The wounded healer interview series features people who’ve dealt with significant mental health challenges, and who also work in a helping role to support the mental health of others.
This interview is with Wrae Sanders of One Blog, One Day at a Time.
1) Tell us a bit about you, the helping field you’re in, and the mental health challenges you’ve faced.
I have anxiety and depression. I’m currently on medication. I also have three years sobriety from alcohol. I’m a behavioral health technician at a sober living facility.
2) What made you decide to go into your helping field? Did your mental health challenges play a role?
I like helping people plus I know what it’s like to be in a bad place emotionally. I also liked learning about why people do what they do.
3) How have your own mental health challenges influenced the helping work you do?
At one point, my depression pushed me to work harder because it was a great distraction. It also makes me more empathetic.
4) Do you think you’re a more effective helper because of your own mental health challenges? How so?
Yes. I’ve been in some of the same situations so I can put myself in someone’s shoes.
5) Have you chosen to share your own mental health challenges with any of your patients/clients? What influenced that choice?
I have to an extent- it really depends on the situation. I think it helps the patient/client realize they’re not alone and that we go through things too.
6) Has your training or experience in your helping field changed how you approach your own illness or mental health challenges?
Yes. I know that there is a stigma of having mental health issues but it’s okay to get treated. I have seen what happens when you don’t.
7) What advice would you give to someone who has faced mental illness or other mental health challenges and is thinking about entering your helping field?
Make sure you’re ready to share your story because it might help someone. Of course, use appropriate boundaries.
Thanks so much Wrae for sharing with us!
Visit Wrae on her blog One Blog, One Day at a Time.
I decided to start the wounded healers interview series to showcase the contributions that people from within the mental illness community have made to help others living with mental illness. I’m looking to interview people who:
- have lived experience of mental illness or other significant mental health challenges;
- are willing to share the impact of those experiences on their helping work; AND
- are working (or have worked) in a helping role supporting people with mental health challenges, either as mental health professionals or wellness-promoting roles (e.g. coaches) – students and retired helpers are welcome too
If you’re interested in doing an interview, email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com. Let me know how you are a wounded healer, and I’ll send you the interview questions.