I recently had the privilege of attending the HealtheVoices 2018 Conference, in Chicago. It was an incredible event where advocates representing over 40 mental and physical health communities came together for 3-day weekend of collaborating, education, and networking.
It was my first time attending an event like this, and to be honest I really didn’t know what to expect. I did my research, watched videos, and checked out past event information, but still you never know until you get there right?
I’m so grateful to Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the honor of being one of the mental health advocates there, representing Anxiety and Trauma Recovery. So, I decided what better what to share some of my experience at the conference than to do a podcast about it. Since, hey I’m a podcaster right! :)
Thank you to everyone at Janssen who organized this amazing weekend, I’m so humbled and honored to have had the pleasure of attending. I learned so much, made new friends, and even met a few people that I already knew!
The staff, the event organizers, the sponsors, and of course all of the amazing and dedicated advocates that I met have left a lasting impact on my life. I left feeling inspired and encouraged, realizing that we all have so much in common, even if our platforms are different. Our common goal of raising awareness, providing resources and encouragement and information to people just like ourselves, who need it now more than ever.
We’re all living the experience for which we advocate for, pouring our heart and souls into this labor of love of doing all we can to help others while on our own journey. I’m not ashamed to say that I am a survivor, a recovering anxiety sufferer, and someone who is right there feeling all the pain and frustration in the trenches of recovery.
Going to this conference was like feeling at home with 122 people that I’d never met before in my life. That’s the beauty of this event, everyone is there to learn, share, and encourage one another and to be reminded that none of us are ever alone on this journey of healing and recovery.
I look forward to hopefully being invited back in 2019 to HealtheVoices!
-Matt Pappas, Coach, Podcaster, Advocate.
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Janssen paid for my travel and accommodations for the event; my opinions are my own.