Marty K. Abdo
Martin is a Certified Peer Specialist at Harborview who has lived and successfully managed symptoms of mental illness for the past twenty years. He was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 in 1994. Martin created the OPA tool outside of work originally for himself in November of 2009. He used this tool as a way to avoid triggering his bipolar symptoms while undergoing tremendous stress and feeling overwhelmed in both his private life and work environment. All at the same time, he was going through the beginning process of separation and divorce, parenting his three-year-old son and was having increased job responsibilities at Harborview.
Having successfully managed his symptoms with medications, psychiatry, and counseling for 16 years, he wanted to continue this trend. Martin’s goal was to be able to live independently, work, take care of his well-being, and co-parent. In the last four years, by using OPA daily for his personal life and work, Martin has successfully managed to get through a divorce, rent his own apartment, co-parent his son 50% of the time, take on more work responsibilities, and engage in a healthy relationship with his wife Kelli.
Martin’s tool has been successfully implemented at a mental health agency for two years. He facilitates an OPA group on a weekly basis, offers one on one counseling with the tool in person and over the phone, which serves clients at the agency and those participating in the five-year SAMHSA service grant. The SAMHSA service grant has recently requested to have OPA shared on their listserv. In addition, Martin has been given permission to pilot the OPA tool with Case Managers, Employment Specialists, and Housing at a mental health agency. Martin’s hope is to empower individuals by having them successfully use OPA to prioritize and taking action on their needs, managing overwhelming stressors, creating daily structure, and achieve goals. Martin has presented at the Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference in June of 2012 and 2013, and twice at the King County Behavioral Conference in 2011 and 2013. Martin did consulting and was paid by the King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division, Department for Community Services, of King County, Washington. He trained NAVOS Peer Bridgers on using O.P.A. for goal setting. Martin hopes to empower individuals by having them successfully use OPA to prioritize and take action on their needs, manage overwhelming stressors, create daily structure, and achieve goals.