I am SO excited.
This is the first time in my life that I am hosting something like this, and it’s a bit like cracking open a chocolate egg filled with toys or candy, and not knowing which you’re going to get.
I am fucking terrified, and yeah, emphasis on T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D because I am essentially saying that I know how to help people, but the thing is that I don’t have a clue, and that’s why I am hosting this event.
I know that I want to go into the Mental Heath Industry, and I know that I want my job to be more about helping people find the right people to help them, but beyond that I am not entirely sure what it means to be “in the mental health industry.”
There are a lot of people who become doctors, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals because they genuinely want to help, but it’s a bit like going to war, you don’t know what you’re supposed to expect to see, until you’re on the front lines.
And then when you’re on the front lines, you WANT to help, but the patients that you’ve been working with already have their routines, they already have their patterns, and to a certain extent your job becomes about breaking the patterns that make us comfortable, so you can feel like you’ve done your job.
But what if what you’re trying to do is completely at odds with what those of us who have been in the battle for years before you, are already aware of or have already learned to do?
There is a huge divide between patients, and mental health professionals, period.
And a lot of that divide comes from this mentality of “I have this piece of paper that says I know what I am doing, and you do not.” The thing is, is that those of us who are mental health patients have kept ourselves alive a lot longer than you’ve been in our lives and so our voices are valid too.
That’s why this is event is so important to me, because for the first time, I get to be a part of helping other people put their voices on the record and give them the opportunity to say “this is how I really feel, and this is the stuff that we don’t talk about, because we’re told we’re not allowed, or we’re not supposed to, or it’s not valid.”
Our voices, as patients ARE valid, and the experience that we have with keeping ourselves alive against all odds, through all the junk that we’ve gone through without support or help, because for a lot of years we didn’t have support.
There are spectrums of mental health, and those of us who have learned to advocate for ourselves, only did so because the alternative in a lot of cases of death.
Those of us who managed to make it to the point where we can talk about what we’ve been through, have not gotten here easily it was a battle, and in some cases an all out war.
Those of us who deal with mental health, on a daily, continual basis, are dealing with internal battles that other people can’t see, and so there is this expectation that we should just “get over it,” but the things that we’ve seen cannot just be put in a box and set on fire and ignored.
They have the processed, and if you don’t know how to process that trauma, if you don’t have the skills, then often times you end up addicted to drugs, addicted to codependency, and then we get stuck trying to pull ourselves out off the cycle that has both helped us to survive, while keeping us from moving forward in a positive direction.
This conversation is important to me because it’s not my place to teach OTHER people what I have learned, it’s my opportunity to hear what THEY have learned, so that I can take their ideas, and find ways to integrate them into my own life.
This is also an opportunity for Mental Health “Professionals,” to hear what their patients are saying behind their back, and yeah in a very real way I am starting a movement, because I am tired of people who have suffered from trauma feeling like they are powerless, like their voices and their experience don’t have value because it hasn’t been validated through systemic education.
That being said I invite you all to join us to watch or to participate in Survivor’s Connection 2021 on June 27th @ 5:00 PST/PDT (Pacific).
The Entire event will be live streamed through YouTube, and recorded for those who can’t stay for the entire conversation.
We have people joining us from all over the world to share their experiences and to learn in a round table conversation about dealing with mental health professionals, and I am super bouncy excited to meet everyone and I am also incredibly grateful that these absolute strangers in some cases, are trusting me with helping to amplify their stories It really absolutely is a gift to know that people think that what I’m trying to do matters enough to participate.
So thank you for your support, thank you for your trust, here’s to many more amazing events and get togethers.
Sending all my love
Devon J Hall