I have a dream of building a self-sustained farm school for mentally ill children.
I am dedicating my life to finding non-medicinal ways to treat mental illness through farming, animal husbandry and healthy outdoor lifestyles. I am traveling extensively to learn sustainable principles and farming methods as well as exchange ideas with like-minded people who are trying to using this back-to-the-earth lifestyle as therapy rather than be completely reliant on medication. My travels have taken me from coast-to-coast in the U.S. as well as to Canada, Hawaii, New Zealand and Thailand. I have learned a great deal about organic farming and natural building and plan to apply all the information I've acquired in my travels to start a self-sustained residential farming school for mentally ill children. I believe people don't recognize how corrupt our mental health care system is and after overcoming my own battle with Bi-polar disorder thanks to learning to love myself and finding a love for farming, I have decided I want to create a place where other children can have a chance to heal and live medication free as well.
I believe very strongly that mental illness is not something that has to affect anyone's life in a negative way. Our culture makes children feel like there is something wrong with them if they can't sit behind a desk and stare at a book for hours on a end a day or if they can't control their mood swings. In my opinion all those things mean are that you are human and instead of becoming heavily medicated on things that will take away your emotions and limit yourself to living a full life, find ways to use your diagnosis as a tool. I believe that mental illness should be treated similar to a physical injury. If you broke your leg, would you be put on pain medicine for life and just never walk again? No, you get on pain medication temporarily to make it tolerable, put it in a cast to stabilize it, and then you go to physical therapy and work it out until you can walk properly again so that you can carry on with your life. Mental illness should be treated the same way. If you need medicine temporarily to get under control so you can stabilize then that's fine, but instead of making that a permanent solution, you should work out your mind! Put yourself into healthy environments and surround yourself with positive people. Do things to stimulate your brain such as creating art, playing music, being with the earth and growing food, or bonding with animals. Find something that can give you purpose and meaning and allow you to be happy. So many people with mental illness are extremely creative and talented and if we can provide a place for them where they aren't told that they are crazy but give them the freedom to be who they are and express themselves, I truly believe that they can live a long and fulfilling life free of psych medication and full of happiness.