2022 California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA) Conference

Recovery 101: For Those Who Thought They Couldn’t Recover

Advocate for the mental health recovery movement Pat Deegan wrote, “The professionals called it apathy and lack of motivation. They blamed it on our illness. But they don’t understand that giving up is a highly motivated and goal-directed behavior. For us, giving up was a way of surviving....

Looking Beyond PTSD: Are We Ready for Our Returning Heroes?

With an estimated 30,000 troops expected home from Afghanistan next month, the question that must be asked is: “Is the United States ready to accept these veterans back into society? Is it ready to help them reacclimate, re-socialize, and reintegrate?” The answer is not a simple yes or no. To...

Building a Recovery Toolbox

Imagine that you are battling a mental health issue (problem, disorder, challenge). You see a therapist, receive medication, and find healthful ways to live your life. Now add in a second disorder. And then, top that off with an addiction! Many people facing these complex mental health challenges...

River Angel: Therapy and Loss in the Early Days of AIDS

It’s been 17 years since Keith Braverman* washed down a bottle of valium with a fifth of vodka, left his wallet and keys on his kitchen table, and jumped into the Hudson River. Keith wrote one suicide note, and it was addressed to me. He attached a postcard to the note: the two embracing angels...

The Correlation Between Housing and Recovery – How Independent Living Can Pave the Road to Recovery

If a person with a mental illness is striving to better him or herself, is aiming to reduce symptoms and lessen the impact of his or her illness, where do you think such recovery would best take place? Do you think safe and secure housing has an effect on the path a person takes in life? Adequate...

What Gets in the Way: Latinas Who Don’t Access or Stay in Treatment

As social workers in urban settings, we often hear about the traumas our female clients endure. These include experiencing or witnessing: sexual assaults, parental abuse/neglect, domestic violence, child fatalities, and life-threatening illnesses/injuries (Gaillot 2010). Women are more likely to...

Through a Glass Darkly: Poverty and Mental Health in The Bronx

Each day I take a journey to the northern tip of our city, to the Northeast Bronx, where I am the director of an outpatient mental health clinic. I am a visitor from another country, Manhattan, and I inhabit this world and see it through the eyes of a white, middle-class outsider. As the 5 train...

Me First? A Personal Account of Self Care

When flight attendants give their safety talk at the beginning of each flight- where everyone listens to their iPod or begins to read a magazine- they state: “If there is a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will fall from above. If you are traveling with a child or someone who needs your...

Who Cares for the Caregiver? Responding to the Needs of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

When parents are unable to raise their children, relatives are often called upon to become primary caregivers. In the U.S. approximately 2.5 million kin caregivers have assumed this role—often unexpectedly, due to parental substance abuse, mental illness, violence, domestic violence, abuse and...

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Helps Clients Cope with Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in the United States. Approximately 40 million adults suffer from anxiety severe enough to negatively affect their lives. In addition, about 13 percent of American children and adolescents are affected by anxiety disorders each...