Today we get to know our Oklahoma City Production team: Stephanie and Trina!
I had the wonderful privilege of working for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services when I first moved to Oklahoma in the late ‘90s. I had always wanted to use my journalism degree in a way that supported people in need, as I had been raised by people in need. I felt I had a special connection and deep compassion for the single parent, those struggling with substance abuse and poverty, and especially people dealing with depression and anxiety caused by trauma. As a communications professional, I loved interviewing clients, helping them shape their stories and sharing them with the world. I realized I was an excellent listener and witnessed how deep listening can heal.
Through working with the State, I also learned about the devastating statistics Oklahomans experience. Oklahoma ranks poorly in nearly every indicator for health and well-being.
According to a report released in 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 22 percent of Oklahomans experience some form of mental illness, ranking Oklahoma 2nd in the nation. More than 5 percent of these folks have serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar or anxiety disorders. And Oklahoma continues to suffer cuts to an already anemic mental health infrastructure.
Two years ago, after spending nearly 20 years going to and dropping out of graduate school, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a therapist. I continue to be honored to witness clients’ stories and help them appreciate, affirm, and accept their truth. When I listened to Jennifer Marshall at a conference talking about her passion, This Is My Brave, I felt deep within that I not only wanted to bring the show to Oklahoma, but I needed to bring it here. Oklahomans need more brave—for those living with mental illness, family members needing hope, those fighting the good fight to provide treatment, and for policymakers willing to continuously advocate for more funds. I am grateful and humbled to be part of this wonderful opportunity.
With two alcoholic parents, Stephanie learned early about the debilitating cousins, depression and anxiety. A painfully shy young person, Stephanie turned toward reading and writing as ways to express her sadness, worries and many, many daydreams. Having twin daughters, being married to an active duty Air Force husband and parenting a five-year- old son, Stephanie plunged deeper into despair. An amazing therapist helped her find her Brave. After working in communications and public relations as her first career, Stephanie is now a grateful therapist.
Trina Kopacka Morrison, a life-long Okie, orphaned at 14, has spent her life overcoming the traumas of living with her mother’s mental illness and father’s alcoholism. Talking openly and honestly --part of her radical self-care-- has been key to her transformation to a full life, living in the present moment. She continues to inspire others with each new thing she tries, be it bicycling 30 miles or simply sharing her day-to-day journey on Facebook.