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: Destiny's StoryDestiny is a 27 year old woman from Post Falls Idaho. During her adolescence, health and wellness professionals struggled to find explanations for different behaviors that Destiny would project. Because of this, she received multiple misdiagnoses, and was placed on anti-psychotic medications that did not serve her actual needs. As a result, Destiny lives with an uncommon condition called Tardive Dyskinesia, a condition that can affect the nervous system; and Dystonia, a disorder that has similar effects. She now uses a wheelchair for mobility, but is more independent than ever. She advocates for other people with disabilities in her community, and contributes to legislation for walkways and streetlights in her town. She also collaborates on multiple national projects with well-known professionals in the network of accessibility for those with unique living experiences.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Andy's StoryIn this episode, Andy talks about his experience with non-visible disabilities and his school experiences in Colombia and the United States. He also talks about how different each side of his family is and how this led to different responses to his behavior. Andy recommends that providers look at the whole picture and consider many aspects before recommending prescription drugs.
En este episodio, Andy cuenta su experiencia con discapacidades invisibles y sus experiencias escolares en Colombia y Estados Unidos. También habla de lo diferente que es cada lado de su familia (tanto de su padre como de su madre) y cómo esto llevó a diferentes respuestas a su comportamiento. Andy recomienda que los proveedores de salud analicen el panorama completo y consideren muchos aspectos antes de recomendar medicamentos recetados.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Teresita's StoryIn this digital storytelling episode, Teresita Delgado Rolon talks about the challenges she faced with the school system. Such as, lack of education about disabilities for teachers and lack of supports for transition. Teresita also shares what some of her worries are as well as what has and has not helped with maintaining her mental health.
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.