Tuesday, January 27, 2009


From Gerald Butler:

in Our Lives”


Many of us have either in the past or the present have met a leader
in the system that has had a positive impact on our lives.  At
last year’s Empowerment Day/ Celebration of Recovery, we were proud
to present Maryann Bozenski with the ‘Consumer of the Year’ award.
At this year’s celebration we would like to honor the positive leaders
in our lives; without them Michigan would not be on the verge of becoming
a National model of recovery. CHARGE is teaming with Detroit Wayne County
CMH/Customer Service to gather as many stories as possible between now
and May regarding consumers’ experiences with positive leaders. I
think I’ll start.

During the
first Peer Specialist training at Higgins Lake, folks were talking about
how Irene Kazieczko
Dept. of Community Health
was coming and I remember thinking how a
‘suit’ would make folks tense and upset the family atmosphere that
had occurred by the third day of the training. During a break, some
of were chatting outside and someone called Irene’s name. I was floored
to find out she had been there just kicking it with us. She came to
a campfire we had on the beach, and I could tell by her questions and
comments, that she was actually listening to us.

efforts have been both good and not so good to me. First the good: encouragement,
hope, trust, a willingness to help others, determination, desire, are
just a few things Irene has given me. The not so good part is that
she has spoiled me. Irene is the person who fought to bring Person Centered
Planning to Michigan, and who spearheaded the Peer Movement. She has
also bought us the ‘Michigan Recovery Council’ and tons of other
good stuff. I am spoiled because I feel that if a leader like Irene
can treat us with respect and dignity then everyone else should.

    If you have
stories of positive leaders who have helped you in your recovery, please
e-mail them to Robert Shaw at D-WCCMHA/Customer Service.
rshaw@co.wayne.mi.us Robert is the editor of the ‘Persons
Point of View’ consumer newsletter at the Agency. Some stories will
be published in the newsletter and others will be read on Empowerment
Day. Being a leader in this field is often a thankless job. We hope
to thank as many of the positive ‘Leaders in Our Lives’ as
possible at this year’s celebration of recovery. 

Gerald Butler

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