Mental illness is serious, so why does mental health get all the attention? Interview with Tarika Powell, PTSD advocate.


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We talk a lot about “mental health” these days, and less about mental illness. From Instagram to large non profits and government service providers, the message and focus is on being well, taking time for self-care, and recovering. This is a positive step forward for some. But what about people who live with mental illness all their lives?
In this conversation with Tarika Powell, we look at how the shifting nomenclature might be increasing stigma associated with people with severe and persistent mental illness and excluding them from meaningful discussions about mental illness and mental health.
Tarika Powell lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She is an advocate for increasing public education around mental health. Tarika is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. She also holds a Masters of Education and undergraduate degrees in English and African-American Studies from Oberlin College.
Tarika is also a policy analyst and speaker in the fields of fossil fuel infrastructure development, public safety, land use management, and equity. For the past six years, she has helped lead Northwest opposition movements to false clean energy solutions like fracked gas. This work has made her a regional expert on energy policy.

If you are a watcher rather than a listener, you can find the full podcast with video on YouTube here.
You can find out more about Tarika at or

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