the department of mental health

Page Two, website outline

In Massachusetts, the Department of Mental Health is a state-wide, state-run, state-botched, lumbering and uncaring bureaucracy. I wish I had known that in January of 2007.

It was to this (I now know) indolent and incompetent juggernaut that I appealed when I was being illegally evicted from my apartment.                                                                                                        

They had an entire year to find me a home where I could afford the rent and keep at least some of my 14 animals. They did almost nothing to that end. They did, however, do other things behind my back, some of which have taken a long time to find out. Some I will never find out. They, and their contract agency, Community Support Services, lied to me, told lies about me, and presided over the destruction of my life and a tremendous worsening of my depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. At 55, with these issues as well as physical health issues, they let me lose all of my animals, who were literally my reason for living, and be put onto the streets homeless. I remain without an apartment of my own nearly two years later. I do not maintain that this wretched failure of service was committed to stick it to me, to pay me back for reporting the DMH to Governor Patrick’s office and to their overseeing body, Health and Human Services. There may have been an element of revenge in it, but I still believe that the greatest reason for the downright unconscionable “service” I got from the DMH and CSS was laziness. These state employees are shockingly lazy, and to find a place with a low rent where some of my animals would be allowed was something they just didn’t want to bestir themselves to do because it would have taken some real effort. Their idea of helping someone find an apartment is to give you a phone number for a housing project. Projects do not allow more than one animal, so that was a solution that was not going to be right for me. These DMH cretins have lists of landlords in the community, and work with these landlords periodically. But to go through these lists making phone calls, explaining about the psychological meaning of my animals, and trying to find someone who would let me keep about half of them would have taken time and effort. The same time and effort they spent arranging for places for my animals to be hidden and later killed.

The conduct of the Department of Mental Health both shocked and appalled me, as I naively believed that because their purpose is to help, that they would help. I further naively expected that I wouldn’t be lied to by these people who were supposed to help me, nor that they would do things behind my back that they had no authorization from me to do.

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It’s now April 2010, and I’ve written in other places that on April 1 I moved into what can loosely be called a rental unit, but never an apartment. About the size of a ponystall, it is tantamount to living in a small cell that has a huge window and a bathroom to glorify it a bit. After two years and two weeks of living in a technical state of homelessness, when I had no rental unit of my own, thanks to the DMH and CSS,what I get is a cell with a few embellishments. And I’m claustrophobic.

I cannot say enough bad about this inhumane way of housing poor people, which I only applied for because it was the fastest way to get what is called a movable section 8, a rent subsidy which is not tied to the project you live in, but which you can use in any apartment where the landlord will accept it. You are not condemned to project living for the rest of your life.

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read…  Spite and malice…     Mental hell

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ariane said,

    January 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

    There are no words to describe my anger at the way I have was treated by my country’s mental health services and social welfare system. And lies I cannot tolerate.

    So sorry this happened to you. Abuse is always worse when it comes from those tasked with caring for us.

    I admire your wonderful grasp of your Mother Tongue so much. I feel as though I have lost SO much of extensive vocabulary over the years.

    It’s always a pleasure to read you. So glad we met. 🙂

  2. braonthree said,

    January 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Ariane… thanks for your empathy. You’d be surprised at how few people in nearly 3 years have said those words to me: I’m sorry this happened to you. And FAR from saying: it SHOULDN’T have happened. It was morally wrong. It was a failure of service, and it was damaging…. Thanks also for your compliment to my English, though mine, too, has suffered in these three years that I’ve hardly been able to read a book anymore…. I enjoy your blog too, a lot. And am equally glad that you found me, however that happened…. Am in empathy with you and the treatment you got from the national health.


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