I received a scholarship from The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network to attend training classes for The Georgia Peer Institute. One responsibility of the training is to prepare and present a project on a topic or subject that you studied while at the training. Over the last month I have been working on The Five Stages of Recovery and finished it up today. I plan to present my project to my peers at New Rock Day Program in the very near future and have my written report turned into the GA Peer Institute by the deadline of June 24th. I had the opportunity today to speak to Donna Jones of The GA Peer Institute and she is in anticipation of my report. I informed her that I had worked on a project board for my presentation and what the Institute wants is to have a written report and to have it mailed or faxed. So I have decided to present my project at New Rock to my Peers and leave the project on display at school for all my Peers to see and read about the scholarship I received from the nomination from the ACT Team.
I plan on applying for the Certified Peer Specialist training again in December where the training classes will be offered in Decatur. I feel so fortunate so often to be a graduate of Dekalb Technical College, New Rock day program, The ACT Team, The Respect Institute and The GA Peer Institute. I feel very blessed to have received all this wonderful knowledge and to have met some wonderful mentors and friends along my journey. I plan to be a graduate of the Certified Peer Specialist training in the very near future and to begin a career as a Certified Peer Specialist for the State of GA. Donna Jones spoke to me about New Rock and View Point Health sponsoring me for the training. I will speak to my Case Manager and Therapist at New Rock and make them aware of her recommendation. The Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project is a partnership between the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. How do I become a CPS?
> Candidates must have diagnosis of mental illness or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addictive disease and must desire to identify themselves as a person with mental illness current or former consumer of mental health services.
> Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and may be requested to provide a copy of this document.
> Must demonstrate strong reading comprehension and written communication skills as indicated on their responses on the pre – test which is part of the application.
> Must have demonstrated experience with leadership, advocacy or governance.
> Must be well grounded in recovery
These facts are taken directly from the Certified Peer Specialist brochure.
There have been 997 Georgia Certified Peer Specialists Since October 2001.
I have suffered through and survived through all five stages of Recovery since my initial diagnosis in August of 2004 and continue to deal and cope with each phase on a weekly basis. Given my history of abuse and injustice from the State of GA many years ago prior to their rectification of not allowing me to see my four daughter’s due to being hospitalized for marital abuse and depression along with mental illness diagnosis. I am a Codependent by nature and deal with battling codependency and using coping skills and boundaries to assist me. I have never had dual diagnosis of addictive diseases of alcoholism or drug addiction but have suffered at the hands of several alcoholics and drug addicts during my life time leading to my being abused. The State of GA from Juvenile Court to Superior court has rectified their grave mistake 10 years ago time and time again but I still have no relief from the alienation and estrangement of my daughter’s by and through the hands of my ex husband and his family all out of the act of hope with no grounds of wrongdoing ever, not as a mother nor as a wife. Not even the first hint, suggestion, implication, nor accusation of such neglect nor abuse and there have been 997 Georgia Certified Peer Specialists Since October 2001. My story of mental illness and marital abuse surfaced in August of 2004. I am accustomed to and know the five stages of recovery very intimately. I have been a strong advocate for myself and my children and all children for 20 plus years now.
Adopting my three step – daughter’s in 1999 which includes a journey of :
Independent Adoption Report – State of Georgia
I. Verification of allegations contained in the petition
II. Circumstances under which the minor children came to be placed for adoption
III. Whether the proposed adoptive parent is financially, phsically and mentally able to have the permanent custody of the minor child
IV. The physical and mental condition of the minor children to be adopted
V. Whether or not the adoption is in the best interest of the minor children
VI. Suitability of the home to the minor children
VII. Other information – References
Four references were obtained on myself, Leslie Syles, school counselor, Julie Manders, school counselor, Mark Zielenske, family friend, Charles and Dot Sasser. All of the references support the adoption of the minor children by the petitioner, April Christina Fuller Sasser
The State of GA has put me through a pure living hell and nightmare for ten years now. Even given their rectification and reversal of decisions I have still found no relief from my ex husband or his family into the full reunification process and loving bond of my four daughter’s. My three legally adopted children and my own biological daughter of 15 years old. As I have worked on my project over the last month many triggers and stressors have came my way with floods of emotion coming back from ten years ago and through out the last ten years of alienation and estrangement of my girls. With my son being by my side always but not understanding the legal system and why my ex husband continues with this fit of rage and hate as a weapon with no legal or moral ground to stand on. Given he had 10 years of a marriage and 10 years of custody and visitation hearings. Not one unethical, remiss, neglectful, abusive act as a mother nor as a wife to ever be mentioned or suggested of. Yet we have all been separated, alienated and estranged from one another with my children paying the high price with not such very successful lives. Not the lives that I had mapped out for them at a young age. They have suffered irreparable damage by this State of which I have no idea if they will ever recover just as myself.
Five Stages of Recovery :
Impact of Illness
Life is Limited
Change is Possible
Commitment to Change
Actions for Change
The Ga Peer Institute motto being ” EACH ONE REACH ONE”
I will let my readers know how the presentation and written report goes and keep you updated on the conclusion of this venture.
Thank you for sharing in this walk with me and all the support and love I have received.