This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 3rd. Mx. Yaffa was the keynote presenter for this session.
Presentation Summary: Although the current Mental Health system is starting to integrate understandings of equity and justice into healing practices and treatment it is important to understand the oppressive history of our system and how this has led to harm within various communities. In this session, Mx. Yaffa discussed the social, historical, and cultural factors impacting care for individuals experiencing psychosis through an intersectional lens. They shared their experiences with living with various mental health challenges and seeing, hearing, and believing things that others do not. Mx. Yaffa shared their experiences with navigating mental health care in three countries, and the cultural Intersections that create various challenges for individuals experiencing first psychosis episodes. Mx. Yaffa shares how their other intersectional identities have both made navigating the mental health system more complex and has helped on their road for recovery. In particular, Mx. Yaffa highlighted trans, Muslim, and indigenous identities as inseparable constants in their care and wellbeing.
About the Speaker
Mx. Yaffa (they/them/theirs)
Equity and Transformation Consultant & Board Member
Mx. Yaffa, also known as Ahmad Abojaradeh, is an award-winning disabled, mad, trans, queer, Muslim, indigenous Palestinian. Mx. Yaffa conducts transformative work around displacement, decolonization, equity, and centering lived experiences of individuals most impacted by injustice. Mx. Yaffa is a storyteller and an equity and transformation consultant, having shared their story with over 100,000 audience members at speaking events globally. Mx. Yaffa has worked in over two dozen countries, and specializes in global and community vision building. Mx. Yaffa is an engineer, with a specialty in sustainability and social engineering, a peer support specialist, and an equity and transformation consultant. Mx. Yaffa utilizes peer support as a foundation for all their work, supporting peer-run spaces in organizational capacity building, equity, and sustainment. Mx. Yaffa brings together engineering, peer support, and trauma to support their vision of more equitable and accountable communities that lead to individuals' self-actualization. Mx. Yaffa is the Founder of several non-profits and community projects, such as CT Mutual Aid, and Life in My Days, an international non-profit that supports individuals and their communities on their journeys for self-actualization through mutual aid, transformative justice, and disability justice. For the last few years, Mx. Yaffa has also been a Master Recovery Educator, facilitating the RI Peer Support Certification training nationally to certify individuals as Peer Support Specialists. Additionally, Mx. Yaffa is an Equity Coach with Sustainable CT, supporting municipalities in the State in engraining equity practices into any sustainability work. Mx. Yaffa has a MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen's University Belfast, a Childhood Traumatic Stress graduate certificate from the Boston Trauma Center, and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from WPI. Mx. Yaffa currently serves as a board member for TransLifeline and is the previous co-chair of the International Association of Peer Supporters board.