Friday, April 14, 2023

Social Services Counter-narratives: Rebuking Individualism, Lack of Effective Services, Medical Racism/Ableism

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I am also available for consultation work, curriculum development, trainings, etc.. I enjoy partnering with organizations on development of more accurate understandings of social reality. 

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A List of Counter-narrative Topic Areas and Resources 


Currently in early draft form. Part of work on the Actual Reality Project: Documenting authentic, peer-centered reasons why individuals struggle to thrive. 


Challenges / Problems


1) Medical Racism, Ableism, Sexism (and other -isms)
Includes 20 minute segment of over a dozen impactful user stories of experiencing racism from liscenced counselors 

Bethany Morris's Work on Sexism in Psychology...





2) Services Not Meeting Needs

Instagram: Why we can't "just send them to Child Protective Services"

- "[Programs] can't work if there's no affordable housing to place people into. Kushel said California is about 1 million units short for extremely low-income households ... There are only 23 units of housing for every 100 extremely low-income households, she said."

- "In Mississippi last year, of roughly 190,000 children living in poverty, just 2,600 were receiving money from TANF, while, remember, of the roughly one Brett Favres in Mississippi, 100% of them managed to get $5 million for [a university] volleyball stadium"


3) Failure of Individuals to Succeed / Thrive Being Moralized as Individual Failure
Partly backed by "why aren't they just using the services and supposed opportunity on offer

"Just as we are trained to take a family history or assess early childhood experiences, we also have to consider our patients’ encounters with various inequitable structures. Mr. A’s experiences of trauma were individual and specific to him, but they were tied to the structures he interacted with. 


4) Critiques of Evidence-Based Approaches in Human Services Research

Planned Future Article: Compliance as a Metric Tracks Control, Not Authentic Thriving 

The Western tradition has tended to obscure the vital role of emotion in the construction of knowledge ... the myth of dispassionate investigation has functioned historically to undermine the epistemic authority of women as well as other social groups associated culturally with emotion.


5) Lived Experience (Peer, Expert By Experience, Self-Advocate) Exclusion From Health Knowledge Development and Health Services Design



Potential Solutions


1) Participatory Research Methods

Support Organization: Co-production Collective
Resource database, monthly support meetup


2) Participatory Grant-making Methods

Support Organization: Community Centric Fundraising 
6000+ Slack channel, content creation

Support Organization: Participatory Grantmakers
Two monthly support meet-up


3) Lived Experience (Peer, Expert By Experience, Self-Advocate) Inclusion In Health Knowledge Development and Health Services Design

- Involvement in Peer Recovery Support (PRS) decreased substance use significantly among peers. Peer attendance at voluntary self-help groups and support from family and friends increased as a result of PRS.

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