Hear our Stories
Our digital storytelling series highlights the lived experience of individuals with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities. This effort aims to raise awareness and educate the public on best practices when it comes to working with this population.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Amy's StoryAmy is a 48-year-old blog writer and self-advocate from California. She has multiple mental health diagnoses and has experienced many obstacles throughout life due to the stigma and misconceptions that take place in both the general community and in clinical health and wellness. She has dealt with and witnessed firsthand the mistreatment of both people with disabilities and mental health disorders. Living with an invisible disability, she has learned that in many cases, the visible characteristics can skew people’s perceptions and expectations of others. She hopes to change that by continuing to write for many blogs, including The Mighty, a publication and social media platform, and working on a book to bring awareness to the disparities people with disabilities and mental health diagnoses face when becoming adults. Check out some of her posts and contributions below!
Land Undefined was created back in 2018 for the purpose of helping me heal through writing. Recently, I reached 100 blog posts! I am hoping to post more regularly and have been researching and reading about how to promote my writing. Land Undefined covers a variety of topics that have been derived from my personal life experience to include grief, recovery, addiction, trauma, bipolar 1, ADHD, Narcissistic Abuse, etc.
Also, I am sharing my author page for The Mighty. I recently began writing for them as well. I have 2 more publications coming.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Kayla's StoryKayla Rodriguez is an advocate for people with disabilities and an autistic self-advocate. In this episode, Kayla talks about her experiences with dual diagnosis and the difficulty of finding a provider who listens. She also talks about ableism in the community and how she experienced a lack of support in the school system. Kayla discusses her advocacy work and shares her thoughts on how things can be improved for people with disabilities. One of the organizations that Kayla mentions, and is on the board of, is the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN). You can visit AWN’s website at https://awnnetwork.org/
The beliefs stated in this digital storytelling episode are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities National Training Center.
Kayla Rodríguez es una defensora de las personas con discapacidades y una autodefensa autista. En este episodio, Kayla habla sobre sus experiencias con el diagnóstico dual y la dificultad de encontrar un proveedor que escuche. También habla sobre el ableismo en la comunidad y cómo experimentó una falta de apoyo en el sistema escolar. Kayla analiza su trabajo de defensa y comparte sus pensamientos sobre cómo se pueden mejorar las cosas para las personas con discapacidades. Una de las organizaciones que Kayla menciona, y está en la junta de, es la Red Autista de Mujeres y NoBinas (AWN). Puede visitar el sitio web de AWN en https://awnnetwork.org/
Las creencias expresadas en este episodio de narración digital son las del individuo y no reflejan necesariamente las creencias del Centro Nacional de Capacitación en Salud Mental y Discapacidades del Desarrollo.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Melanie's StoryMelanie Davis is a 35 year-old woman living with Cerebral Palsy from Omaha, Nebraska. She serves as a successful advocate to people with disabilities in her community, and is also a Political Science undergraduate student and UCEDD trainee at the Munroe-Meyer Institute. In this episode, Melanie discusses the impact her disability and more recent mental health diagnoses have had on her life. She has overcome trials in education, mental and physical health and wellness, and secondary education, but Melanie focuses what she has learned from those moments to help the next generation have a better quality of life.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Albina's StoryAdvertencia de contenido: este episodio contiene contenido potencialmente perturbador y desencadenante. Antes de continuar, tenga en cuenta que el narrador habla sobre varios tipos de abuso, incluyendo abuso físico, verbal, psicológico y sexual.
En esta narración, Albina comparte su experiencia con problemas de salud mental. Albina también analiza varios tipos de abuso y su experiencia con las fuerzas del orden (policía), lo que generó poca confianza en los proveedores. Este episodio narrativo ofrece una idea de cómo un inmigrante puede sobrellevar experiencias tanto positivas como negativas. Mientras cuenta su historia, Albina comparte palabras de aliento para otras personas que han tenido experiencias similares y cómo cree que se pueden mejorar los servicios.
Content Warning: This episode contains potentially disturbing and triggering content. Before continuing, please be aware that the speaker talks about various types of abuse such as physical, verbal, psychological, and sexual abuse.
In this storytelling episode, Albina shares about her experience with mental health struggles. Albina also discusses various types of abuse and her encounter with law enforcement, which led to a lack of trust in providers. This storytelling episode offers insight into how being an immigrant can come with both positive and negative experiences. While telling her story, Albina shares words of encouragement for others who have had similar experiences and how she thinks services can be improved.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Consuelo's StoryAl hijo de Consuelo le diagnosticaron autismo cuando tenía siete años. En este episodio, Consuelo habla sobre los desafíos que enfrentaron ella y su hijo, como obtener apoyo en la escuela y perder su seguro médico. También cuenta los apoyos que la han ayudado y cómo mudarse a un nuevo país puede traer oportunidades y también algunas dificultades.
Consuelo’s son was diagnosed with autism when he was seven years old. In this episode, Consuelo talks about challenges she and her son faced such as getting support in school and losing their health insurace. She also tells about what supports have helped her and how moving to a new country can bring with it opportunity as well as some difficulties.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Mecha's StoryMecha talks about what she learned as the parent of a child with a disability and what she wishes she knew earlier, such as her rights with the school system. She also talks about challenges she faced because of language barriers and how grateful she was for her family’s support, even from outside of the United States.
Mecha habla de lo que aprendió como madre de un niño con discapacidad y de lo que le gustaría saber antes, como sus derechos con el sistema escolar. También habla sobre los desafíos que enfrentó debido a las barreras del idioma y lo agradecida que estaba por el apoyo de su familia, incluso desde fuera de los Estados Unidos.