How can you have "advocacy" in your title when the only advocate position, which was part-time, is no longer filled. The person left to work in another field.
This organization has had significant growing pains, but really knows how to use PR to find it's way to showcase it's services to it's primary funder, Allegheny County. The Certified Peer Specialist program has become a shambles. There were 17 peer specialists in 2011. In the past year several have been fired, some have left for other positions, or been demoted. They now have only ONE full times peer mentor and 5 part time. Obviously the number of clients with serious mental illness they can now serve has been diminished significantly. The Allegheny County Warmline they run has a revolving door of employees. The supervisor staff position has changed at least six times in the past 4 years.
The most inflammatory aspect is that they fraudulently claim ALL employees are past or present consumers of behavioral health services. This is NOT true. The lowest employees in terms of pay and rank, those who work on the Warmline are all past or present mental health consumers. However, the administrative staff positions are no longer filled by only those with past or present behavioral consumers of mental health services. The current Director of Operations has no such personal involvement in mental health services. People with backgrounds in social work are "hired as subcontractors", then subsequently become employees. The previous Director of Operations "retired" for 2 months then came back full time! His position had been filled but he still is working there full time at his previous salary! Lower level employees are almost NEVER permitted to come back to PSAN once they leave, for whatever reason. Many of the subcontractors and higher paid administrative
employees are filled by family and friends of the past Director of Operations and Executive Director. in conclusion, nepotism is clearly ongoing , and this non profit presenst themselves as fully staffed by individuals that have received behavioral health, the only one in Allegheny County! Not true!
If you type this link in you will see the actual Allegheny County Controller's Audit which is a 33 page report that verifies that this organization had to repay $371,844 due to a variety of problems that were due to mismanagement on a number of levels, i.e. not monitoring county funded vehicles by not appropriately logging information related to them; the executive director taking over payments of salary and bonuses; discriminating against employees by not allocating equal bonuses appropriately, among other mismanaged items found and reported by the Allegheny County Auditors. I worked at this organization and was hired as a temporary employee at the time of my hire. To recoveryworks, another reviewer, I am not, nor ever have been, dishonest about my experience at this organization. I also have no mental illness but learned that this organization hires individuals with mental illnesses as you note. Your written personalization of my comments makes me fear for my safety as you say you "know who I am." That sounds threatening to me. Due to the arrests of many employees and the problems with management, I reported this organization to the authorities appropriately. In March 2011, I wrote a letter of complaint about this organization and sent it certified to the District Attorney. I still have all copies of all records regarding this issue. Within a few days of me sending my letter to the District Attorney, another arrest was made at this organization of an employee selling drugs out of a county funded vehicle that was not appropriately monitored by this organization's management. It was televised on all local news channels and published in print and on the internet via the local media. I was contacted by detectives of Allegheny County via telephone and discussed my complaint regarding the issues. I stand by my comments and this is a forum to discuss facts. The above link to the Allegheny County Controller's report verifies the facts as I write them herein and their report contains more facts. I have no personal issue with anyone at the organization. I take issue to the poor performance and dishonesty of the organization's former management - which is justified and appropriate. I am thankful to the District Attorney and its office staff and the Allegheny County Controller and its staff for their hard work in regard to correctly identifying and reporting about this organization publicly.
To ImOkay (another reviewer of PSAN), Thank you for validating my credibility by agreeing with me that you experienced employees at PSAN being arrested too. That is one purpose of this website, to inform donors and members of the public about organizations that are problematic and poor stewards of funds.Our support of one another in this regard helps shape public opinion. I love my profession and have raised millions of dollars for nonprofits through private and public contributions over my 25+ year career in development and public relations. PSAN is a 100% government funded organization using taxpayers' funds to operate. At PSAN, I learned their mission is to help people with mental illnesses and to employ them as well. I also learned what mental health recovery is through others affected with those issues, and I know nothing about personal recovery as I was a Director at PSAN that did not have a mental illness or addiction or disorder of any type, yet alone a dual diagnosis. I never had those issues, did not want any of those issues, and continue to pray that i never develop those issues and thus far, have had my prayers answered favorably. However, I did have a family member that was affected by those issues that is now deceased and I was committed to helping others affected by those issues. I recently learned that the last executive director hired at PSAN in 2005 just retired January 12, 2012, shortly after receiving the Allegheny County Auditor's report demanding that PSAN reimburse the County app. $371,844 for funds mismanaged under her supervision, or lack of. Among many things, it was disclosed in that audit, that she was taking overpayments of salary and bonuses that were not allowed by the County. Maybe the agency realized some positive change since her departure. You write you no longer work at PSAN. I left PSAN in 2006, and it was several years until I reported PSAN's managerial problems to the District Attorney in March 2011 hoping PSAN would correct their behaviors without government intervention. My opinions of PSAN will never change due to my work experience there, but I am glad it sounds like you found the help you needed while working there. I did not need PSAN's help; I am a professional that gave PSAN my help and it was my professional and personal obligation to report them. I have copies of my excellent evaluations while working there. ImOkay, I hope your mental health recovey lasts a lifetime. Again, I thank you for your honesty related to the arrests of employees at PSAN that you evidently have knowledge of too.
I am very familiar with this organization, and have been for many many years. I know its history since its incorporation. "njfp", you should be sued. Your comments are inflammatory and in fact, are lies. Because of your description of yourself and the name you have used in your comments, I know who you are. You were fired in 2006 due to dishonesty. No surprise that it continues to be a problem for you. The audit that occurred was NOT initiated because of you , or your false reports. Your attempt to sue the organization for discrimination was completely dismissed by the EEOC as frivolous. The arrest you refer to concerned an employee and drug use, who was subsequently and appropriately fired. Such an event could happen in any organization. The Executive Director you refer to left the organization not in 2011 as you assert, but in 2012 because she and her husband retired to another state. Again, your assertion that she left, essentially, in disgrace, should be cause for a lawsuit. This organization has helped thousands of people with mental illness find their way to recovery, my son included. Under the auspices of the past Executive Director, additional programs were developed that helped people leaving the state hospital, people who needed daily support, and people across the country who could use the Warmline in order to obtain help from others who experienced the same symptoms. Such peer support is essential for recovery from a serious mental illness. You clearly have an issue with the Director who fired you. Clearly your continuing mental illness (a requirement for employment at PSAN) is a serious issue, for which I pray you come to terms with and obtain the help you need. However, this forum is not the appropriate place to libel anyone. Saying such things about people and organizations anonymously, and continuing your hateful bashing of the Executive Director only reflects poorly on your own character.
This is a Mental Health Facility that works with and employs workers with mental health disabilities. Many are dual diagnosed with addiction problems as well. When I worked there, I saw wonderful things done to get people (many of whom had not worked in many years), back into the work force. Many of those people went on to work in the private sector and have done well for themselves. There have been those who did not experience recovery to the degree that they might have and had to be let go. One was even arrested for outside activities and was fired. All of those who applied themselves and accepted responsibility for their recovery have done well. I have never worked for any agency that showed such compassion and patience with its staff members as does Peer Support.