Thanks for tuning into our podcast: Mental Note 

We are excited to share with you Mental Note, our Eating Recovery Center and Insight Behavioral Health Centers podcast that highlights both the work and the beauty of mental health recovery. Our stories span a variety of mental illness struggles and we introduce you to relatable personalities with in-depth conversations into how they chose health amidst daunting illnesses. At the end of it all, this podcast provides hope that recovery is possible—and worth it. We hope you find are inspired by these real-life stories. Enjoy!

Episode 35: Understanding Bias, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with Dr. Seria Chatters

Dr. Seria Chatters is Director of Equity and Inclusivity of State College Area School District and an Adjunct Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Chatters has been providing training and professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion for over a decade. Dr. Chatters worked as a school counselor, licensed professional counselor, and and licensed mental health counselor in the United States and abroad. Dr. Chatters worked as an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at The Pennsylvania State University and previously at Zayed University in Dubai, UAE. At Penn State, as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Chatters was the Coordinator of Clinical Mental Health in Schools and Communities Program and supervised students in their Masters’ and Doctoral programs. Dr. Chatters has been happily married to her husband, Gary Smith, for 16 years, and has three beautiful children ages 14,13, and 6.

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Episode 34: Big Booty Pride: Body Positivity & Systemic Racism with Gloria Lucas

Gloria Lucas decided to name her mental health awareness and body positivity organization after the Spanish slang term for a big booty - nalgona. She began Nalgona Positivity Pride after her own eating disorder struggles left her feeling like professional resources ignored her experience as a Xicana with indigenous heritage. Rather, it all felt geared towards white Americans. What about people of color? Is recovery not for everyone?

Join us as we trace Gloria's journey to create a place of healing for communities suffering from generational trauma and cultural exclusion and racism. Discover ways to support both yourself and the people around you. 

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Episode 33: Addiction & Substance Use Disorder: A Family's Journey

Kim Offner grew up with a best friend under the same roof — her sister Kristy. The two remained close all the way up into early adulthood when their dynamic took a tragic and confusing shift. Kristy fell into a losing battle with opioid addiction. Her family had no idea where to find the right help. 

In today’s episode, we hear the often forgotten story of family members loving someone with substance use disorder. Kim shares about loss and healing, what she wishes she knew about addiction treatment at the time, and how she honors her sister today.

Also featuring Linda Lewaniak, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Certified Advanced Addictions and other Drug Counselor with over 25 years experience.

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QuaranTimes: Guided Meditation

What’s a brain to do when staying at home leaves it frazzled and freaked out? We speak with Ed Kizer - therapist, outdoors enthusiast, yogi, and expert napper - about taking the plunge and beginning a home meditation practice. Spoiler - no need to be a spiritual rockstar to begin.

We’ll cover what meditation is, how to do it, and then we’ll practice! 

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Episode 32: Let's Talk About Depression and Suicide

Suicide is something most folks just don’t bring up... Yet, the problem is palpable. Statistically, someone completes an attempt every 40 seconds.

The good news is that suicide is 100% preventable and that you don't need to be a professional to help. You just need resources.

And that brings us to the story of Jonny & Carl, two friends who joined forces to do everything in their power to combat suicide and destigmatize depression and mental health in their community. They teach us how being an agent of healing is easier than you think. 

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New Mini-Series: QuaranTimes

Welcome to QuaranTimes, a special series by Mental Note Podcast about the big worlds we inhabit in our suddenly smaller daily lives. Each episode will give a new perspective on mental health, social distancing and coping with isolation.

Our first episode brings us to the digital stage of our favorite drag queen, Eric Dorsa aka Fonda Koxx. We discover the importance of expression even when the audience is invisible.

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Episode 31: PostSecret

Secrets are one of the heaviest burdens we will ever carry. And while their release can feel euphoric, it’s hard not to worry about the fallout from sharing what’s inside. Along our mental health journeys, secrets often play a sinister role in keeping us locked into shame. That’s why today’s storyteller, Frank Warren, launched the global sensation PostSecret.

PostSecret offers an anonymous and artful platform to share the deepest hidden knowledge we all keep inside. It’s popularity is unrivaled and exists as the internet’s most visited advertisement-free blog. We can’t wait to share this conversation with you! Who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to share something you’ve been holding inside for far too long. 

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Episode 30: The Secrets of B.T. Harman

Growing up gay, Christian, and the son of a church pastor in The South, author and podcast creator BT Harman knew how to suppress his own voice in order to fit in. Yet, at what costs? Anxiety, depression, and deep loneliness seemed to follow him at every turn. 

We travel with B.T. as he mines the secret journals of his early life in order to share with the world the liberty of authenticity. His story is relevant to anyone from any background looking to declare freedom from shame and make this the year that they own their truth. 

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Episode 29: No One Signs Your Cast

Treatment for mental health issues rarely receives the same level of community support that a more visible struggle, like major surgery, does. But our friend, Shay, is out to change that.

A straight male who received treatment for anorexia, Shay experienced push back from some of his closest friends when he made the choice to seek professional help. Yet, his friends were eager to lend sympathy when he fractured an ankle... What gives!?

We are all about shifting this conversation along with Shay and cannot wait for you to hear more of his story.

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Episode 28: Dr. Aldridge Answers Eating Disorder Questions

Today’s episode features the trailblazing expert on difficult to treat cases of eating and mood disorders, Dr. Delia Aldridge.

We’ll discuss your questions for her about why diets don’t work, how self-harm and eating disorders are connected, what treatment looks like, and the long term complications of restrictive eating - so please pass this along to anyone you know who will benefit from her knowledge!

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Episode 27: Fuel on the Flame - Alcohol and Eating Disorders 

Lindsey Hall feels like a giant, eight-year-long black hole devoured her late teens and 20's. Years that should have been spent figuring out who she was and what she cared about were erased by something called "Drunkorexia" - a nonmedical term for the fusion of alcoholism and anorexia.

An accomplished writer and authentic voice for recovery, Lindsey brings us along on her journey of discovering how precious life truly is. 

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Episode 26: Does Nature Heal? 

Back in 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis set the record for fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail for both men and women. Afterward, she backpacked over 14,000 miles on 6 different continents, wrote 8 books, and started Blue Ridge Hiking Company in Asheville, NC. Needless to say, she knows the trail well and is a leader in the outdoor industry.

After all this hiking, she’s come to know herself in a unique way. Those days and nights spent outside taught her that it’s not about distance covered, but about self-awareness, mindfulness, connection, healing, positive body image and persevering joy.

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Episode 25: Do Sports Cause Eating Disorders?

Most people assume athletics and healthy bodies are synonymous. But the truth is much more complicated. For researcher Traci Carson, sports were her world - from elementary school through college she excelled at soccer, track, football, and women’s rowing. But a dark side of competition prompted her to get off the field and into a doctoral program for epidemiology to study the link between female athletes and eating disorders. 

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Episode 24: What is Neurodiversity?

Author Alisa Kennedy Jones woke up to a seemingly normal day, oblivious to the fact that it was the last day of her "normal" life...
We sit down to hear how she's championing a new approach to how we see ourselves and the world around us – through Neurodiversity. .

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Episode 23: You! #MyRecoveryLetter

Every year in honor of Eating Recovery Day, we flip the script and devote our whole show to the recovery letters of those who listen. Today you’ll hear from people in recovery, family members, service providers, and other loved ones. You finding your voice on the road to recovery is why we make this show — it’s an absolute honor to give you a platform.

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Episode 22: Cheryl Strayed - Why Your Story Matters

What if your story has the potential to reshape the world?

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. Her books have been translated into nearly forty languages around the world and have been adapted for both the screen and the stage — winning numerous awards along the way.

Cheryl recently sat down for a Q&A with Mental Note where she shared special insights on why it’s so critical to be the author of your own journey.

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Episode 21:Obstacles in Recovery - How to Cope with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD

Have you ever felt crippled by anxiety and the traumatic effects of life? If so, join us for this enlightening episode as we hear from McCall Dempsey (you may remember her from episode #14). She shares the process of choosing to stay in eating disorder recovery even in the midst of depression, trauma and PTSD. Cultivating the art of coping allowed her to thrive in extremely difficult situations and shows us all that recovery is a process of living fully.

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Episode 20: Generational Truama - How Genocide and Poverty Influenced One Daughter's Body Image 

Johanna Kandel grew up the daughter of parents who survived the Holocaust and with roots in deep poverty - traumas that continued to shape her life even though she was born long after they occurred. We explore how her body image issues and eating disorder unfolded and why it took years to receive a diagnosis and find treatment.

We also discuss helpful steps to getting a diagnosis if a medical provider is not clued in so that you can access recovery. 

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Episode 19: Take Me Out of the Ball Game - Pro Athlete Mike Marjama Talks Eating Disorders and Baseball 

It takes an incredible amount of will, talent, and work to become a major league baseball player. So why did the former catcher for the Seattle Mariners, Mike Marjama, give it all up to share his story?
This special Q&A with Mike and his mom takes a look at how we can better equip each other to live full lives, accomplish great things, and rethink traditional masculinity. 

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Episode 18: Who Needs Diets Anyway?

We're dipping our toes into the world of Christie Dondero Bettwy. After a long history of dieting to get others’ approval and falling into an eating disorder, she is fighting back against assumptions that hurt far more people than they help. 

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Episode 17: A Parent's Journey 

What happens when your child is diagnosed with an eating disorder? Where do you go for help? How does it affect your community? When Beth Ayn's daughter received a diagnosis of anorexia, she set out on a journey that led her to unexpected places.

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Episode 16: Diets No More - Andy McLoughlin 

We sit down with Andy McLoughlin and talk about his lifelong journey to shed the darkness of his Binge Eating Disorder and embrace a fulfilling life. 

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Episode 15: More Than My OCD - Moving Beyond Compulsion 

Sunnie never knew she had OCD.

Join us as we journey with her through the process of dividing her own identity from that of the disorder. Along the way, we'll discover just how good life can be. 

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Episode 14: Smashing Scales - McCall Turns the Tables on Weight Loss at Any Cost 

There once was a 14-year-old girl named McCall who didn’t know how to fit into her own body. Her resulting sadness launched a 15-year long journey through the pitfalls of dieting pills, along the cliff edge of weight loss at any cost, down the narrow path of making a choice to recover, and into the breakthrough of discovering an antidote to shame.

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Episode 13: Parents Make all the Difference - Celebrating Father's Day with David Bachman 

We’re taking the opportunity to celebrate Father’s Day by talking with a pretty amazing dad. David Bachman is the father of two boys, one of which began battling Anorexia Nervosa at age 12. 

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Episode 12: The Journey of Transgender Recovery: Ryan Sallans' Story 

Today, we're sitting down with Ryan Sallans - an author and speaker who shares about life as a trans-man. His story highlights that destructive coping is not a long-term solution, that cultivating awareness offers a practical way forward without minimizing emotions, and the uniqueness of eating disorders in the trans community as a way to look more masculine.

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Special #MyRecoveryLetter Episode: Celebrating Eating Recovery Day 

On this special episode, we listen to you in celebration of Eating Recovery Day on May 1st!

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Episode 10: With a Little Help from my Furry Friend  

We are sitting down with Shannon Kopp. She made it through a family divided by alcoholism, personal struggles with bulimia, and into a future where she is thriving – all with the help of some friends who barely understood a word she said, yet generously gave the love they had with wet noses and furry kisses.

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Episode 9: Baby Body? Pregnancy and Body Image with Lauren Hil 

Join us as we talk frankly with Lauren Hill about her experiences with body image and pregnancy. We'll discuss what's most important for our bodies and our family during and after birth, how partners, friends, and family can support us best, and how to navigate this unique time with love.

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Episode 8: Trouble in the NFL 

Patrick Devenny walks us through how he suddenly found himself facing a diagnosis of bulimia… and how he was able to find a way out. Along the way we talk with Rebecca McConville, a registered dietician, board certified sports specialist, eating disorder clinician and co-host of the podcast Phit for a Queen.

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Episode 7: Living With Bipolar 

Discover the upending world of Bipolar and learn how Ana has found a new sense of equilibrium and purpose in her life through a strong support system, letting go of perfection, and cultivating valuable skills to navigate uncertainty. 

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Episode 6: Good Grief 

Join us as we talk with Laura and her Mom, Mary Ellen, about how to honor loss and make space for hope in our holiday celebrations.

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Episode 5: Up From "Down Under"

Robyn Cruze’s journey teaches us about the comorbidity between substance use and eating disorders, how coping mechanisms and life passions provide alternatives to destructive behavior, and that there's no "perfect time" for recovery--the sooner, the better. 

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Episode 4: Gorge 

Join us as we talk with Kara Richardson Whitely, author of the book Gorge, about her lifelong journey towards recovery from Binge Eating Disorder and its ramifications in her life.

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Episode 3: Drag Queen Wisdom 

Life for someone like Eric Dorsa can look pretty fabulous. Yet, getting to this place proved far from easy. Along the way he had to grapple with a life-threatening eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, and an underlying self-hatred that continually thwarted the life he longed to live.

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Episode 2: At Any Age

Kelli's life seemed perfect from the outside: mother of two, active in church, a successful career, and loving husband. However, her story is a little more complicated than that.  

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Episode 1: Nicole's Story 

Meet Nicole and get to know her through some snapshots! Her story is featured on the first Mental Note podcast episode and she's sure to inspire hope for anyone's life journey.

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