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Monday, August 24, 2015

Wellness in the 8 Dimensions

Wellness in the 8 dimensions 

I recently attended a one day conference presented by Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, , and the Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives,  living in New Jersey with a mental illness I never new both these existed and was happy that this year I was able to attend via my 2012-13 Voice Award Fellowship.

Before the conference I experienced most of the eight in the diagram but never understood the over all connection.  One of the questions on the "2013 Wellness Conference Evaluation form," 2. Name 3 ways in which you will apply what you have learned from this conference in your life and or work." One of my responses was to add it to my blog and share it with my readers.

Emotional, "Coping effectively with and creating satisfying relationships."

Intellectual, "Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills."

Physical, "Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep and nutrition."

Social, "Developing a sense of connection, belonging and well-developed support system."

Environmental, "Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being."

Financial, "Satisfaction with current and future financial situations."

Spiritual, "Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life."


CSPNJ and Wellness and Recovery Conference 2013

Million Hearts
"Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke."
"Improving employment outcomes for people with psychiatric disabilities."

SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative
"Through its Wellness Initiative, SAMHSA pledges to promote wellness for people with mental and substance use disorders by motivating individuals, organizations, and communities to take action and work toward improved quality of life, cardiovascular health, and decreased early mortality rates.
* Source Peggy Swarbrick (2006). A Wellness approach, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29(4), 3311-3314"

Friday, August 7, 2015

JP Morgan Chase: If I Can Speak About Mental Illness, So Can Chase. Mentally Ill Man Returns Lost $450

Sunday September 2, 2015 
Mentally Ill Consumer Finds Lost and Return $450 to JP Morgan Chase

Open Letter to my Readers:

August 6, 2015

Mr. Eric Timmerman - Media Relations
JP Morgan Chase & Company
270 Park Avenue
New York,  NY                 10017-2070

Dear Sir,

This started Sunday, August 2, 2015.  I put in my card, no pin and out comes $450 (4 $50's and 10 $20 bills), this is at 111 8th Avenue, NY, NY 10011.  I asked for a simple letter that I'm there and that I'm here to do the right thing.  I was told no such letter can be given, I said may I have your card and I gave her my card.  "I said I'm now going to hold the money, the Assistant Branch Manager response to my amazement, "Its like you weren't even here."

I head out, find a larger Chase and ask if there is a Vice President and I had pretty much the same conversation, I asked what's the policy if no one claims the funds.  At this point its about two hours of my day.  I met with Vice President-Branch Manager at 230 Park Avenue South.

Again I like, I'm not giving this money, but along as I live with bipolar 1, as a child my parents always telling me never to steal, so I turn around, give $430 and said, "today $20 Chase is buying me lunch, it's been almost two hours of my time.  I also added, "you have my card, if the customer steps forward, contact me and I will return the lunch money.

Sir, I'm disabled, trust me, to find $450 and making the decision to do the right thing was very hard, but I did.

On 8-4-15, I was told they are still looking into and as of 8/6 still no call, I did after writing this letter receive email that they found someone who made  deposit, my reply is deposits you put money in, to find money in the dispenser where the cash comes out makes no sense.

As a bipolar Consumer Advocate, I then say lets ask Chase to spin a positive story as the media is always quick to do negative stories on people who are mentally ill.

Sir, I'm asking not for myself, but for two charities, $225 for AIDS/HIV and $225 for Mental Health be presented to my by the Vice President-Branch Manager from the 230 Park Avenue South Branch in Manhattan, along with a photo as I want to wrap up the day and make this a Positive Blog Story for my Blog, found on my ,my contact information is at the bottom, as are my accolades.  Please visit my PRESS page, nothing would make me happier then to see a story...PRESS Release from JP Morgan Chase sharing my story, showing two checks handed to a man living with bipolar and HIV who wanted to do the right thing.

I found JP Morgan Code of Conduct slogan, "It Begins With Me,a"  I hope this is you.

Thank you for your attention on my story.   If I can speak about mental Illness, so can chase.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Suicide Apps and Siri, I'm Feeling Suicidal? " Reply If You Are Feeling," .......

credit: Google Images

Personal note, August 5, 2015  

I'm not feeling suicidal, this is true story of my fascination as a 56 year old man living with bipolar, keeping up with technology and sharing with you.  If I can speak about mental illness, so can you.

I recently purchased an I-phone 6 plus.  Like all new smart phones I was quick to learn, using You Tube how to videos.  The one I found amazing was on Siri.  Like the instructor said you can ask "Siri," almost anything, for me one day I said, Siri, I'm feeling suicidal and to my amazement, this is what I got, not once, not twice, but several times asking me would you like me to call, "If you are thinking about suicide, you may want to speak to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  They are at 1-800- 273-8255, Shall I call them for you  NO or YES.   

As someone who lives alone, lives with bipolar disorder, just hearing a voice  was as a very positive experience and of course I said, "No Siri, I'm fine, thank you,  and Siri said OK.

credits: The Goodman Project 

This is the topic of today, smart phones, Siri from Apple and many other, apps.  So I did a search on other apps and found, the following which I will list the links below each. 

Hit play and watch clip 

Thank You to
where I found the ones above and others.

credit: Pinterest


Inspirational ****

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Health, Home, Purpose and Community, So Why do I Still Feel Isolated from my Queer Commuity

Health, Home, Purpose and Community
So why do I still feel isolated from my Queer Community

From SAMHSA's: Leading Change A plan for SAMHSA's roles and Actions 2011 - 2014.

"Recovery is a unique journey for each individual, and each person in recovery must choose the range of services and supports ranging from clinical treatment to peer services.   To facilitate resilience, recovery, and social inclusion, persons with mental health and substance abuse use disorders will also need to receive treatment for their co-occurring health problems.  Access to services must be paired with shared decision-making process between people in recovery and providers to determine how best to select, structure, and delivers services.  Like other aspects of health care and unless adjudicated by courts of law, people have the right to choose and determine what services and treatments best meet their needs and preferences.  Self-determination is the foundation of person-centered and consumer-driven recovery supports and systems, including such approaches as person-centered planning, shared decision making , and peer-operated services.  People in recovery should be meaningfully involved in all aspects of behavioral health services, including planning, policy development, training, delivery, administration, and research."

A mouthful for sure, but me me as a person with mental health and substance abuse use disorders while receiving treatment for my being HIV+, while being disabled I often question is my recovery 100% or half way or held back do to being on social security disability insurance that keeps me feeling isolated from my own queer community after following the goal of recovery that is exemplified through a life that includes:
  • Health----Overcoming or managing one's disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
  • Home----A stable and safe place to live that that supports recovery;
  • Purpose----Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family, care taking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society; and
  •  Community----Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope. 
I've mastered all of these things, managing my health, through disability as both a bipolar and HIV+ aging gay man secured affordable housing.  Secured through volunteering a job in itself, to that of a part-time job thanks to social security who has a model that supports part-time employment  with hopes of full time employment, a joggling act in itself as you need the Medicare and Medicaid if you qualify to pay for health care expenses and medications that exceed some $56,000+ a year, most of that costly medications.  Then lastly as a gay man who's aging, soon to be 56 years old, shunned by my peers do to the combined multiple stigmas from within my own LGBT community who if I'm on disability, managing my health, have a home, then why is it so hard to find community, relationships, social networks, love and hope and friendship.

It's my GLBT community that causes me to struggle as I don't meet their expectations of someone who's not just housed and has purpose, but in their eyes living in poverty as the model keeps you in poverty to have all of these things and be fully recovered is where I'm at soon to be 56 years of age.

Much is written on disparities and poverty, low income and I will pick up on this topic  and look at what's being done for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community over all health and those of us living in the commmunity living with both substance abuse and behavioral health care and co-occurring  HIV+ diagnoses, all three each a hurdle in itself, combined I'm often told when out speaking, sharing my story what are you doing as a consumer of all of the above to survive.

If this is you, if you feel have followed an excellent model, one that I advocate for as well as advocate for treatment for both, and are aging and feeling isolated, I'd love to hear from you.

I also want to share with you a story that happened recently.  I ran into a friend, fellow HIV/AIDS cyclist from years ago, we exchanged our hello's and quick catching up when an articulate panhandler approached, this was on ninth avenue in Manhattan, 10:30 AM.  He showed us a $1 and said he was short $.50 cents of which both myself and my friend each had a quarter and gave to him.  He said thank you and then added, what' the best nation in the Country, I said not the United States, can it be France...his response was a donation.  That was both funny and for the short time this individual was talking to two others, he felt socially connected (social inclusion), not social exclusion.

Moral of this story, be safe, I know it's hard, but if you don't have change a simple hello, or acknowledgement that there is a person asking you will go a far way in his or her day.  And if you do, even a quarter or dime will help. Social inclusion, not social exclusion has to start somewhere.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Champion, Climbing into another Fight

The Champion, Climbing into another fight
by Stephen Puibello

Wow my mind is throwing stones at me today, sitting in silence almost daily isn't living, it's living among the dead.  To not be held or hugged, I see pets that get more attention and affection.

I'm told I'm strong, but today I feel so weak, like throwing in the towel at the end of a round of a fight, my fight daily, the bell which ends each round isn't loud, it's silent.

To those who know Bipolar, please know I wish I could rip it from my mind, but I can't, all I can do is numb it daily. Another long weekend approaches, another long weekend alone with my illness and and the only recourse medication that numbs the pain, medication that affords me to sleep as I'm so tired, exhausted, the thought of climbing into another, another fight only to hear that closing that ends the round.  

The round is over, did you hear the bell.  

This is an expression of where I am, it's writing, it's sad, please know I am strong and I will be climbing into another ring today, that I will be fighting another day, that I'm not throwing in the towel.


Suicide Prevention Hotline

Depression Bipolar Support Alliance

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Loneliness is Sometimes Even Harder to Deal with Than Their Psychiatric Symptoms

Today's post is an open letter asking for support for the Rainbow Heights Club Summer Fundraising Campaign

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we await what could be history making news from the US Supreme about marriage equality AND we celebrate LGBT Pride week, can you take a moment to consider a donation to help underwrite our support group program?

If you make a donation to our Summer Fundraising Campaign in support of our programs that serve low/no income LGBT New Yorkers who are living with serious mental illness, an anonymous donor WILL MATCH ALL DONATIONS DOLAR FOR DOLLAR up to $2,500.   This link will take you to our secure crowdfunding webpage, where you can learn more about our support group program and view a short video about Rainbow Heights Club.

For our clients, who are overwhelmingly poor and alone, the loneliness they face is sometimes even harder to deal with than their psychiatric symptoms.

That’s why at Rainbow Heights Club we provide over 25 support and activity groups per week, and our Peer Specialists conduct dozens of short 1-on-1 interventions with our clients every day. When you’re in recovery, you take things one day at a time, and for our clients, having a sympathetic ear to listen, or being able to talk about an experience that others in the group have shared, can make the day easier to get through.

Our clients report significant decreases in isolation and the depression that comes with it when they attend Rainbow Heights Club. This leads to over 90% of our clients remaining free of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization each year, as well as many other positive recovery outcomes – more hope, more social support, and more self esteem.

Can you please take a moment to go to our secure donation processing site and renew your donation to Rainbow Heights Club in any amount you can?  All funds raised through our Summer Campaign will be allocated to our support groups.  You will be helping us to ensure that we will be there for our clients when they need us most.

Click here to view a short video about Rainbow Heights Club Support Groups and make a donation today!

For more information on our programs, please visit our website     

Remember, all donations during this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, thus doubling the value of your donation!

Thank you in advance for your support!


Christian Huygen, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Rainbow Heights Club and
Heights-Hill Mental Health Service South Beach
     Psychiatric Center Community Advisory Board, Inc.
25 Flatbush Avenue, Third Floor
Brooklyn, New York  11217
718-852-5214 (fax)

Friday, June 12, 2015


Happy Pride from Stephen Puibekllo, the Bipolar Bear.  I have been traveling, recently returned from the 
2015 AIDS Life Cycle event where we once again raised a record breaking $16.6 million dollars.   It was at AIDS Life Cycle I went to prove the statistic that 20% of HIV/AIDS patients live with Bipolar and a major mental illness.  I went there in 2006 as the shear number of attendee's 3615, 3000 cyclist and 615 roadies.  Each year I return more and more riders and roadies approach me and also disclose that they were dual diagnosed Bipolar and HIV.

I'm soon off for another event, as Summer is officially here, I will be posting one post per month, minimum.  For other source of queer mental health articles check out

Now for some recent items in the NEWS:

LGBT Recovery study aims to improve health care engagement among incarcerated

Clean Needles Article

Study to look at quality of life for older, rural HIV-positive adults

HIV rate among gay men rising

New Safer Sex Guide Provides Crucial Advice On Prevention, Treatment, Wellness

Long Beach LGBT activist Carolyn Weathers recognized as ‘unsung hero’ who keeps on fighting

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