Some people are in your life to test you …. Until you stand up and say: Enough is enough. I am worth more than you offer me.Unknown (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
It’s called marginalizing.
Marginalize- treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant
Survivors are marginalized when people are all too willing to accept the claims made by abusers and their supporters that the individual claiming the abuse is “crazy” or “resentful” and should be ignored. This disregards the claims of a survivor and communicates a lack of significance for the survivor group. The less significant the survivor group is, the more likely people are to believe the abuser and ignore the claims made.
I am not bitter. I am not resentful. Stop marginalizing me. I am significant, my voice does matter, and my claims will not be tossed aside, because it’s easier for you to believe the abuser.
- See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/03/20/marginalization-sexual-abuse-survivors/#sthash.gjMLSg06.dpuf
May is mental health awareness month. You may all be shocked to know that there are still places that exist that treat mental health illnesses as if they are demonic powers, as if they are something that can be prayed over, cast out and prayed away. That these places are being supported by the very people you elected into government.
I am petitioning the Attorneys General of four states in which the program Mercy Ministries of America resides.
A couple years ago, someone reached out to the Attorney General of California to report the abuse and misuse of power that goes on at Mercy Ministries of America. She sent back a letter explaining that her office did not have the power to investigate the allegations. If the Attorney General cannot police Mercy Ministries, then who can? Are they allowed to simply make their own rules when dealing with serious mental health issues that affect a vulnerable population? Maybe by seeing how many people support my concerns, the attorney general will have no choice but to take action.
Dear, Mr. Robert Cooper Jr, Mr. Chris Koster, Ms. Kamala Harris and Mr. Buddy Caldwell.
I have been gathering information from various sources about Mercy Ministries of America and have many concerns that I would like to make you aware of. Mercy Ministries of America is a nonprofit organization (301c3) that provides residential care for young woman with various mental health issues. Each of you have one of their locations in your state. Mercy Ministries is funded entirely by donations and it receives no financial support from government. On their most recent tax documents they brought in between eight and ten million dollars of fully refundable and non taxable money. Nancy Alcorn, the founder and president of Mercy Ministries, made statements in 1998 that she will not take any funding with strings attached, because they would not allow her to pray, cast out devils, or baptize in the Holy Spirit (pray in tongues). My main information has come from sources like prior Mercy Ministries residents, academic researchers, and families of those affected. These sources have indicated to me that there are many areas of concern in which Mercy Ministries should have government intervention and monitoring.
Mercy Ministries of America misrepresents who they are on their website and in their material. They come across as competent, and well respected individuals who will take care of young women with eating disorders, depression, self harm, addictions, sexual abuse trauma, sex trafficking victims, women who have suffered with being suicidal, and unplanned pregnancies. They mislead young women to believe that they will receive competent care at the hands of Mercy Ministries. They are not accredited by the Joint Commission of Healthcare and do not follow guidelines set forth by the American Psychiatric Association. They use a one cure fits all approach towards all of their clients that come in their doors suffering with mental illnesses, like major depression, post traumatic stress disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, other anxiety disorders, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, bipolar disorders and other mood disorders.
Mercy Ministries allows undereducated and unqualified counselors to counsel their residents. There are no onsite doctors for women on heavy psychiatric drugs or suffering from malnutrition from eating disorders. Opposed to any other residential for eating disorders, where a nurse to client ratio may be 1:6 at all hours, Mercy Ministries has one nurse, for up to forty residents, on for only eight hours a day for five days a week. Mercy Ministries fails to understand that eating disorder are the most deadly of all mental health illnesses, not having nursing staff on twenty four hours a day is risking young women’s lives.
After the qualified nurse goes home, heavy psychiatric drugs, often controlled substances, are being passed out of ziploc bags, by someone who is required to have no more education than a high school degree. Often times anxiety medications, ordered on an as needed basis by a young woman’s psychiatrist prior to her entry, is denied to her. Sometimes she is encouraged to drop her medication routine and told that prayer will help her better. Young women, if taken to an outside psychiatrist, are not allowed to go into the appointments alone to speak to the psychiatrist openly about how they are feeling.
Clients have no way in which to lodge a grievance against a staff member while in the home. Young women are often left vulnerable to verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of unqualified staff members.
Mercy Ministries of America attempts to cure lesbians, transgendered individuals and bisexuals with prayer and out-casting of demons. The following agencies have all heavily suggested that any type of reparative or conversion therapy does more harm than good for a client.
Mercy Ministries counseling program is not an evidence based approach. The following areas are covered in their counseling curriculum. “Commitment to Christ”, “Choosing to Forgive”, “Renewing the Mind”, “Generational Patterns”, “Healing Life Hurts”, “Freedom From Demonic Oppression” and “Principles for Life-long Success”.
The Healing Life Hurts Section has brought up false memories of abuse in a number of young women who have attended Mercy Ministries, they have cut off contact from their families and have not returned home for years. These false memories have destroyed families and the young women who have encountered them. False memories are easy to accomplish when put in a situation with vulnerable people and counselors who lack proper education to deal with mental illnesses.
Mercy Ministries exploits young women’s stories of success in order to gain profits. They use heavy marketing techniques to, “sell their product” and sell the young woman’s story, who they refuse scientifically proven treatment to and use phrases like, “God doesn’t believe in treatment, he believes in transformation”. My complaint is not against faith based treatment, but against treatment that is deceptive and does not follow standards set fourth by the American Psychiatric Association.
Mercy Ministries exploits donors by fabricating young women’s stories and being outright deceitful at times. They make donors feel sorry for the young women and exploit their inner need to help someone in distress.
Mercy Ministries claims a very high success rate of 94%, but I would appreciate more objective proof of this. The survey results are often used to gain more money and more trust from the young women that go into the program.
Mercy Ministries is supported by Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, Congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, as well as Senator, Kyle McCarter out of Illinois, who sits on the board of the St. Louis home. I find this unfathomable that people in our government are supporting the abuse and exploitation of young and vulnerable mentally ill women, instead of taking a stand against it.
Mr. Robert Cooper Jr, Mr. Chris Koster, Ms. Kamala Harris and Mr. Buddy Caldwell you can help us do something. Mental health illnesses deserve scientific treatment and scientific approaches. Mercy Ministries should not be allowed to deceive those who come into their ministry by not being honest on their material and website. May is mental health awareness month, and I want to make you aware that this is going on. There needs to be better government regulations around those places that claim to help the mentally ill. We as a nation need to protect those who are most vulnerable. I am writing this in hopes that you will mandate these regulations not just for Mercy Ministries, but for all places that have twenty hour access to the mentally ill.
On page 38 of Ministry Today Nov/Dec 2013 Edition, Nancy Alcorn is quoted as mocking people who do not believe in her ministry,
”I still don’t believe the church can possibly care for all those disturbed girls. Juvenile delinquents and unwed mothers, they’re the ones responsible for their situations, plus we pay taxes so the government can take care of them. Those girls need highly skilled, well educated professionals. A bunch of Christians with good intentions can’t possibly do much good”.
In 2008 The Sydney Morning Herald did an interview with Dr. Ian Hickie about Mercy Ministries. Dr. Ian Hickie is a professor at the University of Sydney and founder of the Brain and Mind Research institute. Professor Hickie is quoted as saying,
"One of the most important developments in mental health services over the past two decades had been a move from religious-based counselling to evidence-based practice.
Most of the non-government or community sector have moved very rapidly to a professional base, so while they maintain their core values they have also moved to make sure their services are scientifically based rather than religious-based.
Organisations purporting to provide health services had to be properly accredited, with qualified staff, safe facilities and regular reporting on the outcomes of those programs”. The wish to do good is no longer enough; the serious possibility that you do harm also must be a consideration.”
I feel that Mercy Ministries needs to take into serious consideration that their program may be doing more harm then good.
As one reason why they should exchange their treatment for mental illnesses from religious practices like deliverance sessions and prayer, I came across an article the other day that said that for the very first time in history they will be able to test for major depression with a simple blood test and already can with an MRI (LINK)
This is ample proof that mental illnesses are physical conditions and not choices that can be changed, like their counseling manual labels them. “Choices That Bring Change”. This is ample proof that that they need qualified therapists, 24/7 access to nurses and onsite doctors to monitor medications.
No, I’m sorry Nancy Alcorn, good intentions are NOT enough. People are sick and it’s your civil duty to either take care of them properly or back out of the race.
And it’s anyone’s civil duty who supports them to demand that they adopt better practices for mental health illnesses.