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Empowerment FAQ
Who are you?

We are two people living in Southwestern Virginia, milking at the teat of Social Security disability. While basking in the glow of government support we spend some time advocating for people like ourselves. Terry has a doctorate in Special Education and Marc has a doctorate in Industrial Psychology.

What do you want from me?

We seek friends and allies in our advocacy work. Please email us or post on our board, even if it is just to say "hi." Other ways to help are mentioned on our "We need your help" page.

Why do you think empowerment is so important? And does the term really mean anything?

"Empowerment" is used to mean many things. For us, empowerment involves the process by which an individual gains feelings of worth, importance, and potency. Since most of us with a mental illness have been taught by society to feel a level of shame for our condition, our degree of empowerment is dimished relative to others. Beyond the psychological dimension, the political voice of those of us with a mental illness is barely audible. Our political muscle, though growing, seems to be based largely on the efforts of people who either have a vested interest in serving us or are merely in sympathy with our plight. To feel empowered we need to TAKE our place in society.

How best can those with a mental illness take their rightful place in society?

We don't know. We like the question, though.

What activities does EFHM participate in?

We talk to decision-makers. We come armed with facts and figures. We let them know that we are a political presence and that we want to work with them in recognizing our needs. We also talk to others who have a mental illness. Awareness needs to be raised within our own ranks as much as within that of the general population. Finally, we've started telling every "normal" person we know that we have a mental illness. Bumper stickers work great.

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