I am number 27 on the list for Mental Health Skill Building. I applied for it in Feburary 2015. Yes that is right almost a year and a half ago. What is mental health skill building? It is an in home service for the chronic mental health patients that have been hospitalization. We help them go to their medical appointments, their medications, socialization, and other needed services for 10 hours a week. There professionals have a bachelors or better. They are paid well. They keep people out of the hospital.
These agencies like mine can hire about 10 people. Right now an agency is number 285 on the list. That is 2,850 jobs waiting for almost 10,000 clients. We have shootings of and by mentally ill people. The hospitals are full and can’t keep them.
I called to find out why. They have two people for the whole state of Virginia to process the paperwork. Virginia has 8.401 million people. If 10 % are mentally ill, that is 840,000 people. These workers have to verify information, do office inspections, background checks and see if forms and procedures match current laws. 2 people.
If they move 3 steps a time, it will take an additional 9 months for my application to start the process. That will be next year. How long can our mentally ill people wait? How many jobs go unfilled?
I have contacted the papers, and wrote a Senator. I am pushing on. Next I go to television. I want to serve the disadvantaged, employ people. Do my civic duty.
Number 27 is not so great after all.
You spend the first few months enthralled at everything they say and find the jokes witty. You ignore the little things that normally make your flesh crawl. You expound on the wonderfullness of the other person.
Then you reside together either through cohabitation or marriage. You notice he doesn’t put the towels up. She leaves her dishes out. He goes out without telling you. She wears ugly sweatpants to bed. You don’t bring it up. It festers. Then boom you have a fight and everything comes up at once. They don’t understand because you never said anything before now.
Rules for cohabitation:
- Make a household budget and 3 accounts.
everyone should have some of there own money.
- Make a list of household chores and decide who does them.
- Each person has a bathroom to call their own and a space.
- You make decisions about children, discipline, visits.
- Elderly parents who cares for who?
- You have a weekly meeting to discuss the household and what is getting on your nerves.
- If you need space, ask for it, but give a time frame.
- Remember no one reads your mind.
- Say I fee _____________ when you _____________.
- Always and never and fine are not used. No one is good or bad all the time and we all do things sometimes. Plus fine stands for f’ed up, insecure,neurotic and emotional.
- Say what you mean.
- Paraphrase what the other person says.
- Don’t threaten to leave or throw someone out when you aren’t going to do it.
- Say something nice everyday to your person.
- Do not hit, throw things, break things or use insults.
- Do not tolerate such behavior.
How often do you put up with something before you leave? How long do you let something go before you complain about it? What level do you complain to someone high up?
The scenario. I had a client call the EAP over four months from the visit. They alleged that I spent the entire session on the phone. Who would sit in a session for an hour while someone was on the phone? Why wait four months to complain about it? The whole thing of suspect from the beginning. My word against hers. I have answered the phone during a session, but I usually do not. After hours you don’t have a secretary, and a client could be in crisis. The next client could be calling for directions.
So now I hang in the balance and could be kicked off the panel on the word of one person. I even sent a letter to her about why I hadn’t seen her in awhile. Why would I do that if I had been on the phone for an hour?
I shouldn’t let this bother me. My practice has seen almost 128 clients in a year with no compalints. 128 vs. 1. Do counselors get the benefit of the doubt?
I finally have started my novel on my career as a therapist. I will post exercpts from time to time and hope you will critique it. I will try to be as honest as possible without giving away any client privledged information. I also will shed light on various diagnosis, failed treatments, modalities. I hope to have me grow as a person and learn as I write. Many people go into this field wanting to save the world. They have no clue. The textbooks do not tell you about assessments in the hood, walking the park to engage the homeless, going into homes to look after children, watching people detox, doing therapy in a soup kitchen and jail. It is a journey for me and for my clients. I also apologize to my first clients that I learned with and hope they got better anyway.
And don’t get me started on insurance billing. They don’t touch that.