Wounded Healer Interview: Meagon Nolasco

The wounded healers from Mental Health @ Home

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 Meagon Nolasco of Prose For The Masses.

Meagon Nolasco looking towards wall art

1) Tell us a bit about you, the helping field you’re in, and the mental health challenges you’ve faced.

I have been a consumer in the mental health field since I was 15 years old. Now, at 30 I work as a Peer Support Specialist using my lived experience to help empower and support others. My current diagnosis is PTSD stemming from child hood abuse which has led to severe anxiety, night terrors and restless sleep as well as bouts of severe depression.

2) What made you decide to go into your helping field?  Did your mental health challenges play a role?

My mental health challenges played a huge role in my interest in the mental health system. Being a consumer for so many years, I saw first-hand how broken this system is and how it is geared towards the insurance companies more than the individuals it is put in place to serve. Also, I want to be able to share my experience so that others know they are not alone.

3) How have your own mental health challenges influenced the helping work you do?

As a Peer Specialist, my role is to share my lived experience with others while also connecting them to community resources and also being there to support them during difficult times. Being that I have had to use these services myself, I am able to help peers navigate the system. Also, I have a personal history with anxiety and depression and hope my experience helps others feel at ease and as normal as they can in those scary moments

4) Do you think you’re a more effective helper because of your own mental health challenges?  How so?

Absolutely. Without having my own first-hand knowledge of what anxiety FEELS like and what depression FEELS like, I am just another therapist. I am just another person who is reading from a textbook and checking the boxes. As a Peer, I am able to take my lived experience and feelings towards things like mental illness and let others know I have felt that way, I know how that feels and offer empathy vs. sympathy.

5) Have you chosen to share your own mental health challenges with any of your patients/clients?  What influenced that choice?

I have shared pieces of my history with certain peers of mine. I have both a mental illness history as well as a substance abuse history so, depending on what a peer is struggling with in the moment, I share a piece of my story that can relate and help them connect with me on a deeper level. Building trust begins by building bridges, my experiences are the bridge

6) Has your training or experience in your helping field changed how you approach your own illness or mental health challenges?

Yes, mostly in the realm of self care.  You hear so many people talk about self-care and stress that it must be done but many of us just ignore this or do not make the time for it. Now that I am working in the mental health field, I am aware that I am only valuable to my peers at my best, and I am only at my best when I take the time to step back, unwind, meditate, read or anything else that takes my mind and body to another place.

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?

Be the change. All those complaints and qualms you have with your current providers or with current community services, be the one to make the change. Start petitioning for better funding for community resources, start offering groups and talks about things that most won’t sit through the uncomfortability to offer and above all LISTEN-do not just hear your patients/peers and/or clients, but listen. They will tell you all you need to know about them if you give them the time to explain.

You can find Meagon at:

8 thoughts on “Wounded Healer Interview: Meagon Nolasco”

  1. What a blessing it is to come full circle and give back. I agree with your response and observations on our broken system. Yes, unfortunately it does cater to corporate insurance companies and not the human beings its meant to care for. It’s based in sick care, keeping each individual sick and not in getting well. Kudos to you for helping others by your own experiences and triumphs🙌❤🤗

    1. I agree that it is truly saddening the way our healthcare system works, or doesn’t, but us fighters will keep fighting the good fight until this is no longer the barrier to proper care. Thank you for taking the time to read, namaste to you <3

    1. If we aren’t the change, who will be right? It is the Buddhist in me that moves in such haste, all we have is the moment. Thank you for taking the time to read and share, namaste to you <3

      1. And to you. While I can’t say I’m a Buddhist, I relate to the concept and practice much of the theory, in that believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. ❤

  2. I’d want her as a Peer Specialist!

    Unfortunately in my country, the training is short, simplistic, and too many who take it lack basic requirements like non-judgment, empathy and focusing on the client. Way too many bad stories where the peer ‘specialist’ started sharing non-helpfully, expressed judgment, or voiced unhelpful assumptions.

    I believe in the power of peer support.

    1. Peer support can definitely become skewed as the training’s begin to be washed down and shortened. But, it is a powerful tool in the realm of recovery and the only true requirement is being someone with lived experience. I believe many aspects of authentic peer support can be hard to teach, and this can cause hiccups down the road. Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read. <3

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