CEO of Monadnock Family Services draws on professional expertise in first novel | Local News
Phil Wyzik has always wondered if he could write a book. And after about three years of writing, that dream has come true, with her debut novel set to hit virtual libraries this fall.
The novel, “Pushed Down, Then Out,” takes place in a dystopian America and explores how self-centeredness and economic advancement could, if left unchecked, harm vulnerable people, such as those with mental illness.
“The idea is, hopefully, that people reading the book will feel compassion for the characters, and then, in turn, will feel compassion for the people who are going through this,” said Wyzik, CEO of Monadnock. Family Services in Keene and Peterborough.
The story follows a young girl who flees her traumatic experiences and finds respite among strangers in the fictional small town of Hallet Springs in New Hampshire.
With nods to the world we live in now, the tale aims to highlight how understanding and compassion today could help avoid the human tragedies that can result without them.
The idea arose out of a conversation Wyzik had at a New Years Eve party a few years ago, when someone asked him about his work with Monadnock Family Services, the community mental health center in the region.
Seriously, he said, ‘I feel terrible for you guys from social services. You are really struggling, “recalled Wyzik, of Keene,” and he said, “The problem with our country is that we can” Don’t let people die … If you can’t take care of you, it’s sad, but that’s how it is. “
Wyzik said the conversation has been running through his mind ever since and that – coupled with national events like the separation of immigrant children from their families on the US-Mexico border – sparked the theme of the novel.
“What if we lived in a world where all of this was okay?” [And] if this was the world we lived in, what would happen to people with mental illness? ”he said.
When playing around with writing a novel, Wyzik said the plan was always to tap into his own expertise.
Wyzik has spent 35 years in the mental health field, the last nine being the head of Monadnock Family Services. Prior to that, he held positions at West Central Behavioral Health in Lebanon and the Mental Health Association of Connecticut in West Hartford.
“People were suggesting that if you want to write about something, start with something you know,” he said. “So I don’t know if Christopher Columbus discovered America or anything, but I know that stuff, and I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could write a fiction about it. . “
“Pushed Down, Then Out” should be available in the first weeks of October, Wyzik said, on the websites of Amazon, Walmart, Target and Barnes and Noble.
He added that all proceeds from the novel will be donated to Monadnock Family Services.