Consumer Perspectives: Adapting to System Reform

Source:  Behavioral Health News
by Dina, James, Jerald, Jesse, Peter, Taheem and Thomas

This article is the first in a quarterly series giving voice to the perspectives of individuals with lived experiences as they share their opinions on a particular topic. The authors of this column facilitated a focus group of their peers to inform this writing. The authors are served by S:US (Services for the UnderServed), a NYC nonprofit that is committed to giving every New Yorker the tools they can use to lead a life of purpose.

As we sat together to discuss our perspectives on the topic of Adapting to System Reform, we soon realized that street homelessness, hospitalizations, alienation from family and community, substance use, sobriety and living with mental illness were all experiences we shared. We also came to appreciate that we were united by hope, resilience, personal recovery, and a strong desire to help others. And, while we were all “users” of the health care system, the reform of it was not something we had really had the chance to wrap our heads around. Health care and the way it is provided affects everyone, and while New York may be a tough place to live in many ways, it also has one of the most comprehensive systems available to people anywhere in the country. The problem is that along with being comprehensive…READ MORE

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