I’m Vic. I’m an activist, psychiatric survivor, and once-aspiring minister who remains passionate about creating trauma-informed, culturally sensitive spiritual and emotional support for people experiencing distress. I believe that what gets labeled “mental illness” is often a natural human reaction to harm, including harm caused by both interpersonal trauma and systemic forms of abuse and oppression. In my own life, healing from trauma has happened in supportive communities outside of the psychiatric system, and includes art, spiritual practices, and whole body health. I’m a strong believer in peer to peer support and giving people the space to talk about their experiences beyond the limiting language of diagnosis, illness, and symptoms.
Some of my formal training and education is listed below. However, much of my learning has come through my own life experiences: the mistakes, the difficulties, and the willingness to be open to new possibilities. I look to inspiration and guidance from human rights movements including disability justice, queer and trans liberation, and racial justice activism. I have also been fortunate to learn from elders, fellow activists, and spiritual mentors who graciously shared their wisdom with me throughout my life. I hope to honor their lives and memories in this ongoing work for healing and justice.
About the paperclips…
For many years I’ve collected paperclips that I find in random, non-office spaces. I almost always have one handy, and sometimes I incorporate them into art projects. For me they represent adaptability, possibility for connection, and finding delight in the ordinary and unexpected.
Certifications and Training:
- Trainer, Intentional Peer Support
- Trainer, Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist Employment Initiative
- Hearing Voices Support Group Facilitator
- Alternatives to Suicide Support Group Facilitator
- Facilitator, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University Berkeley, CA
Master of Theological Studies; Thesis topic: “Addressing Mental Health Through Biblical Narrative”
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
Bachelor of Arts, Theology