6/26/19

Today is my one year anniversary working at PEERS.

I do communications in support of a team of facilitators that go out in the community and offer support groups and training for all who identify with lived experience in mental health. Anyone can be a part of our groups and as the communications coordinator I use social media strategy, media production (of a new podcast: Mental Health Minute) and this here blog to flex my knowledge and content creation on behalf of PEERS.

We are based in East Oakland, nestled between the Airport and the Colosseum, which offers an industrial look at the roadways and travel paths of East Bay industry. To spite our surroundings our programs include festivals, events, and outreach opportunities in schools, jails, hospitals and other respite centers and addiction clinics where facilitators go into the community to give support. Mostly my role is behind the camera, screen, and audio gear while creating something digital to present as media on behalf of PEERS and a few times I have been a facilitator for our WRAP Program (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and for my own improv workshop I curate called UnPlug (My next one is this weekend as a part of a conference for the POCC, Pool of Consumers Champions).

PEERS has been a way for me to use my self-study, and interest in technology and media to grow into a full time role as media man and digital communications ambassador. I have had to discover how to use Word Press, Photoshop, social media, how to launch an original podcast and how to interview people for their personal story. I have grown into a role where I am able to edit copy, tighten up website fixes and use web development as well as work with our youth on how to approach multi-media in the modern world.

Recently I took a leave of absence to better tend to my mental health, and my work was more than understanding, as mental health is what we do here. When I came back I started part time, and just recently was alerted that I would stay part-time, as the roles of the company are always shifting. This has increased my entrepreneurial spirit here and has increased my interest in doing workshops, and coaching. In my last full time role I was as a wellness coach where I had 19 partners as week. We would grocery shop, walk the lake, go to the beach; sometimes I would advocate for partners in their legal standing or personal well being all in the name of wellness. After leaving that job, I started my own coaching practice helping creative professionals balance their art with some sort of full time work. Now I have a new coaching niche, digital platforms that include social media and a balance of one’s digital artistry with a professional presence.

It is my goal to continue at PEERS part time, while re-launching my coaching practice among professionals I have meet in the non-profit sphere. I will also continue attending conferences as a facilitator for UnPlug, occasionally spinning my story of wellness, recovery and empowerment.

It has been one year since I started here at this very desk, typing away my thoughts for blog postings, taking photos of the Day of the Dead and events like Art and Soul. I have participated in outreach and local conferences, as well as training to better my skill set as a wellness participant. I would still like to gather those enriching experiences of growing into a better wellness participant and grow my digital portfolio and skill set in communications.

I see the next year as balancing my time between friends and family, creative pursuits, part time travel, out of town conferences, all with my part-time role of Communications Coordinator here at PEERS, supporting where I can, the team of facilitators that grow community and well being wherever they go, giving undeserved communities a chance to better themselves with training and support. I will continue and keep on, keeping on -broadening my surroundings, my sense of hope and my future.

Thanks for a wonderful first year at PEERS!

Here’s to many more-

Your Media Man,

Joshua