What gives you personal power?

Poetry for Personal Power does healthcare sector advocacy, innovation, and messaging. We are now in our the fourth year of asking young people across the nation, “What helps you through adversity?”   Our program has reached over 12000 young people, with over 400 videos on our You-Tube channel.

This is how we work: We are pulling money from the healthcare sector to the art and psychiatric survivor sector. Why? Because our creative type people can work much more efficiently than traditional providers in the healthcare sector.  Although our budget is tiny compared to mental health funding, it’s potent for an artistic project. The money that funded the 90 poetry events to reach 3000 people was only enough to keep 10 people on psych meds in all that time. This is the value of prevention. We can stop emotional distress before it becomes an illness. Our behavioral health messaging is unique in the healthcare sector. We work to provide informal peer supports in the community. Ultimately, this is more effective than waiting till people are sick and putting those funds in the healthcare sector.

If you would like more details on these concepts, see Paul Komarek’s realms of peer support ideas discussed on his blog.  There are 3 realms: healthcare sector world which is very expensive and has high regulation, nonprofit world which is moderately less expensive and less regulated, but then your most powerful interventions can happen beyond this, in “volunteer world,” or truly in the community. We work with lay interventions, with artists, with activists, with volunteers, with the hidden people doing good work each day.

Personal Power photos from work in healthcare sector innovation: