Summit Testimonial

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Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 9:32am

Blog post from PEERS: What I took away from my first Copeland Center Summit

This was my first time at a Copeland Summit and I had a wonderful time. What I found refreshing was the difference in perspectives and attitude amongst these people in comparison to the usual mental and medical worker I have come across. Many of the presenters, whether guest lectures and workshop facilitator shared a personal story about their experiences. I was part of the Youth workshop with TAYi and another youth program. For the first time, on behalf of Tayi, I spoke about my personal experiences in front of strangers in a formal setting. I spoke again during the Open Mic event and went into long detail about my background and was recorded. Although I was one of the youngest members in the summit, the other people attending had an open heart and mind and were genuinely interested in what I had to say and bring as solutions to improving the system.

I attended to three workshops: Buried in Treasures, Trauma Focus, and Holistic Health. Buried in Treasures was intense for me to attend because I have personal experience dealing with someone who has a serious issue with extreme clutter (or more widely known as hoarding). The presenter and many of the attendees struggle with this and hearing them speak about their experiences, perspective, and feelings helped me understand better and have more empathy for those dealing with it. I thought the presenter was creative in how he uses Wrap to help and manage extreme clutter. I was excited when the presenter told us he would have workshops in San Francisco in the future. Many people and their loved ones are affected by extreme clutter and there hasn't been many promising solutions and treatment until recently.

I am happy and relieved that the Copeland summit refuses to take funds and support from pharmaceutical companies. At health conventions and summits that receive support from Big Pharma, too often these companies push and profit from their "our way is the only right way" agenda and don't provide or believe in alternative solutions to break the pill-taking cycle. At this summit, you won't find people who believe in pushing and shoving pills down one's throat as the ultimate solution or feel having a degree means they are superior and know better than the people they are caring for. What you will find are health workers and providers who want a mutual working relationship with the people they are helping, and desire to learn how to make the healing process as enriching and comfortable as possible.

I encourage other TAYi members who had negative experiences with people in the mental and medical field to try out the Copeland Summit. People here want to hear and learn about youth perspectives. The experience was positive and gave me hope in what kind of mental/medical system we will have in the future years to come.