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Sonoma County Gazette
Mental Health Series

Mental Health Series Begins

The Interconnectedness of All Things

Mar 31, 2017
by Zaki Shafi


Insights from the peer mental health movement offer hope to any seeking a life of peace, wellness, and fulfillment. Beginning March 3, Sonoma County will have an opportunity to study and integrate the lessons of the peer movement in a new 9-part series titled “The Interconnectedness of All Things.” To learn more about the peer movement and the specifics of the series, visit Read on to learn how this Forum and our work augments society outside of our halls.

The members of the Wellness center have diagnoses ranging from schizophrenia, bi-polar/manic-depressive, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, co-occurring/dual diagnosis, chronic depression. We, the staff, have each of us been on the other side of the diagnosis or a potential diagnosis and we, each of us peers and staff, have made it through our suffering in creative ways and now are uniquely positioned to give back to those going through their journey.

The wisdom of the peer movement is to recognize unique human potential and experience. The development of wisdom and compassion is crucial to our times. Contrary to popular myth that those with mental health challenges cannot contribute meaningfully to society, peers who thrive despite their mental health challenges are more capable to serve as society’s future leaders. The recovery process they go through develops qualities necessary to lead society through the problems we are facing now.

The First Friday Forums is crucial in societal healing because the knowledge, steps, and wisdom delivered through the series is applicable to any person willing to walk their personal path of wellness, fulfilment, and peace. It is best to learn from those who are walking it successfully.

In today’s world, it isn’t only peers who are in need of the recovery path. Our society is sick. Our politics, economics, our popular art and culture, our government, our business—they are all suffering from major dysfunction. Hopefully, there are solutions emerging as more and more people “wake up” to our current reality and answer with wisdom, love, and consideration. Solutions are occurring in small pockets in each sector of civilization. One such pocket is our center. We are moving towards living in solution by participating in the paradigm shift of seeing people as Whole. When we see truly the wholeness in another, we help them connect with their wholeness.



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