ULM: What led you to writing a book about mental illness for both adults and children?
I wanted adults and children to learn that mental illness is treatable and nothing to be afraid of and that people can live normal, healthy, happy lives.
I also wanted them to know that mental illness is not the end of the world, it is just the beginning of searching for your roots once again. It is all right to still have hope for the goals and dreams that will make a person achieve success in their life.
ULM: What are some of the most common misled facts that come into association when people find out someone has a mental illness?
Some common misled facts are sometimes having a mental illness means that their crazy or a weakness in themselves. That is not true. You can still pursue goals and dreams and make a success in your future. Mental illness is a chemical imbalance and although it requires medication, it is not the only asset to recover from a mental illness. Having support from friends and family is important, doing something productive with your life like working or going back to school.
ULM: After reading your books, what would you like readers to take from them?
I would like readers to realize that there is hope for people with mental illness and that recovery is possible.
ULM: I noticed that you are an active candidate working to break the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. What are some ways others can help fight that?
You can help fight stigma in so many ways such as involving yourself with organizations that do quality work for the mentally ill like NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), working as a Certified Peer Specialist, writing articles in newspapers and journals about stigma towards mental illness, etc.
ULM: As a writer, you took personal experience into creating beautiful books for both adults and children alike. What was the journey like when writing these books?
Very fun, interesting and also therapeutic. My memoir, especially was therapeutic for me because I was re evaluating my life once again.
ULM: Winning one award is like winning the lotto for most authors.. How did it make you feel knowing your books won not one but several awards?
It made me feel special and that my life story is of interest to them and that it gives people a sense of hope and encouragement.
ULM: For those readers who haven’t read your books yet, can you briefly tell them what they are about?
My first book, Surviving Mental Illness, My Story is a memoir of the heartbreaks and challenges I faced growing up with bipolar disorder and how I achieved recovey. The second book, I coauthored with my husband, is a children’s story of how two adults affected by mental illness get better with medication and support by their family and friends.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your books online?
You can find my books on amazon, barnesandnoble.com , and on my website: http://www.surviving-mental-illness.com