I was a skinny and reluctant social worker when I first started out. I was working through an eating disorder. Initially, I didn’t really believe that taking home a middle-class salary for nickel and diming those less fortunate was my idea of contributing to the world.
I guess, I’d gotten the idea that that was what the field was like during interviews I’d held with middle-class white women who worked down the street in government agencies during a social welfare class. I’d set up residence where I was finishing up my schooling, in Camden New Jersey. I needed money to stay independent from my parents.
Continue reading “My Story of Mental Health Warehousing”
Back when I was just a yuppie, I learned a few points of wisdom about working through stigma. I needed mentors to help teach me how wrong stigma is. Now, I want to pay forward some of what I learned outside the class room to some mental health academics and administrators who may not have gotten the same lesson.
I was learning to chop cheese steaks at a Korean owned deli and instantly enamored with this mentor on the grill, Mister Ray Gee. The deli was located just across the river from downtown Philadelphia, in the North Camden ghetto. This Mister Ray and I were just meeting. We were both the same skin-and-bones size, our last names went together in rhyme, and any middle aged man who didn’t have a gut was an inspiration to me.
Mister Ray took one look at me and exclaimed in one breath, “Wow you are an Asshole! But don’t worry, it’s not your fault! You were just raised that way!”
Continue reading “Multi-Culturism in the Hacienda of Mental Health”