Mother’s Day

This is typically a rough day.

In many ways, although my mother is still alive, I lost her when I was really young.

I lost her to something that I wouldn’t be able to understand until much later in life.

Because of it, I really didn’t have a childhood.

Because of it, I almost lost my father before it was time.

Because of it, I understand all too well the intention of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

Unfortunately, as noted by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the path to Hell is paved with good intentions.

No one who is promoting the legislation would want to erode the confidential nature of medical records with their cardiologist, endocrinologist, orthopedist, oncologist, or any other medical specialist. Yet, the impact of those diseases likewise throw the family into crisis.

No one would argue to forcibly treat someone, against their will, if they can’t or don’t want to take their medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, arthritis, or other diseases.

No one would argue to erode the funding of services to protect the rights of persons with other medical diseases.

I have known all my life what crisis a family goes through because of mental health challenges, but that doesn’t mean that my mother didn’t have the right to determine how she wanted (and still wants) to live.

Joseph Alex Martin is a Copeland Center-certified Mental Health Recovery including Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Advanced Level Co-Facilitator. Joseph began utilizing his own WRAP in 2008 following his certification as a Peer Support Specialist. Joseph was a Certified Peer Support Specialist in Pennsylvania for 9 1/2 years, and is now living in New Jersey and working in New York. In his role as a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Joseph supports the recovery of his peers in their plans to take action to recover wellness in their lives.