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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Medicare Privatization, SSDI 19% Cuts and the Ripple Effects

Just off the Press

"Trump Signals Big Health Policy Changes are Coming" (see full story below)

Our elected officials, Democrats and hopefully a few of our Republicans who support social equality,  both in the House and Senate are going to need our help.  The Republicans to the left by way of getting those whom they represent just as active as I am today.

To mess with Medicare and possible SSDI, Social Security Disability Insurance, isn't the right thing to do, it will have ripple effects on those on disability, the aging and our mental health population and their over all mental health recovery and wellness.

Listed here:  Eight dimensions of Wellness (Adapted from Swarbrick, M. 2006.  A Wellness Approach. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal)

If any of you don't have your elected officials on your cell phones, look them up, and

Those of us who sit in traffic, on lines waiting for mass transit, all the down time to and from work, this is a perfect time to call our elected officials in Washington.  Thanks to a friend RH, for this idea, it's one way we keep up with one another.

"The incoming Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said he's urging his Democratic colleagues to give Mr. Price a thorough vetting."

Senate Minority Leader Schumer, "Go Chuck," also adds that, " A lot of Republicans have been dancing on the head of a pin because they know the hard right of their party wants it but they know it's unpopular with the Public, he said."

The whole thing is a mess, Medicare Privatization, the Affordable Care Act and SSDI recipients are facing 19% cuts in benefits. ( Read Full Paper - NAMI below)

"SSDI provides monthly income to individuals who are limited in their ability to work because of physical or mental disability. Currently almost nine million individuals receive SSDI, and as of 2013, 35.2% of recipients qualify for disability based on a mental health condition." (For full story read NAMI's paper below).

Everyone needs to get involved in whats going on around them, to become proactive on these issues, so that all Americans are being taken cared of, not the Republican...survival of the fittest mentality.

We have two years to stall, slow down the attack on Medicare and Social Security, just long enough so that reinforcements can be deployed by way of the next mid-term election in November of 2018.

Until then start calling.

References & Resources:

"Trump Signals Big Health Policy Changes are Coming" (source: Wall Street Journal-Politics 11/29/16) by Louise Radnofsky

NAMI, Learn more Mental Health Public Policy / Social Security Income (SSI) and (SSDI)

NAMI-News- /President-Obama-Proposes-Plan-to-Ensure-the-Future

A Wellness Approach

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I love Hillary, But I would have Voted for a Stick Figure

By: Stephen Puibello  Award-winning Writer, Educator and Presenter
      on Mental Health, HIV and Recovery

Who doesn't have the election on their mind today, if you are HIV+, if you are a women, if you are Bipolar (Mental Illness), Can't afford health care, and scared that decades of civil unrest in our Nation can be reversed by who's appointed to the Supreme Court."

I love Hillary, voted Hillary, but would have voted for a stick figure as I voted issues, as I'm an activist on mental health and HIV+ and Recovery.  I also am dual diagnosed Bipolar and HIV+ now twenty years... And I've said to my Therapist, and many of my friends jokingly:

"I feel like the Six Million Dollar Man."

The costs of my therapies, my labs, my follow-ups, my psychiatrist, the medications alone, well over a million dollars.
In a way I'm fortunate that I'm bipolar, I wish I wasn't, but I'm disabled and it qualifies me for Medicare,  public housing, assistance with buses and subways and 80% of all the costs of keeping 1/6 of the Six Million Dollar Man working.   

Imagine the greed to charge $50 - $54 thousand dollars per year just for HIV medications, so yes I'm very afraid the outcome of this election.

I'm having to make choices as some medications aren't covered by Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.  The thought of a hospitalization frightens me.  You see I don't have Health Care for the other 20%.  I'm 58 years old and too young to purchase it.  I also require specialist.  

I agree our health care needs fixing, it needs to encompass all HIV/AIDS consumers, you see we are susceptible to cancers, strokes, dementia, all the co-morbities and for myself and others whom are dual diagnosed HIV+ and with major depression, chronic mental illness.

Recovery as a Mental Health consumer,  using the eight dimensions of Wellness, I've picked myself off the ground to where I am today.  To lose the ability to pay for med's,  the anxiety of a hospitalization, the loss of my part-time job as the debt collectors will place a lean on my wages...all of that eradicates my work and could cause:

                                    "This Humpty Dumpty to have another great fall."


The 8 Dimensions of Wellness

Bipolar, watch the video
For a comprehensive list of Resources for both HIV/AIDS and Mental Health Services.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Story telling, It's how I Connect and Grow

I'm a story teller, I skip through life telling stories about the people I meet, the places I go, and for the past twenty years of my life, these stories are connected around mental illness, you see I'm bipolar.

For more on bipolar disorder and other related links that I learned from today's story telling, sharing my story, with my friends and neighbors please check out the resources at the end.

This morning over coffee with friends and neighbors we started talking about stigma, the question I was asked was "how does it feel when you hear someone say you are crazy?"  My response, as an educated consumer living with bipolar, and as an advocate, was that it rolls over my me.  But it can open me up, depending on the situation, prompting me to educate the person who said that to me...To explain the harm it can do, I also talk about the stigma of mental illness.

In sharing today, I learned about Fragile X Syndrome.  I learned about it from one of my friends whom I heard talk about their grandson before, but who never discussed to the same degree what it was.  Their full story came about today when we were talking about "crazy", about being different, and about early childhood development.  I shared more about my own situation today.

Like anyone learning something new, I have a learning curve, so I asked if she could write it down by the name of the condition for me, as it's one of the ways I connect and grow as a person. I got home, Googled Fragile X, Cliffside Park, Charlie Evert and started reading the story.

"Charlie Everett started life with the odds working against him.  Born with Fragile X Syndrome, which causes significant intellectual disability, Charlie has an IQ of 70, well below the average of 100.  His parents had their own major problems, and at the age of 8, he and his younger sister were adopted by their grandmother."

Afterwards, I caught up with my friend and neighbor.  I asked are you Charlie's Grandmother. When she said she was, I asked if I could give her a kiss. She said "yes" and that's how today I grew from sharing.

Meet Charlie Evert and his mentor Bob Relay, an inspirational story.
by Lisa Ung, Staff Writer, the Record (source: