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Archive: Lived Experience

Conference 365
The best information and leaders in our field convene at the National Council Conference every year. Tap into the conversation and explore real-world solutions year-round.

Resilience: Paving the Road to Recovery

Sarah Flinspach and Tracy Gnadinger

Recovery can mean many different things for many different people. At the National Council for Behavioral Health, we believe that recovery encompasses so much more than a 12-step program; it’s an everyday commitment to health. “Recovery must be the expectation – not the exception – for every individual who experiences active addiction,” wrote Tom Hill, […]

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Raising the Curtain on Recovery

June 29, 2017 | Addictions | LGBTQ | Lived Experience | Comments

Tom Hill

Vice President, Addictions and Recovery

The most important thing to know about me is that I am a person in long-term recovery from addiction. That means that this month – June 2017 – I celebrate 25 continuous years without mind-altering substances. But my life in recovery has meant so much more than not using substances. It’s meant being comfortable in […]

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Why America Should Expand the Excellence in Mental Health Act: A Survivor’s Tale

Cheryl Sharp

Exclusive Consultant for Trauma Informed Care Initiatives, National Council for Behavioral Health

If we could access the services that today’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers offer, we would have spared from pain and anguish.

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Supporting Our Students in Recovery

September 6, 2016 | Addictions | Lived Experience | Treatment | Comments

Kristen Harper

Executive Director, Association of Recovery Schools

As I sit here in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport, waiting to board my last flight to Charleston, South Carolina, I cannot help but be reminded of what it was like to be an 18-year-old with a substance use disorder (SUD) headed to her first semester as an undergrad. I began using drugs and alcohol […]

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Fragile to Fierce: More than a Decade with Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Mary Johnson

Staff Writer, National Council for Behavioral Health

For many of us, Judy Collins — Sweet Judy Blue Eyes — sang the soundtrack of our youth. Her crisp, clear almost ethereal voice spoke to our hopes and fears in the eloquent “Both Sides Now.” But beyond those crystalline vocals, behind those spellbinding blue eyes, was an unquiet soul. At 14, she attempted suicide. […]

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The Power to Choose

Cheryl Sharp

Exclusive Consultant for Trauma Informed Care Initiatives, National Council for Behavioral Health

Last week, my heart, along with the heart of our nation, broke. We must create healing environments to heal as human beings and as caregivers. We must pay attention to our own recovery from the tragedies we keep experiencing as a nation.

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BREAKING NEWS: Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth is Bad

June 22, 2016 | Diversity | LGBTQ | Lived Experience | Comments
LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Two gay LGBTQ Flags and one American flag flying in the sky

Adam Swanson

Senior Policy Associate, National Council for Behavioral Health

First federal report concludes that conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth is not effective.

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Achieving Harmony: The Power of Peer Support in Whole Health Action Management

Larry Fricks

Deputy Director for SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions

Solo artists make it look easy, but playing music isn’t a one-person show. Artists from Bob Dylan to George Michael to Britney Spears to Justin Bieber all depend on the efforts of professional musicians to accompany them live and in the studio. Artists rarely carry the heavy weight of performance by themselves. Similarly, one person […]

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We’ve got your back.

Jake Bowling

Director, Practice Improvement

When I was eighteen, like many young folks, I left my hometown in the coal fields of West Virginia to pursue a college degree. Energized by the prospect of being independent, meeting new people, and following my passion for religion and theology, I loaded my Chevy up and headed two hours north to a small […]

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Creating Safe Harbors for People with Mental Illness

Heather Cobb

Sr. Director, Creative & Strategy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Everyone has a unique road to recovery and Award of Excellence honoree Clarence Jordan is passionate about helping people discover that road by giving them fishing poles, not fish.

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