2/10/21: – To Make The Biggest Impact, Groups Must Work Together

You do enough of these sessions, talking abt the culture change that’s needed, & eventually you know the material like the back of your hand, right?  No nerves going in to each.
Yesterday was a gauntlet: had to get to a local school for a presentation (in person, by 7:30am), then the rest of the day was filled w virtual presentations, leading to an “event” style presentation w the NAMI group out of Santa Clara, at 10pm.
Ok so full disclosure, that 10pm presentation was the 1st in a long while, where I had some nerves going in. The nerves weren’t related to anything we typically get riled up abt – a large number of ppl on a call, having to fill an hour of time, etc.
The nerves this time were abt the “who” I was presenting to. I’d been connected w the NAMI SC heads a few months back, via a common contact w the Golden State Warriors. When we connected, & we exchanged bkgrnds, I asked if it was ok to share in full transparency – the WHY behind feeling a need to form #SameHere – as the existing msgs of “1 in 5 w Mental Illness…& let’s Stop The Stigma against that group”…never resonated w me. It was likely the “why” behind my never knowing to work on my own MH before my crash happened.
To the credit of the great leaders of this NAMI chapter, they thanked me after sharing…& actually invited me to present to their entire membership base, this same perspective abt making MH a topic for all.
Great leaders don’t see diff perspectives as competition. They look at them as other ways of seeing the world, that can complement their own existing msgs. We need way more of this, in this space…to hold hands & open up w each other & to our bases…to form united fronts to explain to the world what MH even is, & to tie us ALL together as one big tribe of 7 billion.
Ending well past 11pm, those NAMI leaders sent me the feedback from the chat (and it was pretty humbling to see how they opened up and embraced a slightly different message). That a group that’s seen the 1 in 5 world for so long, had this type of feedback for a story w a diff perspective, is so refreshing & gives me so much optimism for groups to be able to work TOGETHER as PARTNERS, to improve the world.

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