarding iPhones in a silent gaze,
Ignore the mental patients,
Who gave their raison d"etre.

A mental ward is another climate
where emotional winds
blow not from God's reason.

Forgive me, I pray, for saying
Sex is a necessity
Rape is not.

The psych ward staff pronounces,
Karen gives people an evil look;
Grabbing their momentary attention.
It is easy to ignore,
those who are social mutes.
The Hillbilly is the only witness
with a voice:
He cries, "help my people"
out of this prison
      without bars.





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