September 17, 2007

The Sanity of Hiring the Mentally ill - A Job Program in San Francisco

There is an excellent story today in the San Francisco Chronicle about a job program for the mentally ill in San Francisco. We hope that people tell their support groups about this program and that similar programs will be implemented in all cities.

"The mission of Hire-Ability is simple: Help transition poverty-level people with mental illness into employment. Offering everything from job training and placement to coaching on issues such as communication, productivity and punctuality, the program has been a model for mental health programs around the world.

While the employees themselves aren't therapists -- there's ongoing collaboration with social workers, therapists, case managers, and psychiatrists regarding medication -- they believe their services impact the well-being of their clients in a way that few other types of help can."

Read the full story: The sanity of hiring the mentally ill


So, lets see...

You start out poor but otherwise healthy,and then one day you get upset about something small. Maybe you are just a little different than the people around you.

You then get carted off to a Doctor, from whom you get a nice diagnosis from a system that wants you to belive everthing they say as if it were the word of God.

You are pumped full of drugs that make you "fit" the diagnosis you have been assigned. You are extracted from society into the "mental health system",where you are rebuilt into a semi-catatonic robot ( just another poor, witless, hapless wreck ), and you never achieve your full potential because you are yet another patient in a system that needs "patients" to continue their funding. Since you are poor, no one notices that you have disappeared, or questions the motives of the people "taking care" of you.

Poor people are too stupid to take care of themselves, right?

And after all is said and done, you actually end up thanking the bastards who fed you to the machine.

Poor people in this country need to stop trusting the same system designed to keep them poor and start trusting themselves. Doesn't anyone realise that the 600,000+ people on the streets of the US have been put there deliberately?

Once the Government tags you as "weak" or "unfit", ( whether that is accurate or not ) you will end up dead, homeless, or permanently institutionalised. Either way, you have been taken out of the economy and placed where you can't cause any trouble.

Programs like this only perpetuate the elaborate system built to cage the poor, and keep "decent" people powerfull, fat and wealthy.

Posted by: maytag blue cheese at September 18, 2007 05:14 AM

We have had similar programs in the UK for a few years..the local one for me is called the shadow trust..they do a lot of great work, finding jobs , and take the stress out of the process...they have given a sense of self worth and achievement to hundreds of people..don't be so quick to dismiss such programs.

Posted by: Salty Davis at September 18, 2007 05:37 AM

Salty, I appreciate wht you're saying, I really do. I know you think that these people are trying to help.

As a matter of fact, I would say that 90% probably think they are helping, and sadly, spend a great deal of thier lives with this kind of work. Let me clarify myself by saying that the whole system would simply grind to a halt if patients stopped coming into the front door. I have had quite a few people tell me that I have mental problems as well, but their observations are based on what they know from Television shows and Public Service Ads.

Let me give you an example: These are the results from an online "screning" quiz I took not more than five minets ago. I didn't embellish my answers> I have taken these before, with similar results.

Based upon your responses to this schizophrenia screening measure, you appear to have some early signs commonly associated with schizophrenia or a schizophrenia-related disorder. Your responses are similar to others who experience early symptoms of schizophrenia or a schizophrenia-related disorder.

This is simply a way to get you roped into thier system, and the first step to the end of your life.

Its not crazy to presume that Surgeons perform unecissary procedures for the sake of money, why is it so outlandish to presume that the mental health industry ( worth 40 billion in the US annualy ) is any different? Don't you think that the drug companies have an interst in seeing you diagnosed with a disorder? Have you ever met a car salesman who told you that you don't need a new car?

Getting otherwise healthy adult to convince themselves that they need to seek treatment satisfies the Feds desire to keep unfit souls from participating in a robust economy, and keep the Docs in $80,000 cars. Everybody is happy.

And, again, since these kinds folks are "helping" you, you go right along with the game.

Posted by: maytag blue cheese at September 18, 2007 06:07 AM

Blue cheese, what is the url for this screening quiz?

Posted by: lambchop at September 18, 2007 09:14 AM

Bluecheese - I think you're really missing the point here. People don't go to the doctor because of "something small, perhaps you're a little different than other people" - people go to the doctor because they are having significant problem and they want relief from those problems. Seeking assistance when you're having problems is a healthy response to the problem - and the best and most effective ways to minimize that problem - whether its depression, or schizophrenia.

With your opinion - people would never get help from any doctors - and we'd have the health care system that they had back in the 1300s when the average life span was 30 years.

Modern medicine wouldn't exist if it didn't work. Think about it.

Posted by: szadmin at September 18, 2007 10:20 AM

Bluecheese - You need help.

Posted by: Brian at September 19, 2007 12:11 PM

Work programs have been highly praised by almost any clinician. The barriers to this sort of treatment are coming from lack of funding. It's usually deemed as too expensive for our system by politicians. Therefore if it works we can't afford to keep it.

Posted by: Jeff Dyer at September 21, 2007 11:34 AM

Public mental health is not a scam..its stigma.

Posted by: Jeff Dyer at September 21, 2007 12:51 PM

I know exactly what Bluecheese means and have to agree with the comments to a great extent. Our society is afflicted by what I call a "sausage factory mentality": so long as the majority fall within the same measurements of what is deemed to be "normal" in terms of beliefs, culture, psychology, lifestyle etc...then it is business as usual and the fat cats stay fat. The poor and marginalised are interchangeable terms increasingly as more and more we find independant thinkers are hounded and prevented from living the kind of lives they choose and need to live. This keeps the status quo unchallenged, and real injustices are concealed behind a facade that all is well.
But all is not well: society is sick, especially in the West. This is why there are still so many starving on the planet, while others are recklessly ignorant of the effect of their personal greed on the rest of the world.
But regarding that sausage factory thing....curiously there is actually no such thing as "normal". Normal can only ever be relative, at best. Striving to maintain normality or even to attain it could be deemed as an immoral quest to blacken those who live by "different" rules. Why else have peoples, cultures and environments become so threatened or even wiped out in the last century as business has boomed in key industries?
On the drug thing, I don't think anyone will ever convince me that medication can be trusted. I reluctantly accept that some people with mental illness may well improve on medication but I cannot feel it is acceptable to ignore kinder, gentler approaches.
This world is a mad place. The only thing that makes me feel any better at all is to work towards a simpler, low impact lifestyle.
Here in the UK they have recently made changes which place the homeless, among whom are many who are mentally ill, in the category of "criminal" as far as public perception goes. Begging is a punishable offense now, and people are encouraged not to feed those on the street. So when they have nothing and are breaking the law by begging, would they not be driven to seek less public ways of breaking the law in order to feed themselves? We have to ask ourselves who the real criminals are, those who are forced to live outside of the law like the homeless, or those who force them to do so?
You know what it says in the Bible....that good things will be seen as bad, and that bad things will be seen as good at the end of the age. That is exactly what is happening right before our eyes.

Posted by: whinberry at October 7, 2007 05:24 AM

The Hire-Ability program in San Fransisco, California might be a very good program and I hope that they are actually aiding people to gain some sort of education so that they can get above poverty level jobs. If this is simply another program to get consumers minimum wage positions it is bringing false hope to people who desperately desire to support themselves and come out of poverty. A local Los Angeles employment program for people who have experienced mental illness seems to fail in its design by refusing to provide any training. Wouldn't it be nice for all of us to be able to hold our heads high and say that we have achieved our potential? Certainly there are various levels of intellect and interests amongst consumers; but we deserve more than we are being offered.

Posted by: Heather at January 16, 2008 02:15 PM

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