- Howie the Harp
- Joe Rogers: Self-Help
- Jim Rye: Human Rights
- Judi Chamberlin: Author
- Peter Ashenden: Self-Help
- David Gonzalez: Recovery
- Dan Fisher: Empowerment
- Shery Mead: Peer Support
- David Oaks: MindFreedom
- Celia Brown: Peer Specialist
- Julius Green: Peer Specialist
- Dwayne Mayes: Employment
- Mary Ellen Copeland: WRAP
- Larry Fricks: P.S. Certification
- Pat Deegan: Personal Medicine
- Harvey Rosenthal: Rehabilitation
- Eric Jackson: Author & Advocate
- Ron Bassman: Author & Educator
- Ron Schraiber: Well-Being Project
Hope and Transformation
A Shining Star: Tribute to Julius Green
by David Gonzalez, Access/Spring 2001
There are now words that can describe the pain of losing a friend and a mentor like Julius Green. Julius was that shining star who gave me hope when everyone else told me, that for me, there was no hope. I am devastated (to say the least) that he was taken away from us when we so desperately needed him in our community. Not only because he was a dynamic and motivating speaker... which he was! Not only because he was a gentle and caring soul... which he was! Not only because he touched everyone he met... which he did! But because he was truly committed to consumer empowerment.
He succeeded in doing that one thing that everyone else spoke about, but very few were able to do... he not only talked the talk, but more importantly, he walked the walk! He knew the importance of allowing his peers to make decisions that were right for them... not to make decisions that he felt were right for them. He knew the importance of encouraging his peers to express themselves in words that they felt comfortable using... not to use words that others felt they should use. He knew the importance of, not only espousing the principles of recovery, but more importantly living by them.
And one thing I can honestly say about Julius, he never forgot where he came from.
Julius had an odd habit of always carrying around a lot of bags and luggage, which I often teased him about. I remember being interviewed with Julius back in 1999 for a homeless journal which is published in Adelaide, South Australia, in which he said: "Part of the reason I still carry around all this baggage (pointing to several bags and luggage) stems from my homelessness. This is a habit I haven't broken. Thank God I didn't have a shopping cart when I was homeless or I'd still have one now!"
I'll never forget that sense of peace and tranquility I experienced the first time Julius reached out to me. Julius was one of those rare people who made the world a better place. Now, without him, the world will be a sadder place. It will be a long time before our community can fully recover from such a loss. He is someone I will never forget. I loved him! I respected him! I admired him! And I will miss him dearly. (Access, New York City DMH, Spring 2001)
Julius Green Memories
By LaVerne Miller, Director, Howie The Harp Center, 2001
I first met Julius when I was hired as the Center's Director in May 1996. At the time Julius was working as a service coordinator at Community Access, Inc. In 1999, Julius was hired as the Center's Assistant Director. Julius coordinated the Center's Employer/Provider Technical Assistance Project. Sine its inception this project has provided technical assistance to over 50 mental health care providers and staff.
Julius felt that it was important to work closely with Employer/Providers in helping them to recruit, hire, integrate and promote consumer staff in the workplace. Julius' experiences with his supervisor while he was a service coordinator helped shaped his commitment to the project. He believed strongly that consumers, consumer-staff and other staff should collaborate together in an effort to make services more responsive to the needs of the consumers.
Julius always placed the initials P.S. after his name. P.S. stood for Peer Specialist and Julius was extremely proud of this accomplishment. The center is committed to continuing the groundbreaking work the Julius did. He is irreplaceable, but the values that he imparted upon all us have become an integral part of the work that we do at the center.
Julius Green Interview:
In April of 1996, I moved into Independent Living. This came after living in a 24 hour Supervised Residence for one year and spending five months in the hospital for depression. I gradually disconnected myself from receiving services from the Mental Health System. I transitioned from a Day Treatment Program to Peer Specialist training at the Howie the Harp Advocacy Center. I experienced a better quality of recovery from substance abuse because I came to terms with my depression that insidiously lured me into relapses.
With a small amount of limited knowledge I discontinued Therapy and Psychiatric treatment. Once I acquired independent living, I proclaimed my freedom from the system.
With independent living, came an increase in responsibilities in my life. As the responsibilities in my life increased, I did not increase the support in my network. My support network was not broad enough to address issues that related to my psychiatric disability. This put my freedom in jeopardy. I experienced a change in the quality of my life that was not good. Fortunately, I was well grounded in my recovery from substance abuse or else everything that I worked so hard for would have collapsed.
I had to make a decision. I would either stubbornly hold on to my misconceived idea that independent living means to come up with solutions to all my challenges myself and I did not need help. Or I could accept the fact that one year of therapy, medication, some self knowledge and information about dual diagnosis was not enough to keep me stable and growing after many years of depression.
What was even more sobering was the reality that my responsibility to remaining mentally stable would be a lifetime commitment.
I talked to other consumers and they shared with me the quality of life and the stability they have been enjoying by maintaining Mental Health Services as part of their support network. Their feedback meant a lot to me. I trusted their information because the consumers had nothing to gain by sharing their experience with me. What my peers told me was that in order to remain stable and not experience the bondage of past experiences, such as homelessness and degradation, there was a price they had to pay for their freedom. That price is the responsibility and commitment to their stability and recovery.
Thanks to my peers I have a new viewpoint regarding independent living and self-sufficiency. To grow and develop we all need to rely on supports in society, whether we have a psychiatric disability or not. I now see self-sufficiency as my commitment to do for myself, what I can and accept the responsibility for asking for help when I need it. I am back in treatment and I feel that it is so vital to the quality of my life that I pay half of the cost for the services. I co-facilitate a support group for Peer Specialists who are coping with balancing the roles of being consumer/professionals. I feel empowered because I have taken an active part in my growth, development and stability.
I admit, I could not have done this by myself. Julius Green, 1996