THANKS to all who read & commented on My Birthday Prayer

You are much appreciated
AND there is more to be done & more we ALL can do

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Mental Health Awareness Series

Turning a Comment into a Post

I added a comment to my Birthday Post to thank my readers and followers for the amazing response from so many of you who took the time to read the story behind my prayer.

I so appreciate everyone who commented with empathy, as well as with the disgust that *I* feel for the TRAGIC and avoidable murder of the son of a good friend, colleague, and leading light in the ADD community.

I am expanding it into an Advocacy article, hoping that more of you will see it.

So what’s the MORE?

God Bless YOU all – and now I hope everyone will be proactive, speaking truth to “power” with a reach further than that of the blogging community.

I ask you to write or call your elected representatives and local hospital administrators – and that you repeat this story to your doctors with an expression of concern that something similar could EVER happen to you or someone you love.

It’s desperately needed, regardless of where you live in the free world.

The police are not the central problem here – but their lack of mental health training IS a serious issue that has needed addressing for a very long time. And that, my friends, is a matter for specifically targeted appropriations – or, as it turns out, lack thereof.

The APA (American Psychological Association) and AMA (Medical) could us a major tune up as well.

What happened medically that allowed this tragedy to occur was and IS INexcusable, totally avoidable and, unfortunately, not rare.

We, too, can become effective Lobbyists

ALL decision and policy makers need to be encouraged to assign a staff member to start reading the blogs of the mental health advocates, the chronic pain & PTSD sufferers and of a great many individuals attempting to get adequate and EMPATHETIC care from their doctors and nurses.

Many too many health care professionals seem more afraid of black and white DEA retribution – due to the way in which the DEA enforces their policies, intended to lower drug abuse statistics, to undercut the effective treatment for a variety of disabilities and disorders – than they are of being called out for providing seriously substandard care to many in the mental health community. REGULARLY.

Inexcusable, of course, but professional cowardice is at least understandable on some level.  What is NOT understandable is the rude and insensitive way in which many patients are treated by the doctors and nurses they look to and PÅY for help and understanding.

I see tales of lousy treatment on most of the blogs – and insensitive treatment on ALL of them. 

I hope that everyone who has posted an article supporting this statement will leave a link in a comment — those will become the only Related Posts for this article.

Removing “plausible deniability”

Until the decision and policy makers become fully aware that WE are aware of what’s happening in the trenches as the result of the laws and policies they enact and enforce on the advice of biased lobbyists and favor-trading colleagues, change will NEVER happen.

Until hospital administrators become fully aware that WE are aware of what’s happening on their collective watches, they will continue to fail to step up and investigate thoroughly – and sanction where warranted.

With awareness of public scrutiny, they are more likely to enforce respectful, kind and knowledgeable standards of care as a better way to protect their reputations than current attempts at covering their behinds under some ultimately cruel and basically unethical “cone of silence.”

Health Care Workers get NO slack from me

I understand that health care providers are overworked and under-supported. BUT, at the end of the day, most of them get to go home healthy and whole.

Sufferers get no such break.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I fully appreciate the many kind and considerate providers who put their patients first.  Unfortunately, they can’t be everywhere and treat all patients who deserve their wonderful ministrations.

Since that IS the case, we can and *must* expect, at the very least, kind and considerate treatment from every single one of them.


We must also hold them accountable when they do not follow DSM protocols, or when they refuse emergency appointments from their mentally ill patients — no matter WHO they are, or how well-placed.

We ALL need to be willing to speak up when we see something that needs changing, especially those in the trenches who have front row seats. We need you.

In order to be willing to put their own careers in jeopardy by speaking out, they need to KNOW that the rest of us have their backs and will support their actions — members of the PRESS particularly included.

ONE last thing

While I’m pointing out organizations that need a serious overhaul – the American Insurance Industry has been w-a-y outa’ hand for a long time now.  Why has that not been addressed and rectified? Profit? “Business as usual?”

What’s life and quality of life worth these days?  Take a close look at the actuarial tables.

And make sure you understand what the policies supposedly designed to “upgrade” protections for ALL, reading between the lines before you speak out in support of legislation that may be good enough for you, but lousy for others.

Cause and effect is not difficult to predict.  Sooner than we know, ANY of us may become part of a class that is currently being – or is likely to be – thrown under the bus of Corporate Commercialism.

CHANGE begins and ends with public awareness and a willingness to step UP and sing out. I truly appreciate those who take the time to read and comment – and blog about these issues themselves — *and* we need to make our opinions known higher up.

Related Posts:
Medicaid Block Grant Would Slash Federal Funding,
Shift Costs to States, and Leave Millions More Uninsured

Tom Price’s plan to cut Medicaid spending, explained

Mental Health Awareness in December:
taking a look at what our recently elected politicians
have in store for healthcare

TinkerToy thanks you for your actions too!


MEANWHILE, don’t forget about Open Enrollment for Group Coaching I hope those of you who are struggling with Executive Functioning Challenges will consider enrolling in my low-cost Group Coaching for more than a little non-pharmaceutical, brain-based help and and a great deal of understanding.

Related post: Group Coaching FAQs (frequently asked questions)

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

19 Responses to THANKS to all who read & commented on My Birthday Prayer

  1. Pingback: ADD Poster Girl Day today! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Wendy says:

    I believe you wanted a post that shows when I was treated poorly by a Mental Health professional. This doctor was very irresponsible. She changed my meds without seeing if there were side effects with the meds I’m already on. She was then changing my meds but needed to talk to another of my doctors first, but she never called the doctor or me. EVER. Well over a week, after she was supposed to call she was fired.

    Here’s the post.

    I looked up lodging a complaint about her but unless you have been harmed they don’t care. It doesn’t matter that what she did could have caused me very serious ramifications, they only care if it did. another travesty.

    Even when mentally ill patients complain, people don’t take us seriously. After all, we are “mentally ill”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Mental health is very much an issue here in NC – and I know my husband’s practice dealt with a lot of mental health problems in his patients. Happy to bring up the issue with the local Chief of Police.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you SO much, Noelle – and my regards to your husband. In my few interactions with you, I feel confident in my belief that he is surely one of the angels on earth.

      The police will usually do what they have been trained to do – which is bring in criminals for prosecution if possible, and stop them from hurting anyone else by any means necessary.

      My point has always been that police training must be changed to reflect the other members of our society that they will be called upon to deal with – especially the mentally ill. (including the inadvisable and incendiary nature of tasers and a change in their expectation that an individual would *not* struggle to get away in those circumstances).

      It might be a different situation if Jeremy’s circumstances had not been fully communicated before they were called to the scene. In this case they were aware of the nature of his mental illness. At least one of the officers actually knew Jeremy, having been called to Peggy’s house in the past, without incident. Had EVERY officer called been trained in effective mental health awareness procedures, this could have been avoided.

      Would they send a negotiator to a hostage situation who was not trained to handle it? I certainly hope not.

      BELOW is additional information that a blogger left in an exchange following a reblog of this article on his own blog, Debatable News
      I researched the story a little further. The triggerman in the story you posted was a police officer who resigned when investigated for another issue (non-homicidal police misconduct).

      Apparently the “game was up” and he left instead of facing “discipline.” Unfortunately he did not resign early enough to save the life in the story you mentioned.

      It is looking more and more like a call to the police to “help” with a mentally disturbed person is a death sentence for the afflicted. You are right: change is needed. I am left wondering if it is even possible.

      To which I responded:

      It HAS to be possible – and public outcry lets them know we are watching and CARE about what happens in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. joliesattic says:

    You had a lot to say here.

    I like the idea that police are not the problem but should have psych training as part of their training is a very good idea. I know it’s hard for them and I think over time, when they face the same situations over and over again, they can get jaded (they are only human after all) and that makes it harder for them to do their job. I had a friend who worked primarily the drug infested neighborhoods and unfortunately they were minorities and he became very distrustful of all of them. Once while on vacation his life had been threatened by cartel who had been tracking him!! To judge them is unfair because we have no clue what they go through or have been through.

    When I worked for Red Cross, our disaster volunteers, especially those who worked major disasters like 9-11 had to go through a psych eval and therapy (if necessary) to purge some of the trauma and history that had accumulated. Police should have that available as well.

    Re. nurses: When daddy was sick we had a mix of grumpy and cheerful nurses. It really made it so much nicer when they were considerate and helpful. Daddy had been a cheerful patient and most nurses liked working with him, but towards the end, not so much so and it made it difficult. Like us, they don’t always know how to deal with those dying.
    mgh added white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text; words unchanged

    • I appreciate your comment, and your attempt to present what the press is fond of calling “a balanced viewpoint.” My point about doctors and nurses is that it is part of their JOB to know how to deal with what comes through their doors. Their training is inadequate if they do not.

      I also understand that the police are under a great deal of stress in many life-threatening situations, and come under fire from somewhere no matter WHAT they do. Jeremy, however, was NOT a member of some cartel, or even residing in a dangerous neighborhood. Upgraded pre- and post- mental health awareness training and support for our police forces is essential – and currently grossly inadequate.

      NOT that any life is expendable, my point about desperately inadequate mental health training is made clearly when I underscore the fact that Jeremy was an upper-middle class, well-educated and generally well regarded white-skinned young man with a serious mental illness. I doubt that the police EVER had so much information about the situation in which they were asked intervene in a safely regarded walking neighborhood full of well-educated upper-middle-class individuals.

      So what does that indicate about what we can we expect in neighborhoods that are not so well observed, where less fortunate or minority demographics prevail?

      Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment thoughtfully. My greater point is that if we don’t ALL speak up and speak out, nothing will change. No situation ever remains the same – if it is not moving forwards it is usually moving backwards.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Debbie says:

        Madelyn, I’m with you on this. Yes, police officers, nurses and doctors do a difficult job under stress. But so do teachers, garbage collectors, waitresses. Just because, for example, i might have a class of very difficult children with intense social issues, does that mean I dont teach them? Does that mean I assume all children are like this? Just because one person with black skin might be a criminal, does that mean all are? Of course not. Otherwise we would not need movements like Black Lives Matter.

        There is simply NO EXCUSE for nurses not nursing, doctors not doctoring, and police officers not policing. In the case of your friend, it seemed to be a combination of responsibliites, from callous, very unprofessional medical staff, not only denying treatment to a vulnerable teenager, to predjudiced police officers who made assumptions without investigating.

        A boy has been murdered, his mother and family and friends are shocked and grieving.

        Yes, society is crazy right now, yes police officers do difficult jobs, but if those same police officers cant tell the difference between a criminal, a mentally ill person, or just an innocent bystander, they should resign, because lives matter. if a doctor cannot be ethically responsible and treat all patients, he should not be practising.

        It’s really that simple.

        and regardless of whether a person is middle class, working class, black skinned or white skinned, whatever happened to innocent before proven guilty?

        Apologies to anyone who might be offended by this – but it is really time to take a stand. There have been so many innocent lives lost because of prejudices played out in the mass media. Those prejudices are going to rise severely as the new presidency takes over, its up to all off us to start taking a stance for morality and common human decency, everywhere. everytime. if we can.

        Liked by 2 people

        • What a great comment, Debbie — and I heartily applaud your point about taking a stand. THAT is my point as well — also my dream and my life’s work. Making a difference is up to ALL of us. Thank you so much for what you do to speak up and sing out.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Debbie says:

            each of us fight our own battles – and sometimes those battles are just trying to remain in a state of love and compassion when people around us, dear souls, are anatgonistic, downright mean, contemptuous – it is very hard. and sometimes those battles are speaking out, signing petitions, saying enough is simply enough. NOW. enough.

            our planet is dying and a lot of people don’t care, and others thrive off the death of our planet by making oodles of money from it. if we all don’t start caring a bit more acting a bit more, doing whatever little thing we can, soon we will have no planet left.

            go to sleep Madelyn, and I wish you sweet dreams of flowers and dolphins and a peaceful world. no nightmares tonight, okay? xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            • My sweet friend from the other side of the world – we are SO alike in our thinking.

              And yes, if we don’t step up together – and now – it may well be too late for our dying planet by the time we wake up and realize that our all of our voices are needed (wherever we are called to participate).

              G’nite my friend.

              Liked by 1 person

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