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Letter: Reader expresses worry on mental health system

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To the Editor-

“You are perceptive to view these actions by administrators as bullying. Save your breath for the adult system,” she said, in just those words. She, a forceful advocate from the nonprofit Wisconsin Family Ties. Me, the parent, reading about The School to Prison Pipeline, possessing files of specialist reports. He, a 2008 high school graduate from a broken, close-minded special education system, more concerned with refining strategies of deceit, delay, and doublespeak.

Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT) is the only statewide, parent-run organization in Wisconsin working with families that include children with social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. Utilizing peer specialists, they are a precious resource for parents navigating heartbreaking discrimination and judgment in close-minded professionals. They are currently looking to hire a peer specialist in Portage County.

Three years ago, Wisconsin Family Ties announced it would no longer participate in Children’s Mental Health Awareness activities, but instead, dedicate its time and resources to actions designed to change the course of children’s mental health in our state. “Wisconsin’s children’s mental health system is still among the worst in the nation……We will continue to fight for more humane, compassionate, and supportive systems that will permanently alter the trajectory of our most vulnerable children.”

So many impressions over the course of 20 years. It’s the same old story….. Why are things so bad in Wisconsin?  Having worked with mental health for over 30 years as a parent, and as an educator, it is only recently my lived experience exposed a sinister and deeper evil at work- family courts and their horrifying practices. Author Bandi X Lee, M.D, MDiv. has written a series of articles based on lived experience, and others’ reports. Her hard-hitting, resonating frame: family courts and allies are at their worst, practicing genocide. Think cancel culture.

For over two decades, I have repeatedly witnessed bullying and patriarchal power schemes towards those with mental illness. The internet allows those with common experiences to form alliances and take action in hopes to improve outcomes and move our state forward. There is more data pointing to child trafficking as the end game for these intentional, abusive processes. These systems continue to seriously impact and traumatize the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children, moms and dads, and families. Do these lives matter?

Cheryl Geske