Episode 103: Breaking Barriers: Addressing Ableism in Mental Health and Advocating for Change [featuring Janelle Johnson]

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I just had an amazing session on my podcast, the All Things Private Practice Podcast, with the incredible Janelle Johnson, a licensed therapist and founder of Bridges Family Life Center. And let me tell you, the insights we discussed were mind-blowing! 💥

Janelle opened up about their journey in the mental health field, focusing on her own neurodivergence struggles, challenging her own internalized ableism, and advocating for equity in education. 🌟

We dove deep into the role of therapists in addressing ableism and dismantling the problematic aspects of the mental health system. Are we just bandaging or truly understanding the root causes of struggles? 🤔

We delved into the experiences of marginalized communities, the importance of cultural sensitivity, and the power of relationships in healing trauma. And we even talked entrepreneurship and innovation! 🌍

So, folks, get ready to unpack and unlearn the complexities surrounding mental health. This conversation will challenge your perspectives and empower you to make a positive impact in the world! ✨

Thank you, Janelle, for sharing your authentic story. You are truly an inspiration! If you want to hear more on neurodivergence and entrepreneurship, stay tuned for our next episode! 🎧

Reasons to listen:

1. Understand about Internalized Ableism: Many mental health professionals may struggle with their own internalized ableism, consciously or unconsciously perpetuating harmful beliefs and practices. This episode addresses the importance of recognizing and challenging these biases, providing insights and perspectives from someone who has gone through their own journey of self-discovery and disability advocacy.

2. Learn about Systemic Analysis: It is crucial for therapists to understand that mental health struggles are not isolated issues; they are often intertwined with social, economic, and institutional factors. By examining the root causes of mental health challenges in marginalized communities, therapists can better advocate for change and support holistic healing.

3. Hear Patrick and Janelle talk about their own journeys with Autism & ADHD diagnoses, and how they’ve had to do a lot of deep, introspective work to help unpack their own stigmas and beliefs.

4. Identify the disconnect between Mental Health Practice and Social Issues: The mental health field often focuses on individual struggles without adequately acknowledging the systemic and social factors that contribute to mental health challenges. This episode delves into the intersectionality of mental health, disability, and social issues such as racism, trauma, and economic challenges. It’s important to question the existing mental health structure and explore ways to address root causes of issues rather than simply treating symptoms.