Growing Through is an innovative, strengths-based approach to supporting others through challenging life events and personal distress.
Guided by best practices for mental health peer support and suicide prevention, informed by the recovery model, humanistic psychology and lived expertise, Growing Through provides skills training for serving as an "ally" to others in these difficult times, including effective use of one’s personal experience.
Growing Through is founded on the philosophy that every individual’s life journey is unique and valuable. For some people, the most significant moments of that journey include intense difficulty, distress and/or pain, including despair and thoughts of death. By approaching struggle and crisis, including suicidal intensity, as parts of personal growth, Growing Through "Allies" help people find value and meaning in the midst of pain, and maximize their own resources for recovery.
Who Should Attend:
Growing Though training is designed for a range of service providers including crisis/support contact centre staff and volunteers. Combining practices for connecting authentically via presence and positive inhibition with a highly structured approach for offering personal experience to others in the context of intensity or 'crisis', offering presence fills a critical gap in suicide prevention, community mental health and peer specialist service.
Scholarships available. Wanting to attend this workshop but struggling with the cost? The Mental Health Foundation and Grow invite scholarship applications from individuals with ‘lived experience of mental distress' or those who identify as Māori, Pacific, LGBTQ+ who are working within mental health, education, justice or social service settings.
Scholarships are limited to 50% of the workshop fees only.
About the presenter:
Eduardo Vega, MA
For over twenty-five years, Eduardo Vega has worked as a leader in advocacy and transformative behavioural health programs and practices internationally.
This has included providing technical assistance, research and training projects, and major policy initiatives in suicide prevention, stigma and discrimination reduction. Also, consumer rights and empowerment, community integration, self-help and peer support services.
From 2010- 2016 he served as President/CEO of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and was the founder and Principal Investigator of the USA Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment. Eduardo now serves on the American Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance and the Executive Committee of the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the first national Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force.
A person with lived experience of suicide and a consumer advocate himself, he helped found the Destination Dignity! Project, United Suicide Survivors International and other transformative initiatives. Eduardo is a former Fulbright Specialist and California State Commissioner for Mental Health, and for his work in culturally focused programs, stigma reduction, empowerment and systems change he has been recognized by the United States Senate, the US Surgeon General and others. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from New School for Social Research.