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Two livestream events: memoir discussion plus mental health roundtable

On January 19, 2023, from 6:30-7:30 PM EST, author Alexander Bela Kirk (a pen name) will give a talk for NAMI of Greater Boston on what he learned while writing his memoir, Don't Give Up! A memoir of mental illness and the struggle for a happy, successful life. The talk is free and accessible to the public.

On his website, Kirk writes,

"Part of me aches to tell the truth about how hard things have been and what an effort it is to manage my illness and hold down a responsible, demanding job in a cutting-edge research laboratory. Another part of me worries that the added stress of self-consciousness, should my co-workers and superiors find out, would tip the delicate balance of life and work I have achieved and sink my ship. Hence, I live a double life, one as an extremely competent research technician and the other as a writer and person who still struggles with depression and the accompanying distorted thoughts."

During his talk, Kirk will describe what it was like to be hit by severe depression and psychosis at the age of fourteen, why he couldn’t ask for help, and what gave him the strength to go on after a suicide attempt. He will describe the stigma that kept him in a state of denial, and how acceptance that he would have a lifelong illness made recovery possible.

Kirk, who was once a guest at Gould Farm, has written a candid memoir of tremendous strength and perseverance. It is written for those in recovery as well as their loved ones. You can purchase a copy here.


On Thursday, January 12th from 1:00 - 2:00 EST, board chair and author, Phyllis Vine, will be participating in the roundtable discussion, Roundtable: Mental Health Reform and the Recovery (R)Evolution.

The speakers at the roundtable will include:

Cherene Caraco | CEO, Promise Resource Network; Project Director, Peer Voice NC; International Recovery Consultant

Keris Jän Myrick | Vice President of Partnerships, Inseparable; Podcast Host, Unapologetically Black Unicorns

Vesper Moore | COO, Kiva Centers; Indigenous activist, trainer, writer, and psychiatric survivor

Phyllis Vine | American historian and freelance writer; Author, Fighting for Recovery

The public is welcome to attend this event and you can register at this link.


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