The Power of Secrets and Our Mental Health – Frank Warren of PostSecret.com Comes to Denver
Frank Warren of PostSecret.com will be the keynote speaker at the Eating Recovery Foundation Conference in Denver, CO in October 2019.
“There are two kind of secrets, the ones we keep from others and the ones we hide from ourselves.” – Frank Warren
A visit to PostSecret.com and a viewing of Frank Warren’s TED Talk can leave an unsuspecting viewer with tears in their eyes. This is how we found ourselves one day after reviewing Frank Warren’s work and the PostSecret website.
This powerful emotional impact – and the message behind his work – is why we’re so pleased to welcome Frank Warren as the Featured Keynote Speaker at the Eating Recovery Foundation’s 11thAnnual Conference in Denver this October.
The power of sharing our secrets
As a crisis counselor, Frank Warren drew on his background to develop a movement and community. Initially, people were invited to mail in an anonymous postcard with a secret they wanted to share.
What Frank thought would be a small project turned into a huge one: millions of anonymous secrets flooded in over time — and they continue to flood in. Each week, Frank selects some of these secrets to share to those who follow the PostSecret website. Through this work, Frank demonstrates that by sharing our personal struggles, we can help each other and release our burdens.
Is there a redemptive power in sharing our secrets – even if we share them anonymously? Frank says there is, and he believes that there is also a power in feeling connected with others via our secrets as they reveal themes of a shared humanity.
Frank shares, “I believe we all have at least one secret that could break your heart. Reminding ourselves of that can bring more compassion, empathy, and maybe more peace to the world.”
Over time, PostSecret became the catalyst for Frank to expand his passionate commitment to mental health advocacy. As he delved into the inspiring, funny and at times heartbreaking stories behind the secrets, he also became ardently involved in suicide awareness.
Frank’s presentation at this year’s conference is called “PostSecret Live” and will demonstrate the power of secrets live and in person. Along with Frank’s talk, Eating Recovery Center Recovery Ambassador Council (RAC) members, many of them individuals in recovery, will be talking about the role that secrets have played in their recovery.
The power of our “secret keepers”
Clinicians in the mental health field are often regarded as trusted “secret keepers” for their patients. And patients’ secrets can hold a great deal of power. Secrets can be incredibly painful, as they can be inextricably linked with shame and guilt.
Kelli Evans is a RAC member who has been in recovery for over 10 years. She knows firsthand how secrets grounded in shame keep us stuck in loneliness, anxiety and depression. Eating disorders, self-harm and alcoholism were part of Kelli’s life for many years.
Kelli told us how secrets kept her sick with her illnesses, “We all have a desire to be truly and deeply known. My shame told me I didn’t deserve to let others see the real me, so secrets became a way of managing my deepest fear of never being enough.”
When she decided to trust her therapists and treatment team (her own “secret keepers”) at ERC — sharing some of her buried secrets from decades past — Kelli’s shame began to subside.
“These ‘keepers of secrets’ helped me feel and deal with all the emotions I had bottled up. There was something so healing about hearing my voice and my words express my secrets. My shame thrives in secrecy and dies in the light of sharing.”
Not everyone has a trusted “secret keeper.” With PostSecret, users have a platform where they can share their secrets anonymously. Come hear Frank describe the power of secrets and witness the pain, passion, community, and connection that can be found in the stories he has collected over the years.
PostSecret by the Numbers
- PostSecret was founded on January 1, 2005.
- PostSecret founder Frank Warren has published 6 New York Times Bestselling Books.
- The PostSecret app launched on September 3, 2011. It quickly reached the top-selling spot though the app is no longer available.
- Frank Warren’s TED Talk has been viewed online over 4,000,000 times.
- Proceeds from PostSecret have contributed over $1M to suicide call centers.
- Mr. Warren’s presentations and PostSecret museum exhibits have spread across 6 continents over the past 10 years.
- Visitor count to PostSecret.com at publication of this blog was at 824,448,097.
Explore the power of secrets at the Eating Recovery Foundation Annual Conference on October 12th. We will have postcards available at various stations around the conference where you can submit your own secrets — if you like. Frank will be sharing a selection of these secrets out loud during the live event.
Frank Warren is founder of the PostSecret Project, author of 6 New York Times Bestselling Books and a recipient of a Mental Health Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Join us as Mr. Warren presents “PostSecret Live” as the Featured Keynote Speaker at the Eating Recovery Foundation’s 11thAnnual Conference on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Denver Downtown. The luncheon experience will be heartwarming, funny and celebrate the profound work of our dedicated audience. We hope everyone will leave inspired and invigorated!
The annual Eating Recovery Foundation conference "Navigating Resistance and Emerging Treatments for Eating Disorders, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and Trauma" brings together distinguished experts to discuss the trends, developments, and emerging best practices shaping the field of eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and trauma.
Learn more about the conference and register to attend in person or via Livestream here.
About the images: The images shown in this blog post are courtesty of Frank Warren and PostSecret — giving you a taste of the types of secrets people share with Frank every day.