Blog Tour Guest Post: The Blind by @AFBradyNYC @HQstories

13:11




Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up.

She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door.

On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient.

But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane.

Let the mind games begin.


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Guest Post:

I’m Not Waving . . .

A.F. Brady

When I was working in a mental health facility years ago, I couldn’t have been happier. I was working with one of my closest friends, I had the utmost respect for my bosses and colleagues, and I was making progress with my clients. I was learning new things every day, and finally able to use all the techniques and methods we had learned about in grad school.

I had worked in mental health for years already, but I was coming into my own. I was figuring out how to separate myself emotionally from the goings on at work, and how to keep the emotional toll from knocking me down. I was doing a good job. It was where I belonged, and it was where I would be doing the good work I had strived to do. I fit in there. I loved it there.

And then everything changed.

We watched the financial collapse on TV like everyone else did, waiting for the effects to trickle down to us. I had friends who worked for Lehman Brothers, cleaning out their desks and packing up their cardboard boxes. I thanked God I didn’t have money in the stock market, and was safely ensconced in a secure position at work. I would be okay. We would all be okay.

But we wouldn’t.

It took a while before we could see what was happening behind the scenes. The funding for mental health care was shrinking. The whole mental health world was already underfunded and we were doing the best we could with what we had, and it was working. We could survive on the scraps, and we did. Our clients were getting the treatment and the attention they needed and deserved, and we had high hopes for the future. We weren’t the first facility to go under. We had colleagues and friends at other treatment programs who were getting laid off. Clinics were closing. Clients, consumers and patients were left with fewer and fewer options.

We were one of those dwindling options.

The already overfilled group rooms started busting at the seams. Each clinician was given more clients than we could possibly handle. This was the new reality, and this was what we all had to face together. The hope remained, and we buckled down. There was no overtime. There were no reinforcements waiting in the wings. Slowly, eventually, despite the best efforts and tireless work, we, too started to drown. Daily meetings morphed into informal goodbyes as we watched more and more colleagues being let go.

The waves got higher and higher, until no one could swim any longer.

Many of the facilities closed. We lost our jobs. Our clients lost their treatment programs. I want to tell you that things have changed. I want to tell you that it’s all getting better and the funding will come in like a tsunami and wash us all to safety and a renewed sense of hope. I want to tell you that lessons were learned and wrongs will be righted. I want to tell you that mental health is finally getting the attention and awareness it deserves.

But I don’t want to lie to you.

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