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Saunders Ponders for
What Fires Movie Monday

As we celebrated MM's 10th Anniversary the thing I was reflected on was the steep learning curve I've been on since that shaky start in 1993. Moving from surviving day to day to gradually gaining confidence and then setting about a concerted effort to contribute to the mental health system is a significant shift. The biggest thing that has fuelled my enthusiasm has been examples of many Iıve discovered who have done the same.

These folks have set about their own recovery after years of illness, against seemingly hopeless odds. Theyıve shared their stories and many have used their insights to educate and inspire others, breaking down the barriers that prevent people from seeking treatment and dealing forthrightly with this type of illness.

By contributing their stories they have inspired so many of us with the most valuable psycho-social rehab component by far ­ hope.

Many of these wonderful stories belong to friends and acquaintances - inspiration close at hand: Ingrid, Ian, Maurizio, Stew, Joanne, Kathy, higher profile out-of-towners like Paul McGillicuddy, Jill Stainsby, Victoria Maxwell, Horst Peters, Sarah Hamid, Bill McPhee, and Robert Winram, and Scott Simmie.

Some of the "Big Stars" have gone for the gusto and become mental health educators and professionals in a big way. Theyıre good at it because of the insights and compassion theyıve gained during their struggles. They have a particular credibility with those of us who may be sceptical of care providers who "havenıt been there". Patty Duke and Margo Kidder, William Styron, and Mike Wallace are big media names that have spoken out.

Here are a few of my inspirations to check out (the www makes this easy):

Kay Redfield Jamison

Daniel Fisher, Laurie Ahern and others

Mary Ellen Copeland

Bill Lichtenstein

Fred Frese III

From Fred Frese's Twelve Aspects of Coping for Persons with Schizophrenia "In some areas consumers have taken the initiative to establish facilities for recovering persons that are operated by themselves. They may or may not work in concert with traditional mental health providers, but control of these operations remains in the hands of recovered persons themselves. These are usually referred to as self-help efforts and are generally found to be cost effective and much appreciated by the consumers who are involved with them. Indeed, recently when the Board of Directors of the NMHCA organization was asked to identify their highest priority as to restructuring the delivery of mental health in this country, the NMHCA Board members unanimously identified self-help as their major issue. With this kind of enthusiastic support, it is likely that self-help consumer run drop in centers, social clubs, and crisis facilities will become more widely available."

These are just a few... the influence of these folks is what fires Movie Monday.

Bruce 22 June 2003