In an effort to bring recovery information, education, events and connectivity to Montana Montana’s Peer Network began creating podcasts! Special guest are often interviewed and current recovery movement topics are discussed. If you would like to be a guest please contact alexandra@mtpeernetwork.org.

To be a sponsor of a podcast for as little as $25 per episode contact Executive Director Jim Hajny at jim@mtpeernetwork.org

voices-of-montana-radio

“Recovery Talks” podcasts:

Older podcasts:

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Carrie

    Hi Peer Supporters!
    Excellent Podcast! I’m a “normie”… I think. If the lingo translates to ‘normal person’ than maybe not. But we’re all someplace along the spectrum of normalcy, right? Anyway, just the other day I was talking with a psychiatric technician behind a so called ‘control room’ at our facility. The conversation started about the weather but we ended up sharing our trauma histories. The psychiatric technician had witnessed, over the course of 5 years, her fellow techs brutally assaulted and permanently disabled in effort to care for an aggressive and mentally ill patient. Long story short, the patient was released to the community and the techs were off work indefinitely, in treatment for trauma and physical rehab. We then commiserated over some other techs who, on a regular basis, got explosively shat on by an obese, paralyzed and mentally ill patient as he was raised in a Hoyer lift. This patient was fond of weaponizing his excrement to protest against caregivers. The tech and I laughed this one off… But the horror stories continued. We shared our concern for another tech who would be tested for blood-borne diseases after he partook in crisis intervention to help a Hep C positive patient; the de-escalation resulted in blood-to-blood contact. We reflected on the ‘campus shooter’ incident that called for a facility-wide lockdown several years ago… We mourned a staff suicide and patient suicides that we just couldn’t rationalize. I shared my own story of how I witnessed several patients end-of-life struggles — their hallucinating on narcotics, curled up in fetal position and moaning, spit up food dried and crusted on their face and pillow, alone in an empty room, with no family – only 15 minute checks. My futile attempts at palliative care during a 9-5 and in-between caring for 55 other elderly, disabled and demented clients chewed me up …In desperation, I looked into hospice care and found that our facility somehow did not qualify. I figured that I must do what I can, for whatever its worth. After swapping traumatic experiences like ‘water-cooler talk’, the tech and I came to the same conclusion: our empathic concern and hope for people with mental illness, in poverty and/or on drugs is what keeps us in the helping profession. I have been spit on, called profanities, harassed, stalked, hair pulled, arm twisted, scalded, choked, slapped, punched and had objects chucked at me during work (I won’t mention my trauma exposure outside of work). I have seen worse happen to front-line staff who get paid less and work way harder than me. Social service workers know the reality that to help vulnerable populations we too become vulnerable. Sure, they say that we should leave work at work, but symptoms of trauma fail to adhere to this rule. I find it hard to believe that anyone working in mental healthcare can be insensitive, ignorant or immune to trauma. I find it easier to believe that our collective trauma has led to some of the ‘guarded welcomes’ you see caregivers extending to patients. If we are to have such a thing as trauma-informed care, we need acknowledge that trauma travels in both directions; anyone who helps others is at risk for developing compassion fatigue. When strong voices like yours speak out to reveal the hidden wounds of trauma and to correct the misinformed, outdated American healthcare system please give us Social Service workers a ‘shout-out!’ True, many of us may be ‘normies’ (or without a mental illness), but none of us is untouched by the system-wide problem with trauma. What your organization does helps and heals all of us! Props to MPN!

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