In a recent statement about the brutal death of Daniel Prude at the hands of police in Rochester, CCIT-NYC (Correct Crisis Intervention Today) points out that a “peer with lived mental health experience, trained in de-escalation techniques and paired with an EMT, would have responded more humanely and effectively to Mr. Prude’s health and emotional needs, rather than violently escalate the crisis as occurred. Mr. Prude should be alive today.” (Read More)
It occurred to me that stories about working with people, like Daniel Prude, written by peer specialists who are doing the work could change hearts and minds about “people like us”. Our stories of hope can help to reinforce the idea that recovery is possible. In fact, recovery should be the expectation.
Howard Diamond’s previous blog on Stigma and Discrimination is a narrative that can be changed if we collectively tell a different story. One in which we simply offer snippets about changes we’ve witnessed in people we support. Maybe we write down things people say when they thank us for the difference it made to have a peer to peer relationship. Maybe it is about having someone who believed in them. Or simply how they no longer felt alone. Our collective stories by and about the people we support can educate and inspire others (possibly policy makers). By writing a simple quote said by someone we support, an example of a life changed, we may be able to change — maybe save — someone’s life in the future.
Let’s tell our short stories about recovery, resilience, and the difference peer supporters make, one person at a time.
If you are not aware of the circumstances around Daniel Prude’s homicide, I invite you first to read the CCIT-NYC statement (Read here), and then respond using the comment section below to the question, “What if Daniel Prude *had* peer support at the time of the incident? How might his life have been different?”