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A Fond Farewell to Mary✌️

A Fond Farewell to Mary✌️

The pictures posted are from a secretly videotaped meeting with my care manager and his director at a non-profit agency in Westchester NY. For three months, I have been calling and trying to reach my care manager. I left message after message for weeks for this person.

It’s the same old story in mental health and systems of care. The consumer is always in the wrong, “difficult” or problematic.

In the case of the meeting I am going to discuss, I was the consumer, and desperately trying to explain to staff that I had been making every effort to connect with my care manager without success. After, I was threatened repeatedly with discharge from the program and/or referral to another agency who could serve my needs better.

Prior to this meeting, I got a call saying I have not been in contact with him or the agency and my case would be terminated. After this outrageous claim, and outright lie, I went ahead and videotaped the meeting out of fear of future mishandling of my case and care and to push back on a system and program that has consistently been negligent and out of bounds with state regulations with OMH.

“I dont oversee every little case here, I am a director”

“We don’t have experienced care managers at this agency…”

“You’re difficult to serve”

“Maybe we should just refer you to another agency”

“The issue is you’re just too high functioning …”

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."
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