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logo_mentalhealthawarenessweekSedona AZ (March 20, 2017) – The Monday, March 27 program of the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley will feature Katie Mottram 9:30AM-11AM addressing, via SKYPE from England, her transformative journey from suicidal despair to spiritual awakening, the subject of her book, Mend The Gap. Having worked in the mental health field in England for 15 years, Katie realized that the system in which she worked could be doing things differently.

The meeting will take place at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Drive, Sedona. The program is free and open to the public. The presentation will be followed by the Coalition business meeting from 11AM-12:15PM.

20170320_katiemottramAccording to Lori Morrison, Director of the Education Committee, “The Coalition seeks to bring information to the community about all aspects of mental illness research and discussion. According to NAMI, one in 4 adults will experience a mental health crisis this year. We have to keep learning about these crises and what new thinking and treatments are out there.”

The inclusion in the DSM-IV of the new diagnostic category called “Religious or Spiritual Problems” marked a significant breakthrough in 1994. For the first time, there was acknowledgment of distressing religious and spiritual experiences as nonpathological problems. Spiritual emergencies are crises during which the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. The proposal for this new diagnostic category came from transpersonal clinicians concerned with the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of persons in the midst of spiritual crises.

As a consequence of her own spiritual emergence, Katie became a member of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network development team, offering resources for those in spiritual emergency. Katie is also helping administer an innovative mental health pilot study directed by psychiatrist Russell Razzaque aiming to ‘normalize’ mental distress as a potentially transformative episode in life that many individuals will have and recover from—if given appropriate compassionate care. This pilot study could transform National Health Service policy within the UK and beyond.

Katie said in the interview, “Mend the Gap is my personal story of mending the gap within myself; the same gap which now needs mending between psychiatry and spirituality. We connect through shared stories, and the pain in our stories has the potential to help us heal if we allow it to. Daring to face my pain turned out to be my biggest blessing. Mend the Gap is about my journey to wholeness through crisis.”

Katie Mottram graduated from the University of Bradford, UK with a degree in Interdisciplinary Human Studies in 1997 and has 15 years’ experience working in the Mental Health field. In early 2012 she experienced a spiritual awakening and has since worked tirelessly raising awareness of the phenomenon of spiritual crisis. Since its birth in Jan 2015, Katie has worked with Dr. Russell Razzaque, Consultant Psychiatrist, on his revolutionary mental health pilot project, Peer-supported Open Dialogue (POD).She currently offers training seminars based on an element of this POD training with Dr. Natalie Tobert, Medical Anthropologist, in “Culture, Spiritual Awakening and Mental Well Being”.

The Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley is a 501C3 non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to building community support for families and individuals living with mental illness through education, advocacy, and community support services. For more information, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com.