I talk about “self-empowerment” with great regularity because self-empowerment is crucial to a successful recovery journey. This comes in many forms, such as launching Stand Up To Stigma and exercising daily.
Self-empowerment also means standing up for what is right. This can mean standing up for peer rights at a behavioral health meeting, this can mean standing up for myself when treated poorly and unprofessionally.
Because of the treatment I’ve received from the chairs of the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (Danny Whatley and career politician Rick Miera), a committee where I was the only peer on hand when initially developing the advisory body, I have chosen to resign from MHRAC. This is my resignation letter, and I feel greatly self-empowered by this letter and my personal choice to compose and send this letter.
This is a HUGE milestone in my recovery journey and an example I can look back upon when faced with similar personal and professional dilemmas.
The Rock at NoonDay
2400 2nd Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Dear Mr. Whatley,
I made a simple, reasonable request of you to provide evidence of my removal from MHRAC “several months” ago as you claim, and this simple, reasonable request was delivered to you several weeks ago. The evidence I required in my simple, reasonable request is:
- The minutes from the meeting at which my dismissal occurred.
- The bylaw(s) used to remove me from MHRAC.
By any reasonable man standard, this is a reasonable request. What I find suspect is when I announced via email that I would be returning to MHRAC, after responsibly caring for the severe PTSD symptoms caused by Paula Burton attacking me at MHRAC, it took over a week for your reply claiming that my removal happened “months ago.” I also find suspect that I wasn’t informed at that time I was allegedly removed, nor was I asked at that time if I would be returning.
After these many weeks since I made my reasonable request, I never received a reasonable reply from you.
I have obtained the minutes from all MHRAC meetings in the last 12 months. I have a copy of the most current bylaws. I hate to have to say this to you for I once respected you. According to the documentation provided me (which is public record by necessity), you are allegedly a liar. How very sad for you.
I cannot in good conscience continue to support a committee where a peer colleague in crisis is treated with such unprofessional ethics and choices by the committee chair, nor can I in good conscience continue to defend MHRAC to peers who have been suspicious of the committee’s sincerity from the beginning. You have, through your actions and inactions, undermined the core principle of MHRAC which is to help peers feel safe in encounters with the Albuquerque Police Department.
It pains me to leave this committee where I was the only peer on hand when it was first being conceived.
Lacking any reasonable legal evidence that I have been removed from MHRAC, and measuring carefully my values, ethics, and principles, I hereby tender my resignation from MHRAC.
I continue to support the goals of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Kindest regards and best of mental health to you,
Former-MHRAC Peer Committee Member