Mental Illness Wellness and Somewhere In Between

My mother used to say to me, Julie, Tuesday’s child was born to have a hard life and you sure have. I guess there are times when I could relate to that but I’ve grown to view challenges as opportunities and to find the lessons for personal growth and support of others. Today’s discussion is about my evolving definition of just what is mental illness, mental wellness and the gray area in between. I’ve been passionate about this topic since I was a little child, first witnessing a favorite aunt with psychotic behavior, then being in class with a few folks who were teased and bullied for being “retarded” as these folks were labeled in the 50s and 60s. I always had a soft place in my heart, would talk to them and include them in activities at school. After all, I was obese and often left out and bullies as well.

Stephanie Kessel, MPH – Founder and Owner of Best Vibes Villages

Stephanie is a Twin and 1 of 7 children and she is Multiracial. Her Mother has bi-polar illness. Stephanie recalls being a passionate child and had an early interest in being a family health advocate. She has degrees in Early childhood education, fine art, holistic health, a masters in Public Health and child and Family Development. And her most recent accomplishment is being the Founder of Best Vibes Village here in San Diego, CA

Lina Navar, MA, Med, LPC – Holistic Therapist

Lina offers a holistic perspective to wellness and healing. She has graduate training and experience as a body and transpersonal psychotherapist, and has expanded her practice to include psychospiritual coaching and guidance. Her approach is psychospiritual, heart-centered, embodied, and intuitive. In working with her clients, she recognizes the importance of compassionately and mindfully addressing the physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional components of their experience in order to have a whole person understanding of their life challenges.

Ryan Gottfredson, PhD – Researcher and Leadership Consultant

Ryan has a Ph.D. and is a cutting-edge leadership development author, researcher, and consultant. He helps organizations vertically develop their leaders primarily through a focus on mindsets. Ryan is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author of “Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership.” He is also a leadership professor at the College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton.

Dr. James Greenblatt – Functional and Integrative Psychiatrist

Dr. Greenblatt is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and has been treating patients since 1988. After receiving his medical degree and completing his psychiatry residency at George Washington University, Dr. Greenblatt completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA and serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Greenblatt has lectured internationally on the scientific evidence for nutritional interventions in psychiatry and mental illness. He is the author of seven books, including Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD. He is the founder of Psychiatry Redefined, an educational platform dedicated to the transformation of psychiatry, which offers online CME-approved courses, webinars, and fellowships for professionals about functional and integrative medicine for mental illness.

Doug Finklestein and John Begnini – Founders of Empathic Health

Today, I’d like to welcome Doug Finklestein and John Begnini, founders of Empathic Health, an organization that provides mentorship, education and safety information when considering the use of psychedelic substances. I am honored to be in the first cohort of mentors for the community at large since there is a renaissance of using these medicines in treatment resistant depression, end of life anxiety and other medical issues. We will dive into more of this but first I would like to introduce Doug and John.

Nate De Young – Personal Chef and Founder of Honeybread

Nate De Young is the chef and owner of Honey Bread Meal Prep on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Before starting Honey Bread, he worked as a food technologist where he learned the inner workings of the processed food industry. Having learned the harmful effects of processed food, he now dedicates his professional life to preparing healthy home-cooked meals for busy families and those with special dietary needs.

Leslee Brooks – Learning and Organizational Specialist

Leslee has been working as an academic organizational specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. Her speciality is in helping people become more confident learners, and to tap into their strengths, while teaching compensatory strategies to override the individual’s challenges. She also assists those who need support in organizing their daily lives for life-long optimum performance.

Julie Freeman – A Retreat Honoring Mom’s Birthday

What better day to do more self-exploration while honoring my Mom’s birthday! Today is August 14 and I decided to do a self-guided journey with psilocybin today in order to continue my process of grieving and healing a broken heart – something told to me by many energy healers, shamans and most recently by a medical intuitive. This retreat is a compilation of traditions and experiences that I will curate to share with other women on their journey.

Kristina Landry – Energy Medicine Practitioner

Kristina has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology focusing on early development, with a minor in Sociology from Texas A&M University. She worked as a postpartum doula and lactation consultant with women after delivery, with an emphasis on high risk infants and in helping new mothers with postpartum depression. Kristina is trained in the healing modalities of Usui Shiki Ryoho system of Reiki, shamanic practices, Biofield Tuning, Zero Balancing, and Chinese Energetic Medicine. She also teaches and leads groups in meditation and mindfulness. Her work focuses on helping people heal and integrate trauma at all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.