Resiliency – Day #15

On May 28, 2019, the Crystal Room of Mercy Hall at Saint Joseph University will be filled with members of our community, eager to hear from our friend, Colleen Kelly Alexander.

Colleen Kelly Alexander is a lifelong athlete and motivational speaker who inspires positive change, contribution, determination and actionable gratitude. With her indomitable spirit and incredible story of survival, Colleen teaches others how to aim higher, be stronger and use adversity as a catalyst to make the world a better, brighter place.

In 2011, Colleen was run over by a freight truck, and after five weeks in a coma and twenty-nine surgeries later, Colleen survived. Rather than let the trauma and PTSD control her life, she became determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain. She decided she’d run again and dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and blood donors who saved her life. Since then Colleen has run fifty races and completed forty triathlons, including four half-Ironman events. Now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, Colleen shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.

In preparation of the May 28th event, we spoke with Colleen to learn more about her story and what attendees can expect from her presentation. Check out our interview and be sure to register for this FREE event at https://mhconn.networkforgood.com/events/12376-an-evening-with-colleen-kelly-alexander.

What inspired you decide to work with Mental Health Connecticut?
Mental health affects every single one of us. My hope is by discussing my own mental health issues and how I’ve been affected, we can have a candid discussion about breaking down barriers of stigma and oppression.

What impact or outcomes do you hope for when you share your personal story?
We need to normalize discussions about mental health instead of dehumanize them. My hope is to discuss how various forms of mental health issues affect us and how we can be gentle with ourselves, educate and empower ourselves, and support one another.

I will share some of the root causes of my own connections to depression and panic that began during adolescence and how various waves of negative events have caused my emotions to intensify. I will also share ways that I counteract ruminating about what is wrong, to focus on what is present, what it good, and what I CAN control.

Tell us more about your presentation. What do you hope people will be able to take away from the evening (besides purchasing a signed copy of your book!)
We have the potential to open and broaden our own near pathways through breathing, meditation, gratitude, and self love. My hope is that the community present will feel the energy of their fellow human family and know that they are not alone. We will do some basic breathing exercises as well as listen to the sounds of a singing bowl. We will also discuss stigmas of receiving mental health therapy and treatment as well medication treatment.

May we help change hearts and minds and in doing so, create a more compassionate world.

Is there anything else you’d like the audience to know about you?
I still struggle actively with depersonalization, panic disorder, ADD, OCD, and depression. Although these labels might be a part of my existence, they do not define me. We choose how we want to define ourselves to ourselves.

 
Colleen will donate $5.00 of each book sold to Mental Health Connecticut.

Books will be sold at the start and end of the event for $25.00. Cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted and each book will be personally signed by Colleen.

 

For more information about Colleen, visit: https://www.colleenkellyalexander.com