Bebe Moore Campbell
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July 7, 2017

In honor of Bebe Moore Campbell and NAMI CA affiliate efforts to engage underserved communities, we will be providing weekly updates on mental health awareness events put on by local affiliates. You will also have an opportunity to read about the personal stories of recovery and hope by fellow community members across the state. 

As we enter the first week of Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI California would like to invite you to learn about Eve Hinson, who is a passionate Autistic activist, speaker, writer and artist in the state of California. You will also learn more about NAMI Antelope Valley and their work within the LGBTQ and underserved communities. 
Eve's Personal Story and Journey

I n 2010, Eve Hinson was triggered with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and PTSD. Before becoming mentally disabled, she was an online designer, social media guru and nationally-syndicated blogger. After the trigger, she lost six-years of memory, day-to-day tracking of time, ability to talk and be understood, and her cognitive abilities dissipated at a rapid rate. Eve also struggled with body tics, tremors, seizures and chronic struck-by-lightening pain. At one point, help was needed with mobility and basic self-care. 

In 2012, Eve started attending peer-led groups at Blue Sky Wellness Center after being discharged from the psych ward for suicide ideation. The transition to life with a severe mental illness was rudderless until then. It was there she bonded with others living with severe mental illness and started learning how to cope.  It was the bandaid on the bullet wound she needed until her recovery and wellness journey began in earnest after finding hope during a stay at Stanford Mental Health Behavioral Ward, and then again followed up with local peer-to-peer support groups and private therapy.

Eve Hinson
It wasn't until Stanford Eve heard the word recovery in the same sentence as mental illness and applied it to herself. "It didn't seem possible," she said. The group leaders in peer-support repeated the same idea: Recovery is possible. That knowledge sparked her will to fight for a better quality of life.
 
"Today, and every day, is a successful struggle to wellness" Eve explains. Improvements small, and stacking, over a great period of time, with proper help and support, have made a tremendous, positive change in her life. She now focuses on what she can do, not what she can't do. 

Eve learned in 2014 (" Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movemen t") that sharing her story not only helps those who are experiencing mental health challenges, but also helps her in her own healing journey. It also gave her life a purpose: break the stigma of living with a severe mental illness, and help create positive change in community, careers, housing and health care for peers.
 
Eve continued her education and development after that and later in 2014, graduated from the  Community Leadership Academy , developed by  Resources for Independence Central Valley (RICV) . This prepared her to take on a leadership role and she is now an RICV board member, past NAMI Fresno board member, and was appointed by Gov. Brown to the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Area 8 Board.
 
Today Eve Hinson is an Autistic activist, speaker, writer and artist. She is also the founder and Executive Director of AmericanBadassActivists.org. She launched the site in April 2016 after an incredibly successful protest, #TheReal5150 campaign, against institutionalized stigma promoted in grocery stores by an energy drink. The campaign made national news and could also be seen on Yahoo Sports homepage and covered by "The Mighty" ( themighty.com ).
 
Eve shares her lived-experience with PTSD and Functional Neurological Disorder to law enforcement, first responders, and students. This past year, she's also added her voice and efforts to the Neurodiversity Civil Rights Movement, and helped spotlight Autistic peer-voice during the #RedInstead campaign that was featured on ABC10 with investigative reporter, Lila Luciano.
 
Also, Eve has joined with other Fresno-area peers to amplify their concerns about services and peer-model being cut at a local wellness center through the campaign #PeersAtTheTable and #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs.
 
"Life isn't like it was before - but it's still a whole life. It's similar to yours and different than yours. It's a worthy life."
Eve Hinson
Affiliate Spotlight

 

On June 25, 2017, NAMI Antelope Valley united with other NAMI affiliates and various  
organizations, at the Annual Pathways Recovery Conference in Southern California. People from all backgrounds attended that included people who identified as LGBTQ, Latino/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, African American and/or Caucasian. NAMI Antelope Valley had the opportunity to meet with the LGBTQ Community to discuss issues regarding mental health and how to reduce stigma. Family members of LGBTQ youth were also present during the discussion and asked how they could help support their loved ones with these concerns. It was a vibrant discussion of the common issues that confront the LGBTQ Community in coping with identity and mental illness concerns that are very prevalent in this community, as well as extremely high rates of suicide. Statistics show it is 3 times more likely for an LGBTQ individual to experience mental health and substance abuse issues compared to others. 

NAMI Antelope Valley President, Jean Harris explained, "During Minority Mental Health Month and Pride Month, we want to address the mental health needs of the LGBTQ Community, and pay attention to the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. Our goal, as an outcome of holding this Minority Mental Health Month event in the Antelope Valley affiliate, is to provide NAMI Peer Support Group meetings at the OUTreach Center of the Antelope Valley ( http://outreachcenterav.org/index.html) in the near future."

More information on mental health support needs in the LGBTQ Community can also be found on NAMI's website at  www.nami.org/Find-Support/LGBTQA

In addition to the below recently released materials from Each Mind Matters.
 
The brochure discusses caring for your mental health as an LGBTQ+ young adult, including information on sexual orientation, gender identity, and coming out; healthy relationships; common mental health challenges and their symptoms.
 
LGBT Mental Health and Aging Support Guide
The guide provides information on mental health for older LGBT adults, including considerations around caregiving, legal affairs, rejection and discrimination, and getting the support you need as you move into older adulthood.
Special Thanks

Stay tuned for the month of July as we continue to highlight NAMI affiliates and individuals in the state of California creating an impact in their communities. 

A special thanks to California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63), for the opportunity to fund Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month events around the state that are spreading education and awareness among diverse communities! 
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