Hearing Our Voices: Peer Support and Mental Illness | Stefanie Kaufman | TEDxBrownU

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When trying to solve this problem of lack of support for college students with mental illness, many people look to outsiders with specific credentials; but Project LETS believes that a solution lies with the very people who experience the problem. During this talk, Stefanie will discuss: the founding story of Project LETS, developing the Peer Mental Health Advocate (PMHA) program model at Brown, her experience with psychiatric disability and sexual assault, and integrating a social model of disability into mental health care treatment.
Stefanie Lyn Kaufman is an alumni from Brown University, where she studied Medical Anthropology and Contemplative Studies. In 2013, she founded Project LETS after the suicide of Brittany Marie Petrocca; a non-profit organization committed to centering the voices of folks with lived experience in mental health care treatment, while delivering peer-led and socially competent services. At Brown, Stefanie is an Engaged Scholar, Social Innovation Fellow, and WORD! poet. She has recently been awarded the Embark Fellowship to continue Project LETS full-time after graduation, and was also named a 2017 Fulbright Scholar. Stefanie approached her work with various lived experience, including: psychiatric and physical disability, sexual assault, and suicide. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at www.ted.com/tedx

@scottfisher5303 9 aylar önce
First of all I would like to say I’m so proud of you! And what a great speech! I’m 50 years old and have one year of sobriety and just finished my peer support specialist training. I am so excited about getting into and helping others beat there disease one at a time.😊
@rustynuggets666 3 yıl önce
I'm speechless, as a dual diagnosed mental illness and substance use disorder and also Certified Peer Support Specialist I'm so grateful to see the other CPS's in this thread and thank you all for what you do. For it's one of you that saved my life.
@johnamato2736 Yıl önce
I'm a peer support specialist/case manager here in vancouver washington. Love seeing people share their stories. I support you where you are and validate your thought, feelings, and emotions in this life. Living vulnerable and real is a difficult matter and seems to only get tougher the further we go in this life. Keep up the testimony and truth.
@sandidandy72 11 aylar önce
Best Ted talk ever! Thanks for so beautifully and eloquently addressing this topic. You have helped to remind me why I entered this field as a CIPSS worker.....
@BoopsNstuff 4 yıl önce
I am a Peer Support Specialist in Bend, OR. In solidarity, I hear you, see you, and am with you. ♥️
@MymindW 3 yıl önce
Hello, I want to help my people by applying the idea of peer support. Can I talk to you?
@debrajanzen6661 2 yıl önce
Again and again peer support is better than the traditional medical model . Thanks for sharing important ways your peer support specialist helped you. It was so different from the way it is dealt with after a 911 call. The items you listed are so caring and healing for anyone in crisis.
@bobstark7143 4 yıl önce
Your video brought tears of hope to my eyes. Thank you. I was recently hired for Peer Support and Case Management here in Alaska and am currently binge learning everything possible. Stumbled upon your video makes me realize the importance of the position. If you have any tips, please share!
@theugandanvillagewife6647 Yıl önce
Hi 👋 your role is definitely a rewarding one. Same here just been hired as peer support worker and am trying to learn as much as i can about the role. How are you finding you role?
@psych2bewell982 Yıl önce
@@theugandanvillagewife6647 I am applying for a position, certainly a different role for me. So I’m interested to see the difference in the framework and it’s delivery as I have experience working in the mental health field. Although I would like to get an understanding before attending an interview.
@dorothym.brooks3322 Yıl önce
I just applied for the Peer support program, i wish it was online community where once a week we can share our work experience & personal experience/,story
@mara-romanamarshall9676 Yıl önce
Man this was so amazing, I am a youth peer support specialist in Portland Oregon and this foundational work you've done is amazing.
@michaelrauch8629 5 aylar önce
I have bipolar and depression and I'm becoming a peer support specialist so videos like this is helpful and insightful... thank you for sharing.
@FolstrimHori 3 yıl önce
Currently training to become a peer support specialist. Thank you for your speech, and your perspective.
@JHuggyBear1 5 yıl önce
Thank you for this wonderful video. Stefanie, you are so courageous and eloquent in your delivery of what it means to have 'lived experience', and to have overcome insurmountable obstacles to help others in their recovery. Gentle hugs to you, my friend. I have recently received my certification as a Peer Support Specialist.
@musichasmyheart-9329 Yıl önce
I’ve been working on my brain since I was 14, I’ve kept people from suicide, calmed them down from an anxiety attack, calmed my mom who has DID down from a suicidal spiral, I’m 19 now and have started looking into training to become a peer support specialist, Ive dedicated my life to making this harsh world as soft and safe as I can for the people around me, I hope someday that I can bring a new age of mental growth to my very small and very sad community, I’ve always said the place I grew up is a vortex of pain, everybody here has years of generational trauma, addictions, loss of family, it’s terrifying and I sincerely hope to make the differences here that you have accomplished in your own community, thank you for giving hope to a young mentally Ill woman who is terrified of the workforce but knows her mental durability is a force to be reckoned with
@depressedsocialworker4253 10 aylar önce
Your story sounds similar to mine. I am starting as a Peer Support Specialist and also terrified of the workforce but I too know that I am a force to reckon with. Your comment reminded me why I shouldn’t run away from my dream of changing the world. Thank you ❤
@musichasmyheart-9329 10 aylar önce
@@depressedsocialworker4253 you got this, even if it feels like no one believes in you, you are so much stronger than anyone could ever know
@tiseytise 3 yıl önce
Proud of you for speaking out! You are a strong young lady!
@sengchoontan4792 Yıl önce
Good point 👉
@sengchoontan4792 Yıl önce
Do well
@MisterKidd555 2 yıl önce
A sincere thank you for this young advocate's heartfelt honesty, open sharing of experience, and in proving that being diagnosed with a mental and/or psychological disorder is not a "death sentence". I am more inspired than ever to pursue becoming a peer specialist and doing my part to help break the stigma.
@amandamcknight1704 Yıl önce
@J. Dunn I live with mental health diagnoses and I want to become a peer support specialist. Is there a peer support specialist career ladder or paths or pathways?
@skyislands8887 10 aylar önce
Powerful and heartfelt, my empathy for your journey and completely high admiration in your achievements. For 27 years I worked on construction and heavy industry as a tradesperson, daily facing my own mental health fragility. Currenty I support and work with people experiencing accute mental health and suicidality. As a lived experience peer worker, in a hospital / medical model, there is a spectrum from closeted subversive discrimination to begrudging acceptance, and a level of inclusion, but never completely embraced. In over 2 years this environment, the 4 paradymes of support for peers mentioned are only implemented in a rudermentoary manner, and not by management. Your concluding paragraphs around peer inclusion and integration sum up my ideal world. Thank you for sharing
@annarena1144 5 yıl önce
Thank you for sharing your story. I believe your story will help others to believe that recovery is probable with the proper supports... Thank you.
@boraergor5417 Yıl önce
Incredible work, thank you for this talk but mainly thank you for this initative. Really hope other schools and policy makers take note of this, and actually move towards a change in this direction.
@dalibofurnell Yıl önce
I'm going to share this with my support group. Thank you for speaking out
@musicandmentalhealth 2 yıl önce
This is very brave and I can relate! I'm a certified peer specialist located in NYC and in my early experience right after my diagnosis in 2012 I disclosed to my job and was fired, so it was a rough go for me. Also I find it real striking to hear that friends and family (and pets) statistically aid more with suicide prevention than therapy. I didn't know that but it makes sense! Thanks for spreading the word!
@psych2bewell982 Yıl önce
I think this really is skewed more towards connection. If a person doesn’t have connection in their life, then they don’t have something meaningful that can keep them clinging to life. Therapy or any form of self care is ultimately an essential tool for a person who is unwell. Whatever form of self care that person chooses can be unique. Although if they don’t have connections they are only temporary fixes.
@psych2bewell982 Yıl önce
Also, I’m sorry you were treated that way surrounding your previous employment. The stigma surrounding mental health is still prevalent. Unfortunately. 😪 I’m glad you’ve found a way to give back and work in an industry that gives you fulfilment everyday. I work in mental health.
@musicandmentalhealth Yıl önce
@@psych2bewell982 I can see your point but there's levels to how much you can really connect to someone providing you a paid service. That's not to say that it isn't needed but I think there's a reason why friends/family/pets are being mentioned here.
@psych2bewell982 Yıl önce
@@musicandmentalhealth Oh I think you misunderstood. I was referring to all connections in life (family, friends, partners, pets, social and peer/ support groups) Often therapy surrounds ways on assisting people with internal traumas and working out interpersonal relationships (connections based or needs based issues.) So if a person doesn’t have connections.. They can talk about issues.. Then go home and feel their life is empty. Therapy can only help so much.. Although everyone has different ideas of happiness/ fulfilment/ meaning/ purpose/ connection etc. So my version of these things might be entirely alternate to the next person. Oh and.. I 100% agree with your comment. A bond/ connection with a mental health professional is really important. Whoever a person decides to see. I feel this way not only in mental health while also in all aspects of health.
@musicandmentalhealth Yıl önce
@@psych2bewell982 oh ok I got it now. Thanks for the explanation
@alisha8427 5 yıl önce
I am trying to get my certification for PSS and while I wait for my references to be filled out.. I just youtube as much PSS related info as possible.. This has been the most interesting so far! Thank you for your story... I see similarities in stories and you being outspoken about recent events help me.. I have scars all up and down my arms so bad I wore arm sleeves at my last job... I won't do that anymore!! PSS does help! I was in a state hospital for almost 3 years and was catatonic for a bit of it.. Luckily, I had my mother, father, and sister as advocates (nurse and pharmacist) and I was brought out of the state. Each stay at a hospital was initiated by myself but of course I didn't think I'd be at the last for almost 3 years. It saved my life. I want to save others. Thank you!
@KaleSnail333 2 yıl önce
Thank you so much for this TED talk Stephanie. I applied to be a CPS on Friday. Hearing your story is so relatable. I feel in my heart that my true calling is to help other people. Loving myself comes first,always, but to help those in crisis is the most important thing in this life. I lost my best friend to suicide when I was 18. I'm queer. Inpatient care. Traumatic Brain Injury. So many other traumas. I'm okay now. Therapy is still so important even when you think you're okay.
@mattjohnson3748 Yıl önce
Love this, thank you. 💙
@tiseytise 3 yıl önce
I’m hoping to take some peer support classes soon this year! I hope to make a difference someday!
@theugandanvillagewife6647 Yıl önce
What a brave beautiful soul ❤️
@morris-anthonieferguson7115 3 yıl önce
After Working With Clients With Mental Disorders , I Now Know What It Takes , Compassion A Heart And A Ear To Listen , And Never Be Judgemental
@conceptcareau 11 aylar önce
@jesspraise35 5 yıl önce
Thanks for sharing. I am a Certified Peer Support Specialist and it's because of God and another Peer Support Specialist helped me become the peer support that I am today.
@jazminehamilton9327 3 yıl önce
Hi, I am interested in becoming a peer support specialist. Would you be able to give me some tips of how to become one? I have been through so much in my life that I want to help others.
@jessicajames45 Yıl önce
@@jazminehamilton9327 Sorry I am so late responding to you. I pray by now that your a peer support specialist. Just know that your one already. Here in MS to become a Certified Peer Support Specialist, you have to go through training through the Department of Mental Health Services. Peers are the ones that does the training, and that makes it even better. Once you finished the training (it was 2 days here) your a peer support specialist, but you become Certified once you get a job in some mental health agency or services.
@psych2bewell982 Yıl önce
@@jessicajames45 Hi there, I’m just curious.. You mentioned it’s a 2 day course? What exactly do peer workers do? There’s a role I’ve applied for in peer work. I’m not sure if I’d like it. I currently work in mental Health. I have a background in community services and am studying counselling & mental health. Also have lived exp. Although I do know peer work is a little different. Are there still boundaries around talking about your stuff. It’s about supporting the client isn’t it?
@Luna-ft8yh 3 yıl önce
Thank you. Wonderful talk. I'm struggling myself and I thrive on helping others who are in the same place I once was. I want to go further and continue to do a peer support training.
@Lisa58Mc 4 yıl önce
Great truths & VERY POWERFUL! I shared on my FB page. I hope you don’t mind. It’s hard to believe we live in a “free country”! Your like a young me...a rebel for the cause! I just finished all my training & Exam. The background check is trying to kick me down. They went back 37 years.! II think it’s regulated by each state. Can’t find anything in our reg’s or SAMSHA’S. I really have a passion to get Peer Support in the prisons especially female prisons & use the the Opioid Crisis grant money that each state got for it. I’m training now to be a WRAP Facilitator....it’s helped me so much just to deal with me, myself & II everyday without going into a panic. II truly believe in it. I was a shell of a person with no hope & no direction after being incarcerated for over a year in the 80’s. The shame was so bad on me I left town within 3 days. I went back to wear I had been through TX prior to being locked up & started an internship with them. I had no clue. Everyone that I had meet in prison is either dead or just gone missing. They had 1 AA meeting a month. I’m sure they have more help for them now but It took a truck load of mentors & supports for me...:). Anyway...I’m rambling as usual. I feel like I’m going to see you up in DC one day...:). Don’t ever give up no matter what....Your voice is going to be heard I can feel it! Peace & ❤️ always!
@adriaroberts7958 3 yıl önce
Thank you for sharing! I do Peer Support and struggle with mental health and hearing voices :)
@athena7042 4 yıl önce
A courageous young lady. Some particularly important recommendations on how to help people who are struggling commence at about the 11 to 12 minute mark.
@thruschizoaffectiveeyes 4 yıl önce
thank you for this wonderful Ted talk. I guess we have come a little way since what was said at Princeton that bipolar students would not be able to exist. I have schizoaffective disorder and finally managed to graduate college and am now trying to get a job as peer counselor. It takes attempt after attempt after attempt, but I think I can do something good with my life, and I feel I am one of the ones who has it easier, though not easy. Thank you Stefanie. This is a great talk and I am proud of you!
@rroman2752 3 yıl önce
@dmgsoultogetherness6667 4 aylar önce
i love this young one 🙏🏻
@robertarodriguez7014 2 yıl önce
I applaud you I am a NCPSS. I have facilitated DBSA support groups
@cstank-extraordinarydaily9375 Yıl önce
Im trying to become a peer supporter in Ohio and I can't get a response from a mediator of the 40hr in person classes here. I am in recovery and really want to help others but I am having trouble getting into the classes. Any direction would be awesome. I am excited, motivated and driven to be that help that someone needs. Any help would be appreciated.
@moonbeambeth7937 5 yıl önce
I needed to hear something truly real today. That was you. This is a wonderful presentation. Thank you🤗
@wingsoflosingdiamond9328 Yıl önce
According to the peer support module, if someone wants to cease their existence, peer support workers must support then in that decision and let them. Since I want to stop living, and IPS workers care more about following the IPS module, they would not care if I ended my life in the peer support center. I dare anyone try to counter this.
@angelahudson9379 4 yıl önce
@kelseybutler9179 2 yıl önce
Thank you! -a peer support specialist and (bi)Polar Bear
@cherylpellos6223 10 aylar önce
@jmk1962 4 yıl önce
Really interesting. Thank you.
@Jess-cs8ns Yıl önce
Punishments for shelf harm was actually on that list!! Seriously!!!!
@drsekugathers Yıl önce
@dawnirey8843 Yıl önce
I'm an expert in not being an expert and that is my expertise 😁
@jcstone324 2 yıl önce
who here bc of school
@tarotbycassy4791 3 yıl önce
Yep. 🍑🙏🏻
@jacquelinenagy1023 3 yıl önce
@REDnEDD 3 yıl önce
Keto diet trust me
@Lokipower 2 yıl önce
Very low carbs does help. Not a magic pill, but pretty helpful. I think the role of diet in mental health is criminally underunderstood.
@kristentaninah510 2 yıl önce
Best mood stabilizer
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