Nicole Schiber, a clinical psychologist and the local recovery coordinator at James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, taught it to me.
Part of her job – and a strong focus of her personal mission – is to make sure people understand that people with severe mental illness do recover.
“I’ve spoken to veterans who were told by their providers from a caring standpoint that now that you have this illness you need to reconsider some of the big events in life, things like getting married or having a full-time job,” Schiber said.
She’s out to change the misconception that people with severe mental illness like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and severe post traumatic stress disorder can’t get better.
They can and they do.
Peer support and family understanding are key to their recovery and so is society. There’s a stigma surrounding mental health illness that can get in the way of that recovery though.
Schiber has made it her mission to change that “culture” and part of that change is the language. So, you have the term Post Traumatic Growth – where they actually measure a veteran’s progress beyond a diagnosis of PTSD.
It’s a change in language and a change in thinking that she hopes will bring about a change in reporting on PTSD. There is growth beyond diagnosis and treatment and it should not define a veteran or anyone with the mental illness.
Filed under: Health - Physical and Mental, PTSD, Veterans, Veterans Administration | Tagged: James A. Haley VA Hospital, Mental disorder, Mental health, Posttraumatic growth, Posttraumatic stress disorder |