Why did you decide to join the Young Adult Council?
I joined the Young Adult Council in 2018 after my first year in graduate school, during which I ended up experiencing another hypomanic episode. I was reminded of how frustrating and isolating it felt during my early experiences of bipolar disorder when I was graduating college in 2013. I wanted to draw on this lived experience towards helping support others with mood disorders while being in a community with those who have been similarly impacted. DBSA’s mission to improve the lives of people with mood disorders really spoke to me, and serving on YAC has allowed me to contribute to that mission in an especially meaningful way.
What has been your favorite Young Adult Council resource you have helped create?
I enjoyed collaborating with other YAC members Olivia and MJ for a blog post and podcast episode on recognizing the early signs of a mood disorder. I felt invested in developing this particular resource, as I remembered what I wished I had known back then. Mental health was not part of any conversation I had while growing up, so I strongly believe in efforts to provide more education and raise awareness for the younger generations. Also, I connected with what Olivia and MJ shared themselves, and I found it affirming to be able to reflect on those together.
What are you looking forward to for YAC this year?
It’s inspiring to hear from our other YAC members on ways in which we can support young adults, as they often tap into their own personal experiences. In line with this, I am excited to see a greater representation of the diverse identities and various conditions that can be intertwined with having a mood disorder, such as chronic illness, pregnancy, first-generation college students, and BIPOC-identified folks. We are all more than just a diagnosis, and I am encouraged that we are striving to be more inclusive in our development of resources.
What is your favorite wellness tip?
To me, wellness is an ever-evolving practice that I work on daily. It can and has looked different for me, depending on how I’m feeling at the time and at what point in my life I am in. Allowing myself to be flexible in that has been helpful, along with recognizing that these don’t necessarily have to be grand gestures. As of late, applying sheet or clay masks has been very soothing for me, and much needed after a long day. Also, staying connected with my partner, friends, and family (especially during the pandemic) has been among the most important for my well-being.
Interested in Joining Us?
We are looking to grow the Council. If you’re an individual aged 18-30 interested in the DBSA Young Adult Council, please contact YACmembership@DBSAlliance.org for more information.