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A Bipolar Diagnosis: A Life’s Mission Revealed

My hospital stay felt somewhere between imprisonment and treatment. I was a twenty-six year old grown man. I owned my own home, had an excellent job, had money in the bank, had been married, and was a registered voter. I was an American citizen who had done absolutely nothing wrong. Yet, here I was, behind locked doors. It was (literally) illegal for me to leave. On the one hand, my adult brain was telling me this was wrong and I needed to escape. But, on the other hand, I needed help, and if this was the help I needed, so be it.  (more…)

Mental Health at the Mic: Childhood, Loneliness, and Suicide

OC87 Recovery Diaries is proud to present the third and final part of a series of portraits of men who have participated in the Philadelphia’s Engaging Males of Color BEyond Expectations storytelling series.

This post features the story of, and interview with, Kamren Washington-Richards, a seventeen-year-old student who attends Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School. In addition to his studies, Kamren works at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, through a program called PACTS – Partnerships for Advancing Careers in Technology and Science.  (more…)

Mental Health & Law Enforcement: Interview With Jeff Shannon


Routinely, law enforcement officers in the United States are tasked with becoming the de-facto street-level mental health workers, responding to increasing numbers of mental health-related calls.  This requires more training, more effort placed on de-escalation and crisis intervention, and it also requires a shift from more traditional methods of policing.  Police officers are also at risk for a variety of mental health-related challenges themselves.  Here to talk about all of this is Berkeley, California Police Officer and Marriage Family Therapist, Jeff Shannon.  This is Part One of a two-part interview.  Follow this link to read the second part of the interview. (more…)

Q&A with Alison Malmon, Founder of Active Minds


When Alison Malmon was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, her older brother, Brian, ended his life. Brian experienced depression and psychosis for three years when he was a student at Columbia University, but concealed his symptoms from everyone around him.

As Alison grieved the loss of her brother, she became aware that there was a lack of places on college campuses where students felt comfortable talking to each other about mental health and suicide. So she created her own space for such a dialogue. Alison founded Active Minds in 2003 (then known as Open Minds) at the University of Pennsylvania.  (more…)