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Living with Schizophrenia

Guest blogger Amy Kay sent the story below to us re: her experiences living with schizophrenia. She has a website too and you’ll find a link to it at the end of the article. Enjoy!

"Rising"  Recovery is about rising upward, again and again.

Hello!

I would love to feature my blog on your website or at least share my story.

This is my personal story of living with schizophrenia:

I used to tell people “I have a bad brain.”

I am not going to say I suffer from schizophrenia but rather I endure and cope with it.

My name is Amy Kay and I have schizophrenia. I do not want to hurt others or myself. Neither do I hear voices and I no longer live in a delusional world.

In 2008 during my initial psychiatric breakdown I did live in a delusional world. In this world I believed I was Mother Earth. I felt I was responsible for taking all souls to heaven with me. I was afraid that my family and friends were trying poison me. I ran away from them. They called the cops and that is how I ended up in the psychiatric ward.

My dad drove from Mobile Alabama to Orlando Florida to take me home with him. During this time I had no insurance so I could not afford the medicines to control my brain disorder. I became fearful that my step mom was trying to kill me. I ended up back in the psychiatric ward. This time in Mobile Alabama.

They put me in a group home. I got my medications straightened out. I am consumer at Altapointe. They have a place for people to get medications for cheap without insurance. So I got my medicines from there until I get insurance.

Today everyone tells me that I am handling my mental illness very well! Sometimes I feel depressed and I have trouble getting close to people. My thoughts can be disorganized. My memory is not always great. Even though I have this disorder I do more than just cope. I take my medications, receive counseling and have a good support system.

I control schizophrenia! It does not control me! Recently I started a blog chronicling my life and how this condition slowly reared it’s ugly head.

I want to inspire people like me that we can live full productive lives! Until recently I would not have attempted to write a blog. However with the encouragement of friends I found that I was more than capable at this endeavor.

Life is difficult. Even more so with a brain disorder but having a fulfilling life is possible!

Thanks for your consideration!

Regards,

Amy

http://voiceofaschizophrenic.blogspot.com

Peer Support Word Cloud – Generated by Grads & Guests from the Class of 2013-14

Hi all,

Happy New Year!

My resolution is to update this blog more frequently and, to start things, off, I’d like to share with you the Word Cloud that was generated by Grads and Guests of our Peer Support Training Class of 2013-14. They had their big celebration in the fall and at it, folks were asked to list words that resonated for them when they thought of peer support. The image below is what they came up with. Enjoy!

PSW Word Cloud 2013-14 vers3

World Suicide Prevention Day Twit Chat, Sept. 10 at 5 pm PST

World Suicide Prevention Day: One World Connected

Wednesday, September 10 at 5pm Pacific time join a special #mhsm tweetchat on self-management and resiliency for suicide prevention in bipolar disorder.

Hosted by Sandra Kiume Dawson of @unsuicide and PsychCentral, a suicide attempt survivor living well with bipolar, in collaboration with participating clinicians, peer researchers, and academics from UBC’s CREST_BD bipolar disorders research group.

All are welcome. A Twitter account is required. To learn how to participate in a tweetchat visit http://tweetchat.com.

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Peer Support Workers Wanted, Strathcona Mental Health Team, Vancouver

PSWs Wanted Strathcona

DOWNLOAD PDF OF PSWS WANTED STRATHCONA BY CLICKING HERE

Announcing the Hearing Voices Network Study Club

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know about the Hearing Voices Network Study Club. Details are in the flyer below. This group is open to everyone. Cheers :)

Study Club Flyer

Peer Support Worker Wanted, South Mental Health Team, Vancouver

PEER SUPPORT WORKER WANTED, SOUTH MENTAL HEALTH TEAM, VANCOUVER

PEER SUPPORT WORKER:
NOTICE OF CONTRACT
CLOSING: June 13, 2014

ONE Contract with South Mental Health & Addictions Services, #220 (West Wing) – 1200 W. 73rd Avenue
~ 40 hours per month, 1 year contract

Job Description: Under the supervision of the Rehabilitation Supervisor or delegate, and in conjunction with treatment personnel, you will work with clients with mental illness with the objective of assisting them to achieve their stated goals. The successful candidate will be a well-organized individual who exhibits initiative, flexibility, sound judgment and good interpersonal skills. Duties include one-to-one work assisting clients in achieving goal(s), acquiring new skills or linking with community resources; communicating all relevant information verbally and in writing to pertinent staff; and attending monthly peer support worker meetings, at the team and centrally.

Qualifications: The successful individual will:
1. have completed a Peer Support Training program or have equivalent training or experience
2. have personal experience receiving services within the mental health system (required)
3. be able to be a role model to people recovering from a serious mental illness by sharing common life experiences and practical information
4. have effective strategies for dealing with stress
5. be able to work cooperatively with mental health staff, consumers and family members
6. be able to work with a culturally diverse population
7. be able to adequately access public transportation and support others with taking transit
8. be comfortable assisting with goals related to physical activity, such a going to the gym
9. be able to present in a professional manner,
10. be empathetic, patient and supportive, and
11. have knowledge of community resources and be comfortable searching for information regarding resources online and over the phone

Duration of this Placement: 1 year with possibility of renewal
You are not required to work at the team or unit where you receive service.
Pay and Hours: $12.00 an hour, up to 40 hours maximum a month (including meetings).
Start Date: July 2014

Closing Date and Location: Please submit a resume and a cover letter to via email/fax/mail:
Katie Maher, Rehabilitation Supervisor
South Mental Health & Addictions Services, #220 (West Wing) – 1200 W. 73rd Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V6P 6G5
Phone: 604-269-2731
Fax: 604-266-7134
Email: katie.maher@vch.ca

No later than : June 13, 2014

Only those short listed will be contacted.

Wellness and Mental Health with Regina Casey and Sue MacDonald

Regina Casey and Sue MacDonald talk about wellness and mental health in the video below.