Monday, April 11, 2011

NAMI Tarrant County is Very Interested in Supporting the Paradise Center

A few minutes ago I got another email from Melissa Gibbons of NAMI Tarrant County. Ms. Gibbons must not have received today's press release regarding the Paradise Center.

Melissa Gibbons' message....

I believe the NAMI board is very  interested in supporting consumer activites in Tarrant County. Please let us know when the new location is up and running.  We have supported consumer driven activites and will continue to do so.
Melissa Gibbons
NAMI Tarrant County

The new Paradise Center location is up and running, so Melissa Gibbons and NAMI Tarrant County can start supporting it.

And by the way, the word "activities" has 3 'i's in it. Or maybe I am just unaware of what activites are. Maybe I should look that word up.


Anonymous said...

This did not sound like a definite commitment, did it? And how much did they receive last year from MHMR and Bravo? I didn't catch that on her other email.

AND, while we're at it, who is being paid to coordinate their NAMI Walks fundraiser?

People have criticized Paradise Center in the past because her husband is on the Board. Anybody who has been around even a year knows that he only was asked by the Board to serve in November, AFTER the MHMR folks started pressuring Paradise Center to stop being a non-profit.

But at the local NAMI, an organization with tens of thousands of dollars, and yes, some of it is tax payer dollars since MHMR sees fit to donate to them, too...their President is married to the Treasurer. Hmmmm. All that money must mean lots of support from their membership. But they can't find someone unrelated to their president to be treasurer?

MY POINT IS, every non-profit works with few resources, the human and monetary kind. Its easy to sit back and throw stones at the people doing the work. Especially when you're only identifying yourself as ANONYMOUS.

Anonymous said...

That was just a typo, durango. Nitpicky, Washington boy.

The significant thing that jumps out is that NAMI of tarrant county appears to have lost all contact info with the Paradise leadership, many of them long time co-laborers and even friends.

MHMR, NAMI and others are still working hard to conceal some damaging facts. Facts that those paradise folks will uncover once they proceed to the next level of their fight for truth an justice that was communicated in their statement yesterday.

Sad but lots more of taxpayer dollars will be spent on lawyers fees instead of meeting the needs of the community. Lawyers have the system set up to where however things go they also get paid first.

Friends of Paradise. said...

This third response is by no means a firm reaffirmation of nami-tc to their core principle of empowering mental health consumers as full fledged human beings and members of the local community.
Misunderstood and disadvantaged groups like racial and social minorities get that sense of empowerment mostly through organized groups,
such as NAACP, LULAC, various glbt groups,the ARC for those with intellectual development
disabilities, NAMI, etc.

To say that NAMI-TC's "board is always interested in supporting consumer activities" is to minimize the significance of the oldest, largest, and most
bonafide (i.e. almost every position of leadership, esp. The BOARD. and operational decisions and execution are held by people with serious mental illness) consumer-run organization in Texas.

That's not advocacy, much less activism. It's more akin to political platitudes and quite Clintonian.

It appears that under President Gibbons and her Treasurer spouse, the extent of advocacy by
NAMI-TC in this particular case is where's the new location...because we're interested in where consumer activities are taking place.

That's like the NAACP being just knowing the locations of racial discrimination or acts of overt racism are perpetrate. Nothing more.

BTW, notice that the Board made their position statement without even speaking to any Paradise Center leaders nor most nami members.

If this vague politically calculated statement is the best that NAMI-TC can offer, then the chapter has some identity issues. BECAUSE an advocate or true friend does not say things like these to those in desperate need.

The old saying is true that "a friend in need is a friend in deed". In deed. And by their fruits you shall know them, right Broadway Baptist and other houses of light??

Anonymous said...

"Activites"=activists who bite.
Just as "Activucks" are activists who suck.
Or it could mean lite activities only; no serious stuff like what's been taking place. That must be it, the nami-tc board is only interested in lites stuff but don't expect them to do anything that might jeopardise their financial and political interests.

That makes better sense... because it's part of the FORT WORTH WAY.

Plaintiffs are parties who act to bring legal solutions to problems that people with responsibilities won't.

pac-10 nami said...

Say, good 'ol Washington boy in Texas way. We just got word from nami friends in Tarrant County, texas that they received their newsletter and were somewhat surprised to see that their chapter now HAS A NEW BOARD PRESIDENT.

Did your scandal blog have anything to do with this major turn of event? Because their board officers were just elected at end of year.

Our local friends will get the info to ya in the AM.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it's true. Nami of Tarrant county now has a new president. The lady taking over has close ties to MHMR-TC, though. So, we're not sure if that's an improvement or not.

We found ourNov. 2010 NAMI-TC Newsletter and it mentioned that Bravo Health and Amerigroup were the two approved Medicai Star+ HMOs BUT then went on to describe two different Bravo Enrollment parties in detail.

Did Amerigroup not have money to sponsor the NAMI Walk event or to host enrollment parties? Or were they not welcomed to be a sponsor or that their enrollment parties were intentionally not disclosed.

Definitely give Melissa Gibbons credit for at least trying to act like a leader should. This change is sort of a turning over a new page for. NAMI-TC, we'll see if the new president Mrs. Apodaca will lead NAMI-TC back to being an independent nonprofit advocacy organization or just the same old supplicant of MHMR-TC and Bravo.

We now can't help but wonder if the Bravo suspension had something to do with the Paradise group's refusal to go along with Jim McDermott's shady scheme.

nami member said...

I agree @ giving Melissa credit for having the ***** to publicly address this troubling part of the scandal. She appears to have some feelings and even a conscience to step aside as a gesture of goodwill on behalf of NAMI-TC. If that was her motivation then she deserves even more praise for doing the right.

There's been talk also of Melissa having tried her best to act ethically when a financial donor contacted NAMI-TC (I.e. her email since she was the president) @ locating the Paradise leadership to give them the promised monetary donation. Those in the know also said Melissa'goodwill was highjacked by another Board officer who seems to act as Jimmy McD's peon.

former FW residents said...

We remember when the election was held to approve the bond program to pay for that community center type building at 300 Pennsylvania avenue. It was presented as strictly for the use and enjoyment of the consumers and nothing else. Much less for clinics and offices. MHMR-TC must have spent a lot of money to make modifications in order to make private offices.

Could it be that the tens of thousands "saved" each month from appropriating the consumers' community center is how Jim McDermott and the gang managed to pay for their expensive office tower on Hulen?? Gotta look into this fishy part.

Stop-6 area taxpayer said...

The MHMR gang under little jimmy mcDermott has slowly turned that community center facility into a clinic where people from three different clinics in the community are now crammed into one, with people waiting out in the elements after making long trips to keep their appointments for needed psychiatric care.

The whole purpose for clinics dispersed throughout the community was for the convenience and easier access for the county residents, especially the poor and ethnic minorities. Many from our predominently African-American community have voiced concerns about having to make long trips into the current clinic which is located in the midst of 4-5 gay bars, something that is culturally foreign to them.

JPS has a completely different approach to making healthcare accessible to all by placing clinics in different neighborhoods rathger than a centralized location, which adds to the stigma since people now know that the people who come to that location have some serious mental issues.

JPS only changed its approach after the exposure of their CEO and his team for using sneaky methods to deny the residents access to healthcare services and making himself look good for the hospital district's Board who then rewarded him and his team with big raises and bonuses. We can't help but wonder if this is the case with MHMR-TC under Jim mcDermott.

Nearby NAMI member said...

According to some of the Paradise folks we've talked to, there has been NO contact whatsoever from the NAMI_TC leadership, to offer support or otherwise. Not even bothering to do any fact checking about what they've been told by Jim McDermott and his allies. That right there is a sign that this NAMI chapter is up to no good. Or not up to being and doing good by their members and the people they claim to advocate on behalf of.

Bought and paid for, it seems. No refunds or exchanges when dealing with McDermott and BRAVO. Too bad...for every one.

Very upset NAMI-TC family said...

We're not going to renew our memership with nami-tc until there is fresh slate of leadership because this bunch is so beholden to the mhmr tyrant and so humiliated that they won't do the right thing even after they got caught right handed as co-conspirators to the abuse of the consumers and paradise center.

Or if they make a very clear public statement about what they did and specific things they will do to repair the damages.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

nami mommy said...

The bland comments were what nami-tc's masters told them to say. They've been directed not to say or do anything else. Pretty disgusting to see.