POETRY FOR PERSONAL POWER AT A GLANCE
Over the last 11 years, Poetry for Personal Power has developed a Kansas statewide network of people who use community-based mental health supports. This network has grown to include two more states (Missouri and Colorado) as well as a host of other artists and advocates in small pockets across the United States. These networks work through schools, churches, health centers, and other community groups (whether or not the word “mental health” is in the partner group’s formal mission statement). Our design was created to adapt to changes in mental health care delivery. Today, the people who receive treatment and those who might benefit from mental health support live in the community. They receive support where all of us do – in families, in community settings, in schools, and in social spaces.
Our Measurable project goals have been to:
(1) Emphasize and build consumer leadership within the organization (with an emphasis on business management) and in the community, as well as through partnerships and collaboration with allied stakeholders. In order to achieve this goal, sponsored poets learn business skills to organize events, locate potential community partner groups, train participants and partner agency staff, and collect data.
(2) Enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities within mental health service and/or peer support providers related to recovery and trauma-informed approaches. To achieve this goal, sponsored poets will organize recovery-oriented, trauma-informed poetry events in community organizations each year, which will engage and inform partner agency staff, poet-participants and audience members each year. Plus Social Media shares this creates a wide impact over time.
(3) Enhance consumer participation, voice, leadership, and empowerment in treatment organizations statewide. To achieve this goal, Poetry for Personal Power places individuals with peer support training in community partner groups or treatment organizations.
This project’s overall effort builds resiliency, reduces stigma, increases community capacity to prevent mental health crisis and respond promptly when people need support, and helps treatment organizations deliver person-centered service through a workforce that has the consumer voice built-in.
Since our founding in 2009, we have been determined to make an impact in communities through the arts and education. In 2019 we had 240 resilience messaging events, 74 Artist Entrepreneurs, 9 Peer Specialists, and 1747 hours of peer input for systems change.
WHAT HELPS YOU GET THROUGH ADVERSITY?
#1 EVERYONE GOES THROUGH ADVERSITY.
#2 THE BEST WAY THROUGH IT IS TO TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE.
#3 FIND WHAT GIVES YOU PERSONAL POWER.