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“Re-Claiming Our Power: New Strategies for Navigating Voices, Visions and Suicidal Thoughts”.
September 18 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
“Re-Claiming Our Power: New Strategies for Navigating Voices, Visions and Suicidal Thoughts” An Evening with the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community.
What happens when we can bring our authentic selves into community? When we allow the experiences we once tried to hide or numb to become a basis for deep connection with others? What healing pathways might open up beyond the world of locked hospital units? Join Caroline Mazel-Carlton and Sean Donovan as they share their experiences navigating the mental health system as young people and the diverse ways they have found to make meaning and find purpose.
Caroline Mazel-Carlton first interfaced with psychiatry at the age of eight, and years later was able to find a path out of a world defined by diagnoses and hospitals through roller derby and social activism. Since moving out of a staffed group home ten years ago, she has worked tirelessly to create change in the mental health system, developing and redefining peer roles and values in various organizations in North Carolina and Massachusetts. Caroline’s ongoing experience with hearing voices and seeing visions has driven her to help expand the Hearing Voices Network in every time zone in the United States as well as in forensic settings and online. She has been featured in the New York Times, Foreign Policy and Oprah magazine and key-noted the World Hearing Voices Congress in the Netherlands. Passionate about re-claiming ancestral wisdom traditions for navigating extreme states of consciousness, she is both a Certified Spiritual Emergence Coach and studying to become a rabbi.
Sean Donovan struggled in his teenage years growing up in rural New Jersey with suicidal thoughts, isolation, medical trauma and wagering coming out as gay in a community that felt hostile to queer identities. Through experiences in psych hospitals and loneliness in his young adult years to finding connections and purpose through peer-to-peer support and LGBTQ communities he’s found new ways to live. Sean has been with the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community and facilitating Alternatives to Suicide support groups, based in connection and each individuals’ meaning rather than coercion and diagnosis, for the past seven years and for the past several years has helped train others in this group practice too. He’s been involved helping lead LGBTQIA+ support groups and also advocacy in short- and long-term psychiatric units. These days he also puts a lot of energy into a band he shares with two awesome women, Feminine Aggression, and spending time with his cat and his partner.
Event is free and open to the public. Organized by HCRS and Hilltop