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Episode 4 – An Interview with Mental Health Advocate and Certified Peer Specialist, Michael Solomon

Episode 4 of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio features an interview with mental health advocate and author, Michael Solomon. Solomon, who wrote the book, It Comes from Within, suffers from bipolar disorder but has been in recovery for many years now.

Telling his story is what comes natural for Solomon. He is a regular speaker for the In Our Own Voice presentations which are sponsored by NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and he is a key mental health activist and speaker in the Philadelphia metro area.

 

EPISODE 4 – An Interview with Mental Health Advocate and Certified Peer Specialist, Michael Solomon

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During this podcast interview, Solomon speaks to such issues as coping with a mental illness, how not to define yourself by your illness, and some of the biggest misconceptions the public has about those who are living with mental challenges.

OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio co-host Bud Clayman calls Michael Solomon, “a beacon of hope.” Clayman says, “Michael has moved past the revolving door of recurrent hospitalizations and has truly built a meaningful life for himself. In particular, he has gotten married and found a wonderful life partner in his wife, Judy. He is someone to truly look up to and I admire all that he’s done for the mental health community.”

OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio is honored and proud to have Michael Solomon on its fourth episode.

 

Other mental health organizations that Mike Solomon is affiliated with:

Tikvah/Alliance for the Jewish Mentally Ill (but serves all denominations)

Montgomery County Emergency Service (MCES)

NAMI Montgomery County

Certified Peer Specialist Training links

 

 

Episode 3 – An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Glenn Holsten

 

In episode three of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio, Bud and Laura interview documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten about the making of his film, Hollywood Beauty Salon. Much of the film takes place inside a tiny beauty parlor, also known as The Germantown Recovery Community, located in Northwest Philadelphia. The beauty parlor doubles as both a place where people can get their hair done and where they can come for support if they are suffering from a mental illness. The film has garnered rave reviews and Holsten and members of the community have appeared on numerous radio and television programs promoting the project.

 

Glenn Holsten with Rachel “Hollywood” Carr

 

EPISODE 3 – Challenging Mental Health Stigma Within the African-American Community: An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Glenn Holsten on the Making of “Hollywood Beauty Salon.”

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Laura and Bud were equally honored to have Holsten on their show. In this thirty –six-minute interview, they found him to be friendly, informative, and extremely passionate about his work.  For him, making Hollywood Beauty Salon was clearly a labor of love.  He says, “We all want to be part of something that has a positive loving vibe. It’s something that I want in this life. I want to be part of this energy.”

Holsten’s passion for cinema was no surprise to Bud, who was the principle subject of the director’s previous film, OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie. Holsten cites that film as pivotal in transforming his career into making films about those with mental health challenges.

Hollywood Beauty Salon is perhaps Glenn Holsten’s most complex film to date. And in this podcast interview, you’ll hear a director who is connected to his work and to people in a way that we can all emulate.

Read Glenn’s essay, A Director’s Journey.

Glenn Holsten with cast members of the documentary Hollywood Beauty Salon

 

FILMS BY GLENN HOLSTEN:

The Barefoot Artist (2014)

OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie (2010)

Saint of 911 (2006)

Excerpts from Hollywood Beauty Salon:

– Rachel “Hollywood” Carr

– Rachel’s Recovery on Film

– A Hero’s Journey

– Darlene’s Recovery Story

– The Metamorphosis of Sanetta Watkins

 

 

Episode 2 – Art and Mental Health: Can They Co-Exist, or Must They Compete?

In this episode, Bud and Laura have a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Philadelphia artists, Abby Squire and Rosie Carlson about how art and mental health affect one another. Abby and Rosie discuss their process in making art and how this intersects with their mental health.

EPISODE 2 – Art & Mental Health: Can They Co-Exist, or Must They Compete?

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Rosie is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her passions include graphic design, painting, and a love of studying women’s historical roles within fermented beverages in early modern Europe. She says, “It’s only recently that I’ve admitted to myself that I need art; that I need to be making it. Valuing my art has allowed me to tackle anxiety and depression like never before because I’ve come to value myself.” Rosie’s website is rosemarycarlsondesign.com.

Abby has been living in the city for the past three years and is continually inspired by all of the creative people who call Philadelphia home. As a teaching artist with The Claymobile, a mobile arts initiative serving low-income students, she has had the opportunity to work within diverse communities throughout the region and share artmaking with students who don’t have access to art programs in the public schools. When not at work, she devotes her time to her own creative pursuits; reading her favorite authors, and exploring every corner of the city on her bicycle. Abby currently resides in her West Philadelphia home with her Golden/Pit Bull, Eloise.

Laura and Bud pose challenging questions to their guests, such as, what is more important, mental health or art, and are the two mutually exclusive? The guests and hosts explore these and other questions while investigating how to incorporate self-care into making art. Struggle is an inherent component of any creative endeavor, just as struggle with issues like anxiety and depression is part-and-parcel of living with mental illness. The hosts and guests offer candid and revealing insights into the intense, rewarding, and challenging life lead by artists, as well as individuals coping with mental health challenges.

 

RELATED: Mental Health > Art an essay by Laura Farrell

 

Episode 1: Trauma, EMDR Therapy, and Asperger’s Syndrome

In this first ever podcast episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio, join Laura Farrell and Bud Clayman as they interview each other about their own mental health journeys.

EPISODE 1 – Podcast Hosts, Laura Farrell and Bud Clayman discuss trauma, EMDR therapy, and Asperger’s syndrome on first episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio

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A LETTER FROM BUD AND LAURA:

We invite you to listen in as we discuss our own bouts with trauma and how we have used EMDR (Eye Movement, Desensitization, and Reprocessing Therapy) to cope.

We also read from our own first person essays, which appear on the OC87 Recovery Diaries website. Laura speaks candidly and thoughtfully about her battle with PTSD and sexual assault, while Bud reveals his journey of learning to trust again after a bitter emotional trauma that occurred in his own life.

Recording this episode was a significant emotional experience and catharsis for both of us.

Laura says:

Recording the first episode of the podcast and sharing my personal mental health journey was both an exciting and nerve-racking experience. The message and mission of the podcast is so important, but disclosing personal information about my mental health and experiences with trauma is something that produces anxiety within me. This is elevated by the fact that the podcast is a personal project—something we want to feel proud of sharing.

 

I think it is crucial to have conversations about these things and I feel fortunate to have a platform to do so, nonetheless it is an experience that can create fear—will what I say be clear and relatable? I cannot let my fear prohibit me from doing this work. I am fortunate to have a co-host & co-producer who helps create a safe space to begin these discussions. I am excited to continue working and starting a dialogue around mental health that I feel is urgent to have.

Bud feels similarly about the project:

Doing this podcast brings me back to my routes in radio. When I was seventeen, I recorded the 3:00pm Sunday news for a Jewish magazine format radio show. I started out wanting to be an announcer before I got into filmmaking and writing. When Laura came to me and said that she wanted to do a podcast, I was leaning towards other projects at the time. But her enthusiasm and drive won me over and I was completely on board to help co-host and co-produce a show dealing with mental illness.

 

I particularly like this first episode because Laura and I have both been through traumatic experiences and, as a result, have to deal with similar issues of trust and interdependency. I think we both understand how the world can come crashing down on you and how devastating it can be to have to pick yourself up again and go on with life. What I most admire about Laura is her kindness. And she remains kind despite going through a horrendous event in her life. In EMDR therapy, her trauma would be considered high level, whereas mine would be a smaller level trauma. Paradoxically, I think she is more open and accessible than me, even though what she went through was more severe. I guess we all experience things differently and I hope Laura continues to remain positive.

We hope you will relate to our discussions and our guests in the weeks and months ahead.

Thanks for tuning in to OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio.

Sincerely,
Laura Farrell
Bud Clayman