You Are Not Alone! – Knocking Out The Stigma in Omaha, Nebraska

Our founder, Don West, Jr. has spent a lifetime developing strong bonds to amazing individuals who are making the world a better place in their own unique ways.  Below is a spotlight of one such individual, Sara B. Dappen, of Omaha, Nebraska.  Way to set an example, Sara!  You are a Peer Support Superhero, for sure, a role-model, and an inspiration to our entire #KOTSFamily.

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“Forgive Me My Trespasses” – Peer Profile – Ramona Bridges

Ramona Bridges is a classmate of our founder Don West, Jr. in the Project Return Peer Support Network’s (PRPSN) [] Peer Professional Training & Placement Program (PPTP) Fall ’18 Cohort.  Ramona has a beautiful spirit and a compelling story detailing her life’s journey and challenges encountered as a result of being arrested for trespassing as one of thousands of Los Angeles County’s homeless individuals.

In addition to the documentary, shared above, she also has written a book by the same title, “Forgive Me My Trespasses” by: Ramona Bridges.  Her book is available from for $12.99, there is a link below.

The 4 Stages of Mental Health Recovery

Dr. Mark Ragins, MD’s 4 Stages of Recovery

We were introduced to the 4 stages of mental health recovery as proposed by Dr. Mark Ragins, MD through Project Return Peer Support Network, (PRPSN), as a part of their six-week Peer Professional Training & Placement Program, (PPTP).

1 – Hope

2 – Empowerment

3 – Self-Responsibility

4 – A Meaningful Role In Life

#mentalhealthrecovery #recoverymodel #hope #empowerment #selfresponsibility #meaninfulrole #anxiety #stress #ptsd #bipolar #manicdepression #schizophrenia #personalitydisorder #socialanxietydisorder #peersupport #peersupportspecialist #certifiedpeersupportspecialist #CPSP #LPSP

Do you talk to your inner child with self-compassion?

KOTS Food For Thought

1. Do you have an awareness of your old versions of you, what some refer to as the inner child?

2. Is your inner dialogue kind or critical? When dealing with yourself do you employ empathy and compassion? Why or why not?

Empower your own well-being & join us as we #KnockOutTheStigma surrounding #mentalhealth!

#selfcompassion #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #foodforthought #mentalhealthcommunityorganizer #KOTSWisdom #KOTS #mentalillness #mentalhealthstigma #peersupport #peerspecialist #peersupportspecialist #peeradvocatespecialist #mentalhealthpeerspecialist #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawareness #endstigma

You are not alone – KOTS Peer Profile No. 001 – Tracey Williams

KOTS TV – Peer Profile

September 10, 2018 was World Suicide Prevention Day. #KOTS founder @officialdonwestjr sat down with Tracey Williams, a fellow DBSA Certified Peer Specialist and talked a bit about her finding her voice, and her journey of #hope, and #recovery. Enjoy the conversation and pick up some great tools below from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and find more resources on there website HERE.

6 Question Suicide Prevention Assessment

6 Question Suicide Prevention Assessment Tool_1

10 Reasons to Visit


#DBSA #suicideawareness #suicideprevention #suicide #mentalhealthcommunityorganizer #KnockOutTheStigma #mentalillness #mentalhealthstigma #california #sb906 #peersupport #peerspecialist #peersupportspecialist #peeradvocatespecialist #mentalhealthpeerspecialist #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawareness #endstigma

California Legislature passes SB 906 creating state Certified Peer Specialists

The California Legislature passed SB 906 creating state Certified Peer Specialists in the state of California.

More info:

#KnockOutTheStigma surrounding #mentalhealth #mentalhealthcommunityorganizer #KOTSWisdom #KOTS #mentalillness #mentalhealthstigma #california #sb906 #peersupport #peerspecialist #peersupportspecialist #peeradvocatespecialist #mentalhealthpeerspecialist #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawareness #endstigma

#KOTS411 – African Coalition & LAC Dept of Mental Health host The Black Immigrant Youth Empowerment Event

Ages 18-25

Our partners at the African Communities Public Health Coalition (IG: @african_coalition) and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (IG: @lacdmh) are doing big things to #KnockOutTheStigma surrounding #mentalhealth in the #black and #blackimmigrant communities.

Pass the word…


Black Youth Empowerment Project


Saturday, August 25th
12pm – 3pm


Industry Cafe & Jazz
6039 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

#KOTS #MentalHealth #BlackBoys #BlackMen

KOTS411 – Save the Date #STIGMACON2018 Announced

For immediate release:

✨✨Save the Date✨✨

Knock Out the Stigma, Inc. is pleased to announce a neighborhood collaboration of diverse service organizations to bring you STIGMA-CON 2018 an installment in the new Healthy Neighborhoods Well-Being Campaign Series being spearheaded by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s West Central Mental Health Center located on Stocker Street in Los Angeles, California serving neighborhoods that include parts of South Central LA.

When: November 14th & 15th

#LosAngeles #STIGMACON2018 #mentalhealthawareness #wellbeing #communityempowerment #buildingbridges #stigma #stigmafree #endstigma #STIGMACON #KnockOutTheStigma around #mentalhealth #KOTS #KOTS411

Are You Being Critical or Compassionate?

We all have traveled a unique path to get us here to this point in time.  When you are looking back on your journey are you doing it with a harsh and critical point of view or are you looking back at the circumstances of your journey with compassion?

Try reflecting on everything that got you here with compassion.

What is self-compassion?  Below is the definition according to author and self-compassion guru Dr. Kristin Neff.

Definition of Self-Compassion:  Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “There but for fortune go I.”

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?