Including You: A Disability Rights Arkansas Podcast

Words Matter. Mental Health Matters.

May 30, 2023 Disability Rights Arkansas Season 1 Episode 5
Including You: A Disability Rights Arkansas Podcast
Words Matter. Mental Health Matters.
Including You: A Disability Rights AR Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental health illness in a given year? Despite its prevalence, individuals with a mental health diagnosis are still fighting to eliminate the stigma around mental health and getting treatment. Ableist language has become common vernacular with words tossed around like “crazy” and “insane.” I am joined today by Cory Bates-Rogers, Roger Isbell, and Tom Masseau to discuss this mental health crisis.

Note: There is a trigger warning for this episode for triggering language and discussion of restraint and seclusion.

Guests: 

  • Cory Bates-Rogers, PAIMI Council Chair
  • Roger Isbell, PAIMI Council Member, Self-Advocate
  • Tom Masseau, Executive Director at Disability Rights Arkansas 

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Lani Jennings-Hall:

At Disability Rights Arkansas, we are focused on guidance for people with disabilities on how to navigate your rights, things that help with your everyday life and how to navigate the complex system of how to get the support you need. In this podcast, including you, we bring that information directly to you the listener on things like accessibility questions, career and care, and even the nuances of love life with a disability. Everyone has the right to know their rights, everyone, Including You. I'm your host, Lani Jennings-Hall. Did you know that one in five Americans experience and mental health illness in a given year? Despite its prevalence, individuals with a mental health diagnosis are still fighting to eliminate the stigma around mental health and getting treatment ableist language has become common vernacular with words tossed around like, quote, crazy and insane. I'm joined today by Cory Bates-Rogers, Roger Isbell, and Tom Masseau to discuss this mental health crisis. Note, there is a trigger warning for this episode for triggering language and discussion of restraint and seclusion. Hey guys, thank you so much for joining us today on Including

You:

A Disability Rights Arkansas podcast. Let's start off today. Cory, would you mind telling our listeners a little bit about yourself?

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Yeah, my name is Cory Bates-Rogers. I'm an Arkansas attorney currently working for Clio, which is an international legal tech company. In addition to working with Clio, I'm also the chair of the Protection and Advocacy for persons with Mental Illness Advisory Council, which is a little bit of a mouthful. I'll call it the PAIMI council for short. Before becoming an attorney, I was a Teach for America core member in Houston, Texas. I taught bilingual pre-kindergarten for three years. But my journey leading to working with the PAIMI Advisory Council and Disability Rights Arkansas really started, you know, from a very young age, dealing with my own mental health, and growing up in a kind of tumultuous childhood. In fact, I score an eight out of 10 on the Adverse Childhood Experiences quiz developed by the CDC. Luckily, though, I've had a lot of time to grow, to come up with that survival skills that have enabled me to seek mental health services therapy, which has really done a wonderful thing. It changed my whole life and enabled me to sort of take on this role where I'm able to, you know, do what I can to help other people reach that same success. So that's, that's me. That's why I'm here. That's, that's my goal.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Thank you so much, Cory, for joining us. I think we've that so much to talk about today. I'm so excited to dive in. Today, we're also joined by Roger. Roger, you want to talk a little bit and tell our listeners just a little bit about yourself?

Roger Isbell:

Sure. My name is Roger Isbell. And I was born in Texas and was raised in Arkansas, North Arkansas, I was diagnosed with a mental health diagnosis when I was 13. And when I was 16, it was changed to bipolar disorder. And so I struggled with a lot of the medicines from the 70s. And then, as I've gotten older, medicines have changed, and I've stayed stable. And even though I have more downs and ups, I did have a pretty bad episode about eight years ago, and still kind of recovering from that. And, but I feel good about where I am in my life right now. And I'm on the PAIMI Council myself and have worked at the state hospital as a peer specialist. And I did that for six years. And I was a floral designer since 1983. So that's kind of my life in a little, little, little couple of paragraphs.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Thank you, Roger. So we're here to talk about mental health. We're here to talk about mental health awareness. And one of the things I really want to kick off this this conversation with and there really is a stigma around mental health around getting mental health treatment. And Roger you you've had a journey around you've really had a journey. Can you talk a little bit about, you kind of touched on a little bit when you're talking about so can you talk about the journey you've had from being in a state hospital to to your job? Can you

Roger Isbell:

Sure. Um, when I was asked if I was interested in talk a little bit about that? becoming a peer specialist, I said, Well, yes, then I've always tried to advocate and put a face to what someone looks like that may have some kind of mental health issue. I did a presentation. It's a forensic unit several years ago. And then after that, I was asked if I wanted to work there, and I ended up being on the board of the hospital, in an advisory capacity, and giving the board a viewpoint from how I what I knew was going on, and how it happened when I was there, and how I was treated, and was very vocal about different issues. And they all got to know me, and when I worked at the hospital, there, I was one of two in the state at that time, that was, you know, ready to do this kind of job.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

And so let's talk a little bit about and you have a very intense experience being in this state hospital, what made you decide to take the step to go back and work there because I know your your experience was, was it was it was it was intense. I mean, if you want to talk about it with our listeners, you can but But what made you what made you want to go back and and on the other side and set in working there?

Roger Isbell:

Well, part of it is because I care. And I care about how others are treated. And I had that voice, and was not afraid to use it. And sometimes it got me in trouble. But I always was respected for saying, you know, they, they brought in a restraint chair, I remember when those new restraint chairs came, I was working there. And they asked me what I thought and I said you really want me to know, you really want to know, I said I want to know where the plug in is because it looks like you're gonna get electrocuted in it. That's what I said. So, I was not afraid to say, a spade a spade. And I had a lot of good experiences I was I helped with some art show fundraisers there, which was an awesome way of getting people off the units into a setting that was like, you know, a party setting, I did flowers for it all the time. And all the pictures were framed, and it was quite the deal to get together. I was did the Christmas tree and there was all kinds of in the lobby and I did the decorations on the outside. So I was able to incorporate what I knew with mental health. And I even did a floral design class on the sex offenders units with children. And I used building an arrangement is like building your life back, you got to have a base, you got to have a focal point, then you have to have some kind of heights to add or, or a goal to how big you want it to be. And then you fill it in with the other things like the extras, the icing on the cake, kind of parts of your life, but you can go from where you are to where you want to go. And Mother's Day happened to happen about that time and we all made an arrangement and they gave it to their mothers that would come to visit for Mother's Day. So it was always I always tried to use my creativity in, in my services that I tried to provide to my peers. And then from what I was getting the feedback that we get from certain people, whether it was a nurse or our my direct bars. I would take that and you know learn from it. And, and I ran some groups, peer to peer support group with the patients. And I felt it was very important work. When I was doing it, I burnt out after six years, and then I had my own mental health crisis. And, and that was eight years ago. So and I don't understand why families of people with mental health issues allow us as, as human beings, to lose everything we own our cars, our furniture, our pots and pans right down to our socks and shoes. And we have to when we finally get better, and we get out, and you have to build it all over again. I mean, storage is not that much. I will be glad to expand in any in more detail if you wish, but I hope I was able to answer your question.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Yeah, you did. And in fact, that leads me to another question. You know, you talked about your own mental health crisis. And the situation when you burned out? Do you feel that you you didn't have your own access to mental health treatment? In that situation? And you said, you know, your your friends, were your friends and family at that, in that situation? You didn't have you know, that, that that support? Do you? Did you feel that that was the situation for you a lack of access to treatment? And so one thing I think Roger, both you

Roger Isbell:

Um, well, I always knew that I needed a support system. I thought I had people in my life that would be there and support me. I lost everybody, except two people at and Cory have touched on a little bit and and this in fact the time. My two best friends stood there, and had to educate my mom, my dad and my mother and my sister, and my cousin, because I thought those people were part of that system. But when it's so much easier to deal with me when I'm crying and can't get out of bed, and bed Oh, and I go on the other side of that. It's like, I guess I grow tail and horns. It because I know when I'm not nice. And when I'm stable. I feel like I'm a very kind, generous giving person. Um, so as far did I think I had the support? Well, the support I thought I had failed. I had a hard time, and in fact I was banned from going came up yesterday when Tom and I were talking about when we were to the state hospital when I was in crisis. Now, whether it was because I worked there, or it was in bad shape, or I showed I showed out or something like that was a lot of my time. I don't remember. There's gaps in my memory. And I guess it's a it's a coping mechanism. That just helps me not until it's time for me to deal with whatever that is about remember. And I do have to do that. Finally, my dad stepped in and got me into some services at, it was on the board of in Batesville. That's no longer there anymore. And I was, I lived in house for seven months. And then I got my own apartment. And then the biggest player of my support system died. And that was my mother. So I had a double triple whammy there within a few years. But I've always said part of my recovery was the right medication, the right supports and services and my own damn determination to get better. And I've lived by that sometimes that gets really clouded and and how I exercise those coping skills. But most days today, if I can remember where my feet are, and go on. I do pretty good. prepping for this conversation is talking about mental health. Diagnosis versus a disorder versus illness and Cory I think you touched on it very well. Earlier when you are We're talking about your journey as well. A lot of times in this was because I said it incorrectly yesterday. It's not just a disorder, it's you know, a lot of this is trauma based. It is biological factors, family history. This this is something as you just said, Roger, the the right supports the right medication and indetermination. Like it, it's more than just as we just said, a disorder. Cory, I kind of want to bounce this back to you just because I feel like you really, you really have to hit the nail on the head. This is your initial description or your initial bio.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Yeah, you know, I think that I think that what Roger said, it really hits home. I mean, he you said, you know, I don't know why our families allow us to lose everything when we're experiencing a mental health crisis. And first, you know, I want to acknowledge that that must have just been incredibly difficult, because not only are you going through that mental health crisis, you then are confronted with the fact that you're going through that mental health crisis alone. And I'm sure that that makes recovery and achieving recovery that much more difficult. And so I'm really sorry that you had to go through that, that really kind of brings me to this stigma that is pervasive in our society around people with mental illness, or whether there's an actual diagnosis or not.

Roger Isbell:

Can I interject just a minute cleaning, if we could, if I could ask people I do all the time, never used the word, the word illness, to connect with mental if you can use health, mental health, that gives them more positive spin. And it's not what's wrong with us. It's what happened to us. And I just tried to keep positive about it, because it's very important that people can see us and put a face to us and know what we're willing to share. I'm not saying go out there on the streets and have a have a, you know, a podcast from the corner of the street or something. But just knowing that we're people first. And that we are is that is not, I mean, a brain disorder. Yes. Genetics, yes. My grand dad, my uncle, and then a grant great uncle on my mother's side. And back when my grandpa was in Fort roots, it was crazy. And I think part of our communication or talking today needs to be around that word. Because we are we have to educate the community. The community leaders, the politicians, everybody, we have to put the message out there that we are not crazy.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Which, going right into some of our points here. Cory did an amazing blog for for us here at DRA about that very thing, as if you haven't, if any of our listeners haven't seen on social media. I think it was, I think maybe last was it February or early March. It was coined as a new tagline in social media, "The dividing line in America is no longer between right and left it's between normal and crazy." That was used by the Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and it's not okay. It's not an okay phrase. And it's not an okay tagline to promote yourself. And Cory, your your blog could not have said it better.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

You know, it's it's really easy to throw around the word crazy or insane. I feel like we do it. It's just part of our regular vernacular. It's, the more you pay attention to how much you say, Wow, that's crazy. Or oh my gosh, that's insane. The more you realize, wow. It really is something that we use commonly in those contexts. But when you get to a situation where you have a leader of a state Saying that, essentially everyone who opposes her own ideas or her own believes is crazy or has issues with their own mental health? You know, it really it's a slippery slope to go from there to things that you see in read in dystopian novels. I think, you know, to go back to the conversation about stigma a little bit, is that the stigma against individuals who have, you know, mental mental health issues. It goes, it goes back so far, and many of the ways that we talk about mental illness now are still directly rooted in the eugenics practices in the early 1900s. The way that we address people the way that we treat people in facilities, all of its we're not that we haven't come that far. Now, we have come a little ways, but we have so much further to go and taking a political opponent and classifying them as someone who is mentally ill just because there have differing opinions, it you know, it just is an unsafe practice, and not a fair thing to say, because not only are you furthering the stigma against individuals who have mental health issues, you're also discouraging people who may be suffering from a rare episode of depression, and who may be leaning towards suicidal ideology, you're discouraging those people from seeking help for the fear that they don't want to have a diagnosis of mental illness. So really, we need to be reframing the way that we look at this altogether, because no one is going to get better. No one is going to mat be able to manage their mental health successfully, if they're too afraid to go seek that help in the first place. So it really does start with us. It starts with us as individuals to really own what is mental health and how can we a help our own mental health? And then also, how can we support other people in our community who may maybe we don't know it, but have an issue that they don't even realize that they have making them feel comfortable enough that they can go seek assistance, and not feel stigmatized by seeking that assistance.

Roger Isbell:

And the way I explain that, to my to people is, you know, if you have a cough or fever, where do you go, our brains are an organ, our heart is an organ, if you have a heart issue, or if you have a spine issue or whatever, you go to that kind of best specialty doctor. And we're very fortunate to live in a time where we do have these specialists. And I can only imagine 100 years ago, and what I have read and seen on online, the treatment that I would have received if I hadn't been alive the, naked, chained to the wall. And that's another thing I've always tried this change to change myself. And in order to maybe make somebody feel more comfortable. And then if they say in a serious conversation or something, you know, you're so crazy Roger, and although Yeah, I am you want to see my papers, I'm registered. So that kind of breaks it down for them to not be because I make a joke a lot of times about real hard issues. I kind of make that makes it light and then I may turn around and cry about it but it's it's it there's a balance and and like you were saying, Cory You know you watch a movie and that's so insane or you see something, a driver or whatever. And yeah, I think crazy driver How many times have we all said what I'm trying to say is, the word in itself is maybe not that bad, but it's in the context of is used?

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Well, I think this is one of these situations that and dra took a stance on this one that this was not an okay situation, and we specifically requested change. We believe that this is a situation where education is required. We issued a press release, requesting that we end ableism and ableism language and that we educate to educate the public on mental health awareness. We I mean, we have an entire grant around mental health awareness. Tom, can you talk a little bit about pay me in the penny grant?

Tom Masseau:

Yeah. Thanks, Lani, Lani, for having me on again. So the Protection Advocacy for Individuals with mental illness act or grant that we receive allows us to advocate on behalf of individuals with serious mental illness. And I know Roger, you had mentioned, I'm using the term mental health. But I'm using the term mental illness because that's the way it's written in the in the, in the grant. So no disrespect, Roger. I agree completely with you. But the the PAIMI program allows us to advocate to go into institutions where individuals are living, to ensure that they're safe, that they're free from abuse, neglect, exploitation, but it also allows us the ability to better educate individuals across the state on issues that have a direct impact for individuals, you know, we look at employment opportunities for individuals, we also look at education. We do a lot of education work in there in our pantry program, we number of kids here in Arkansas, who are not receiving mental health services who are being pushed out or expelled or suspended, because of the disruptions that go on in school because they don't have the supports and services. And then we then we see the the school to prison pipeline explode because of that. So I think, you know, the panic program is just one to really begin focusing on what can we do as to ensure that those living with a mental health diagnosis all the barriers are removed if they're just living their life, just like everybody else. And I think the piece that really struck us was when you know, when the rebuttal to the State of the Union, when the current when that when the governor use that term that you guys have been talking about. And I think that you know, those in leadership positions, have a greater responsibility to ensure that they're bringing people together instead of dividing. And using terms, such as those is very demeaning and disrespectful to people who are struggling on a daily basis. And so I think that's why we took the stance to ensure that situations like that don't continue. And unfortunately, we're still waiting for a response from our current governor, it appears as though she doesn't really listen or pay attention to, you know, to the language that has been used and how demeaning it can be across the state. So we're going to continue to push and push and push to get it together. But that's it. I'll stop.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Well, not just not listen, but continue to use that. It's still going strong. As you were talking, Tom, about PAIMI. Cory, you talked a little bit about it, Cory is the PAIMI advisory council chair. And Roger is also on the on the we also refer to it as PAC. Cory, can you talk a little bit about the PAIMI Advisory Council and your role there. And just really how PAIMI Advisory Council supports DRA.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Yeah, so the PAIMI Council is this federally mandated advisory council that is required for individuals or organizations that receive PAIMI grant funding they there has to be a PAIMI Advisory Council and that advisory council has a couple of really important roles, especially in sort of advising, you might have guessed, the organization on how it can best support individuals who have mental illness. Again, individuals who have mental illness based on the language of the grant itself. What the pack what's really cool about the pack is that the government the federal government has said on this pack, you need at least 60% of people who are on who are advisory council members at least 60% Have those people have to be people who either have received or are receiving mental health services or family members of people who have received or are receiving mental health services. The goal of the pack is to provide an input of people who have that lived experience, who really understand how the laws and our systems and this state have impacted their lives so that we can then advise DRA this is what's happening. This is what we think is the problem. This is what we think, is something that we that DRA should work on with this grant funding. These are the priorities and objectives and goals that we want to see DRA adopt for spending that Pammi grant funding. So it's really just a really cool organization, a really cool Council. And honestly, it's made up off, we've got so many really amazing people on the council, especially Roger, I think that Roger is one of those who he brings that realism to every meeting. He just has the so much experience and is a huge value, your experience and what you bring to the table every day and your openness and willing to talk about things that most people would not want to talk about has enabled DRA to do so many incredible, amazing things in the community, that you should just, I hope that you feel some pride there. Because what you do really does help what other people experience in the state.

Roger Isbell:

Thank you, Cory, very, very much. And what I started to say, well go was I thought we had started correcting those things 15 years ago. But here we are doing the same thing, just a different day. It's like we How many times do we have to reinvent the wheel? I think it's ironic that our our governor, and then at the time her, her dad, which was the governor, we had a meeting because we had completed a Olmstead recommendation decision for the state of Arkansas. And I'm sure after we presented it and had that big to do it to Capitol. The next thing it was it was filed in 13. That's how it felt that whether that's what happened, I don't know. But it we are required by law by Supreme Court to have supports and services in our communities, for every person that is eligible to live in our community. And it doesn't happen.

Tom Masseau:

Roger, you raise a really you raise a really interesting point in that. This is not the first time there's been discussions about language and providing supports and services. You're right, absolutely right, that own set draft was was put together. And it is currently sitting on a shelf waiting. But I think what's what's disappointing about all of this is that here we are in 2023, having these same conversations over and over again, especially talking about leadership, and really talking about the values that some people place on others, or that they read. I don't know, it's just amazing that we continue to have these conversations. And nobody really seems to begin changing the change their language, or changing the way they look at an individual. It's all based on stigma and what they perceive them to be and how they're living their life. And I think that's what's so important about the PAIMI Advisory Council is that there are individuals with the lived experience, who can share their experiences. And in a chair, there are barriers that they're facing, and to the agency to the board of directors and issues that we as an organization need to address to push forward. And now those issues that the PAIMI Advisory Council comes up with are not the most popular ones, but they're the ones that have the direct impact on the lives of people living with their with living with their mental health diagnosis. So I think that that's the PAIMI Council plays an important role in the in the work of the agency does.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

So really, I have one final question. But before I ask it, I want to read a quote and this is Cory, you're going to recognize this one. And instead of alienating ourselves, our friends and our family members who are experiencing or my experience mental illness, we should be encouraging and supportive. We should endeavor to make access to quality mental health services easier and more affordable. we should focus our efforts on improving the quality of life for Arkansans with policies that enable alternatives to guardianships, restrictions on chemical and physical restraint in schools and mental health facilities, and building larger community support networks for individuals with disabilities so that they can live meaningful and productive lives. So the final question I have for you guys, is what can we do?

Tom Masseau:

So I think one of the things, and in Cory's quote was was spot on. So kudos to Cory for that, but what I think we can do and what we should be doing is continuing to educate and calling out those who continuously disrespect the lives of people with with a mental health diagnosis across the state. And I think we need to keep reminding people, that words matter, and in the words that they use, present stigmas, and we got to keep pushing and pushing back and calling them out directly. I don't care what what position you hold. I think it's our responsibility, Disability Rights Arkansas's responsibility, the PAIMI Advisory Council responsibility, to hold them accountable for their actions. And so I think that's one thing that we need to be doing.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Absolutely.

Roger Isbell:

The only thing I can think of, is vote. Because that to me, on the level that we're talking about this is that people need to vote and vote for a quote from my grandpa. And he had a sixth grade education. And he said, what's right is right, and what's wrong a right. And we if we could somehow get our Kansans on board with some of the more human response to people, and understanding that, that we are all people, and then are going to say this. And there's all kinds there's black and white, and all kinds of shades of grey. And in most things that she talked about, right or wrong, or it just is.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Yeah, I agree with that. Roger. I also think that, you know, we have made some progress. Since our parents were our age. I remember growing up, and I went to the counselor, because I was feeling sad. And I talked to the counselor about how I felt like, my family didn't love me the same as the as everybody as the other siblings. And the response from my parents was, basically, if you go back and talk to them again, we will beat you until you don't go back and talk to them again. And I think, I hope in my core, I hope that that is something that just wouldn't happen today. I'm sure that it may. But I really hope that we're to the point now where we can at least support someone's endeavor to become better to talk to someone about their feelings, because feelings are important. And we shouldn't we shouldn't allow people to just languish, we should support them. We should talk to our friends about when we go to therapy. That's honestly one thing that I make a point to do in anytime I'm talking to friends or really anyone I think I'm people are rolled her eyes when I come around, because I'm like, oh, yeah, therapy, you should definitely do that. Honestly, therapy is the most amazing thing that has happened to me. I mean, I'm married, I love my husband, but man, therapy! It has enabled me to have a functioning relationship. It has enabled me to have a family, being able to work through trauma is such a wonderful thing. And, you know, if you feel that you're experiencing trauma, talk to someone make an appointment with a therapist, and here's the thing, like, I went through six therapists before I found one that met the needs that I have. So don't just go to one therapist and say, Well, that didn't work for me. Go to another therapist until you find someone that you click with. It's just such an amazing step to take. And I just want to encourage everyone to take that step. Because it doesn't matter if you're totally fine and totally happy and can't and you're just you know, I have no problems. I bet you if you went to therapy, you would be that much happier. You would be that much more able to cope with stressors of your life, because honestly like Our parents didn't really do a wonderful job helping teach us how to cope with stress. It was, Do you want me to give you a reason to cry? It was, you know, there was a lot of that happening.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

And I just felt like I've heard that my whole like, it was not I mean, if you even thought about going to counselors therapy, like it was literally there was something wrong for that even consideration for at least my generation, I feel like we're probably around the same age-ish. It was it was something was not okay. If you were even thinking or making the suggestion of going, I think you really brought up a good point. It was, it was not accepted to, to make that even thought. So I will say you're right. There has been some progression that it is at least acceptable to consider therapy and things like that in this day and age now.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Yeah. And think about it like your physical health. So you everyone has and I'm I'm rolling my eyes here, but you can't see because this is a voice recording. But everyone has that friend that's like, you don't go to the gym, we gotta go to the gym. Oh, man go into the gym really makes me feel great. I have so much energy when I wake up at 5am and go to the gym, see me Never. It's this, like, we need to be that person. But with therapy, hopefully I am that person with therapy. But like, do you go to therapy? Oh my god, I go to therapy all the time. Oh, man, I always you know, like, oh, man, I would have struggled with this before therapy. Just saying it just letting your friends know that you do that. I've had several friends who probably would have never gone to therapy, except that I talk about it so much. And I've normalized it so much in conversation that is become something that is like, Okay, well, I'll just go therapy. It's that easy. And we all have that ability and responsibility to a take care of ourselves and then to also just normalize therapy, normalize mental health services. Because they are normal, there is normal, like you said, Roger, as going to the doctor when you have a cough,

Roger Isbell:

I will tack on to that. I use the analogy while we go about just remembering where your feet are. While you're probably not wearing six inch stilettos, you're wearing something that's comfortable. You've got to find a good therapist. That's like a good pair of shoes that will walk you through and help you take care of where your feet are going is not where you've been. It's what has happened where you have been. But it's not where you have to stay. And it's not where you have to get it you can go forward. And that's all we got.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Does anybody else that would like to add

Tom Masseau:

Lani, and just just as a reminder for those who would like to consider serving on the PAIMI Advisory Council. The PAIMI Advisory Council is always soliciting and asking for applications. They can go to the Disability Rights Arkansas website at www.DisabilityRightsAR.org and go to the PAIMI Advisory Council page and fill out an application online or they can call the office and request an application as well.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

And for our listeners, I'll make sure that that is in the show notes as well. Thank you. Thank you guys for joining us today on including.

Cory Bates-Rogers:

Thank you.

Lani Jennings-Hall:

Thank you, Cory, Roger and Tom for joining me today. Everyone has a right to use their voice. When given a platform. It shouldn't be used to further ableist language or stigmas around mental health. Words matter. Mental Health Matters. As mentioned in today's podcast, there are actions you can take to further mental health awareness. We can provide support, talk to your legislators vote, get involved in the PAIMI Advisory Council. And don't forget, get help if you need it. Everyone has a right to mental health treatment. A Disability Rights Arkansas we envision in Arkansas where people with disabilities are equal members in their communities and can dictate their lives through self determination. And as made clear in this podcast, we can't create that change without bringing self advocates to the table. If you're interested in more information, make sure to subscribe to this podcast and visit our website. And don't forget to leave a five star rating and a review