Mental Health Advocate & Public Speaker
OCD Referral/Resource Consulting and Peer Support Services
Author of 'Pure OCD: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder'
2017 International OCD Foundation 'Advocacy Hero Award' Recipient
I believe every individual living with mental illness deserves recovery, deserves to not experience the shame and stigma that can attach itself to mental illness, and is worthy of a successful life. I believe every individual living with a mental illness deserves their symptoms to be normalized as well as deserves a peer to walk alongside them and help them move into recovery.
For 12 years I lived in silence and shame with the debilitating symptoms of Pure O/Intrusive Thoughts. Upon diagnosis and treatment after surviving a suicide attempt, I fell into the emotional torture of personal stigma for over a decade. The overbearing shame of being 'mentally ill' and my inability to grieve the illness and how it had changed me kept me locked in chains of stigma. It wasn't until I began sharing my story that the shackles of guilt and shame began to loosen.
I live in recovery from mental illness and the stigma and emotional turmoil that accompanies it. My mission is to help identify the roots of stigma penetrating the lives of individuals and support them in digging them up, facing them, and creating a life of worth and meaning. While therapy can have an incredible impact on this feat, walking alongside another who has been where you are has a powerful and life-changing impact.
“Every person living with mental illness is worthy of a good life, love, happiness, and deserves the chance to live in recovery. Recovery is possible for anyone.”
— Chrissie hodges -OCD Advocate
My Advocacy Mission
For me, advocacy combats societal and personal stigma. It helps me feel less alone in my journey with mental illness, and it provides education on the highly stigmatized disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Whether it is speaking publicly, blogging, creating a podcast, or supporting individuals through coaching and peer support, I look at every encounter as an opportunity to educate and reduce stigma.
I believe we create awareness and empathy in others on our goal to reduce stigma by sharing our personal stories. It is my mission in advocacy to live and breathe transparency in my journey in order to help others feel less alone in theirs.
Of Americans live with a diagnosable mental illness.
Of adults between ages 18-54 have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Of adults who complete suicide have a psychiatric diagnosis.
The statistics surrounding individuals who live with mental illness and die from mental illness are staggering. But what is even more eye-opening is how many people live in silence with mental illness. As a society we are so undereducated about the facts and realities of mental illness, many sufferers would rather keep their symptoms hidden than ask for help. This not only fuels false beliefs about mental illness in general, but also the fact that recovery is possible for anyone.
We have serious problems when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
It is time to make a stand against stigma. It is time to make it okay for people to ask for help and live their lives free of shame, guilt, and embarrassment. The goal in my work with mental illness coaching, peer support, and advocacy is to be a powerful voice in this uphill battle in reducing stigma. It is my duty to give a voice to those who are unable to give their own.