The Lived Experience Academy is Back in Action!
The BHRS Lived Experience Academy (LEA) is having an exciting winter and spring! We received a 6-month grant from CalMHSA to boost our speakers’ bureau efforts toward reducing stigma. With these funds, we hosted a 3-session refresher course for our Lived Experience Academy graduates in February. Currently, we are in the middle of a new 5-session academy with 16 participants (both clients and family members) from around the county. Participants are learning the skills to share their stories of recovery from mental health and substance use conditions. They will then become part of our speakers’ bureau and will be paid to speak at various BHRS events and trainings. Their energy and courage is very inspiring and has made for a positive community-building and learning environment. There has also been enthusiastic participation from our dedicated group of facilitators that includes both staff and past LEA graduates. Special thanks to Lee Harrison, Cindy Robbins-Roth, Renee Harris, Jairo Wilches, Holly Severson, Alan Cochran, Kathy Mackin, Kim Westrick, Marisol Solis, and Hiba AbuDamous for your hard work and dedication. In April, 6 LEA graduates will participate in a 3-day digital storytelling workshop and will then present their digital stories throughout the month of May in multiple mental health awareness events.