It's been a while since I have visited this space and my personal blog(s) and that makes me reflective. Truth be told, I love the work I am doing for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) San Diego, but sad about it's encroachment in my personal life. Work has a way of doing that, right?! Though at times challenging, it's all good!
I recently celebrated my one year anniversary working for NAMI SD in the role of Family Support Specialist Trainer within the Children, Youth and Family Liaison. We are doing good and important work, and work I am very happy to do based on our family's lived experiences of mental illness and challenging childhood behaviors. I am very pleased to be able to take my story into the community as a support service to families in crisis. We present in front of schools, parent groups, community resource workers and companies that support families needing behavioral health services within San Diego county. Never did I think I would be able to use my personal story and experiences in this way. I love my job, and most importantly, I love helping families find their way out of crisis.
The graphic above is one I created as a way to introduce myself in a "1 minute presentation" of what it means to have "Lived Experience" and a way of describing a "Family Support Partner." My presentation format has been warmly received and recognized in the San Diego mental health community. So much so that it will be used at a national conference next month: the National Federation of Families Children's Mental Health Conference. Sadly, I will not personally be presenting, but my two team members will be. I have created a graphic similar to this one with both their personal stories of Lived Experience and working as a Family Support Partner. But, personally, my story is the one that resonates most for me! 😉
Please feel free to engage with me through NAMI San Diego. You can reach me by sending me an email, or visit our website, of which I am in charge. We offer many resources for families, support groups and free education classes. If your family is struggling, supportive tools are the best way through this. You can learn how to better support your loved one, and through education and support, learn how to be the best advocate possible for your child.