Marie Antoinette Wright may not sound like a notable name to the everyday person, but to my 12-year-old self, that name was the beginning of my interest in the world of journalism.
Standing 5 feet tall, with caramel skin tone and a bright colored afro as big as her personality, I was in awe to see someone on television that looked like me. I was always inspired by journalists and media personalities that could share powerful messages given the right platform, I just didn’t know what my message was until working as a Peer Supporter at CMHA Calgary and hearing everyone’s impactful stories that were not much different than mine. I instantly felt connected.
After MC’ing CMHA Calgary’s Peer School Graduation in September of 2018, Executive Director Laureen MacNeil approached me immediately and shared two words “talk show”. From there, an idea was born. We wanted to be able to share this new concept of; recovery is possible, beyond our Welcome Center doors and with the masses. Recovery Is Possible: A Mental Health Podcast will be released the first Wednesday of every month and will explore topics such as men’s mental health and wellness, youth mental health and wellness, and cultural barriers in the mental health care system. Our purpose with this podcast is to educate that recovery is possible, shift the language of illness into wellness and provide insight to our life-skills-building courses that can create ongoing resiliency and positive mental health outcomes for all.
There was a time where I felt overwhelmed with shame, guilt, embarrassment and did not feel I had a story worth sharing. Thanks to the launch of this podcast and all the support from CMHA Calgary, not only do I feel confident in transforming my painful past into a purposeful present, but this platform will give opportunity to those who also feel voiceless themselves.