It’s mental health awareness month! Let’s show some love and support.

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Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!
www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a great month to help support causes in raising awareness on mental health and promoting prevention of suicide and self harm.

Please help our friends at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Augusta NAMI, Augusta, Georgia, Inc. – National Alliance on Mental Illness in their mission to help people build better lives for themselves and their families. Their goal is to raise enough funds to build and maintain a Respite Center where individuals who face mental health crises can go for a reprieve for up to a week.

http://www.namiaugusta.myevent.com/

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Advocacy in the Face of Stigma With Ava Rosenblatt (The Goodness Geek)

Advocacy in the Face of Stigma.

National Alliance On Mental Illness NAMI Cobb Educational Speakers Series feat. Author, Felicia Johnson

Educational Meeting Thurs. Feb. 19, 2015

For more information, visit http://www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com.

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Education Speaker Series Presents:Author and mental health advocate, Felicia Johnson, who joins us to discuss her own experience in dealing with a loved one suffering from child abuse, depression and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  Inspired by her own life story and the journey of her childhood friend, Felicia has authored the novel, Her, which is the story of a young girl dealing with BPD.  Through her book, Felicia helps to bring understanding of BPD within reach of many young people and families afflicted by it and continues to help many come to terms with mental health issues they face.

As a survivor of child abuse and one who deals with mental illness in her personal and work life, Felicia is very involved in efforts to end the stigma of mental illness.  Felicia lives in Atlanta and currently works at the Highlands Institute and volunteers with Youth Villages Inner Harbour and Personality Disorder Awareness Network.

This event is a FREE community service; all are welcome!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

7:30-9:00 p.m.

St James Episcopal Church Parish Hall

161 Church St Marietta 30060

Empowering Our Youth: Journaling and Writing Speaking Engagement Testimonials

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Again, I’d like to say thank you to a group of North Atlanta youth mentors and advocates at LPYG for inviting me to speak to a wonderful group of brilliant kids who are on their way to becoming amazing young writers! I had so much fun speaking and answering questions about how journaling can jump start your writing career. That day, I handed out journals as keepsakes for the children to start writing in their own personal journals. They seemed to be delighted with their gifts. Some of them began writing in their journals immediately! I was overwhelmed by the welcoming atmosphere and the keen interest of the children as I spoke to them about my own personal experience with journaling and how keeping journals had helped me to produce and publish my first novel. Read more about this event here: https://feejohnson.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/encouraging-our-youth-journaling-writing/

Here are testimonials from the the boys and girls and staff:

“It was nice of Miss Felicia to bring us journals. I am going to write in my journal every day because I want to write a book about my life one day.” Shimaya age 14

“I found the session to be educational and fun. I learned that it’s important it keep your journal private so that you can write anything you want inside of it. I never thought that I would want to write in a journal, but it seems like it’s worth a try. ” Jonathan age 15

“The best thing that I can say about Miss Felicia is that she made me feel like anything is possible! Like if I want to write a book, I can and if I want to help inspire other people like me, I can do that. Listening to her story was very encouraging. Some of us go through a lot, but when you do your best, you can do anything.” Kelly age 14

“I was touched by her story and I think that anyone who can get through hard times and stand up and talk to other people to help them are brave. She helped me to appreciate that lot of us have had hard times but when we make a choice to do the right thing, we don’t have to go down that bad route. We can take a path to choose to do good things, like write and journal and help others.” DK age 14

“I’m going to write in my journal as much as I can so that I don’t forget the good memories. Like when Miss Felicia said that she wrote in her journal to remember her friend who had died. I don’t want to forget how she helped us and brought the journals for us. That was one of the nicest things anyone has done. I don’t want to forget this.” Victoria age 15

“Thank you, Felicia, for coming to our little space to speak to our kids. You have made a tremendous impact with your sisterly warmth, kindness, and generosity. I am sure that the kids have thoroughly enjoyed you speaking with them today. We hope that you will come back and visit us again soon!” Sharon K. – Youth Advocate and Mentor

**For more information about Felicia Johnson and other events please click here to visit http://www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com.

Also, please write to Felicia at herthebook@gmail.com if you would like to educate, inspire and empower your group, Felicia Johnson is just what your event needs! Felicia’s message is inspired by hope , original, motivational and educational. For over five years, she has been empowering audiences both small and large as a Speaker, Author and Advocate for youth, mental and behavioral health and creative arts.

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Encouraging Our Youth: Journaling & Writing

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Thank you to a group of North Atlanta youth mentors and advocates for inviting me to speak to a wonderful group of brilliant kids who are on their way to becoming amazing young writers! I had so much fun speaking and answering questions about how journaling can jump start your writing career.

We began our day at LPYG with a lively group of teens who are part of a youth mentoring group that focuses on building life skills. Today’s topic was about how journaling can help build writing skills. Most of the youth in the group did not keep personal journals. Most of them admitted that they had not given much thought to keeping a journal. I explained that journals are used to keep personal thoughts, ideas, feelings, memories and experiences that we hold dear.

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The best part about keeping a journal is that you can write down anything you want and you do not have to share it with anyone if you do not wish to share what you’ve written. The teens seemed to like the idea of keeping a journal that they can be open with expressing themselves through words and language openly without fear of judgement. I brought a few starter journals for the teens to keep so that they can begin writing in journals. Some of them even said that they wanted to see if they could use the journals to write stories.

During the Q&A, I invited the youth to ask me questions about journaling and writing. There were a few interesting questions, but the one question that stood out to me the most was from a 14 year old girl named Shamiya. Shamiya said that she was interested in writing a memoir about her life when she grows up. She asked me, “If I write in a journal, will I be able to make it into a book about my life?”

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I encouraged Shamiya to keep a detailed journal and write in it daily especially if she wants to write a memoir one day. A daily journal will hold memories that she may not be able to remember in the future. Writing in a journal can help with keeping your most sacred and cherished memories for you so that when you want to look back and reminisce or recall the memory to write your memoir, the memories will be there.

Everyone seemed to be happy with the idea of keeping a journal. Some of them began writing in the journals as soon as I handed them out. When I was asked to share something from my journal, I helped them to appreciate the privacy of a journal. I told them that the privilege of having a journal is so that you can keep your thoughts private until you’re ready to share. For example, when I had written in my journals as a teen, I did not want to share what I had written about my memories of my late best friend Holly and what it was like for me growing up with major depression. It wasn’t until I grew up and decided to write a book about surviving child abuse and mental health that I decided to share thoughts from my journals. It’s more relevant now today because now my book can actually help other people who are dealing with those same issues.

My hope is that the teens were inspired by my experience with journaling and how it helped me build my writing career. I hope that they will write in their journals even if it’s just to have a way to release their thoughts and feelings openly and freely. I look forward to following up with them and their mentors to see how they are using their journals.

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Please visit my website to find out more about mentoring and speaking and to find out how you can book me to speak at your next event: http://www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com

Fostering the Love: Reading and Training Foster Children and Parents

We are so looking forward to a great day this Saturday! I’ll be joining Personality Disorder Awareness Network to head over to the Atlanta chapter of National Youth Advocate Program.

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NYAP’s mission, from their website:

 

NYAP is an energetic instrument of compassion and change in the lives of children, youth, and families and the systems, structures and practices that affect them.

NYAP is a national organization that works closely with the foster care system, and they have three local chapters in Georgia.

On Saturday, I am honored to be reading a book to the children written by a psychologist for children to give them a bit of insight into parents’ behaviors. As I have been in the foster care system, I am really looking forward to getting to know these kids!  Afterwards, we will be holding a training on trauma for foster parents. Since many of the children in the system have been involved in one type of trauma or another, such as some kind of abuse, the trauma of losing one or both parents, or similar situations, it is so important for parents to be able to recognize and understand how to deal with symptoms and care for them compassionately.

Wish me luck that I can help inspire hope for the future of these kids and parents, and that maybe I’ll learn a little something new myself!