When Your Mother Has a Mental Illness
Normal is a subjective term, but when my mother taped my nose to my ear with masking tape to “help straighten it out,” I started to wonder if she even fell within the range. In this presentation, I share my personal experience of navigating life with a mother who has psychosis. Some themes that are covered include:
- Loyalty to the family, even when it’s a crazy family, e.g. why someone might feel protective of their family, even when they’re harming them
- Portrait of a high-functioning person with a mental illness and the difficulty of diagnosis
- Coping and surviving vs. thriving
- An individual’s rights with regard to mental illness treatment and issues around medication compliance
Target Audience: This in-person presentation has been created for high school students and can be tailored for school curriculum needs. It can also be tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of your company or organization.
- To take the ‘scary’ out of talking about mental illness and normalize the conversation
- To humanize mental illness and create greater awareness and empathy in communities
“Ms. Zera’s account of her experiences with schizophrenia and depression helped my students to see a personal side of these disorders that a textbook or class lecture couldn’t provide. Students were touched by Ms. Zera’s resilience and honesty, and her testimonial spurred active discussion of causes, symptoms and treatments of different disorders well after she left.” – Sarah B., AP psychology teacher
“Laura’s fascinating personal story was riveting to my AP psychology students. She visited my class at the perfect time – just as my students worked through their study of psychological disorders – and hearing about Laura’s experiences with her mother helped personalize their studies. Further, Laura was open and willing to answer their questions, engaging with the kids in a way that deepened their learning.” – Alex M., AP psychology teacher
If Your Dream Career Was on Google Maps, We Wouldn’t Be Having This Talk
The path to your dream career is rarely a straight one, and if you’re at a fork in the road and don’t know which way to turn, you’re not alone. But making career decisions doesn’t have to be torture, whether you’re staring at a blank piece of paper or have a list of twenty things you’re dying to do. Different personality types will adopt diverse career development strategies; ultimately, key clues already lie within, there for when you need them. In this presentation, I talk about building your self-awareness muscle, turning the world into your laboratory and executing 180-degree career turns as a matter of course, not crisis.
“Truly amazing session at Backpack-to-Briefcase today.” – Vijayaraghavan R., engineering graduate student
“The advice and information that you shared with our upcoming & recent graduates will truly make an impact on those individuals as they determine their own course of action over the next few years.” – Kendra W., Simon Fraser University Career Services
Busting the Myths About Solo Travel
Can’t find a travel partner? Don’t let that stop you. In this presentation, we’ll talk about what it means to be a solo traveler, why it will change your life and how to start (hint: buy a plane ticket). There are pros, there are cons, and yes, there are stories. So, where do you want to go?
Target Audience: This in-person presentation has been created for audiences of all ages and both genders with limited solo travel experience and lots of curiosity. It can be tailored for the unique needs of specific audiences.
- To demonstrate that solo travel is viable for almost anyone
- To explore beliefs and misconceptions about solo travel
- To provide useful tips and information
- To have fun and get you motivated to hit the road