Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.
If Howie the Harp were alive today, he would be the one man I would love to work with side by side. I would have learned all I could in regards to advocating for mental health and then put all of those lessons into practice. Because you see, Howie managed to accomplish such great outcomes in mental health care that now a days I could only wish for.
Howard Geld, known as Howi the Harp (because he loved to play the harmonica), committed his life to helping the mentally ill and homeless after he spend some time in institutions himself. He experienced horrible care in these institutions and wanted to change that.
He is credited with being a pioneer in advocacy for mental ill consumers, founding and co-founding many organizations that are now part of national and international mental health movements. He advocated for alternatives solutions to medications, the rights to outpatient care, the rights to housing for the mentally ill homeless, and much more. He even began a program that is in place till this day called Peer Specialist Training center which trains former patients who are recovered to help others with mental illness who are just beginning their journey in healing.
He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, psychotic, manic-depressive and psychotic depressive but instead of giving into the system and just being another number, he chose to advocate for mental health, create movements that made changes, and stood up for what was right. When I look at Howie the Harp I know that all things are possible if I continue to advocate and be a voice. He is living proof that changes in mental health IS possible.
Here are two amazing links to read more about Howie the Harp:
How about you? What are you doing to advocate for mental health? Feel free to share in the comment box.
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Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/howie-harp-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.