For those of you who’ve been following me since March, you know that this is the first time I’m documenting an (event) experience. I decided to write a blog post about it because I really believe it’s important to get the word out about how amazing my experience was.
If I could describe this past Saturday in two words, I would use:
In this short post, I’ll explain what a mental health conference is, where I went, and how my experience was.
On Saturday, September 21st 2019- I went to the Nourish the Sol Mental Health Conference in San Francisco.
What is a mental health conference?
A mental health conference is pretty much a gathering of people at an event where the primary focus is to educate, inspire, and equip people with tools to promote their mental health. Depending on the event, clinical mental health counselors may also be present.
This specific one was hosted by the SolSisters– a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to holistic health services to enrich, empower and evolve women of all backgrounds.
The SolSisters bring quarterly events to women that are focused on four areas of health:
- Healing Through Expressive Arts, Creativity, & Beauty
- Physical Health and Wellness (fitness and nutrition)
- Mental and Emotional Health
- Community Outreach (empowering under-resourced women through service)
I went to their “Mental and Emotional Health” one.
This year, their conference theme was:
“Realizing, Actualizing and Prioritizing.”
“We chose this theme because we desire for the women we serve to realize their potential, actualizing their dreams and finding ways to prioritize themselves while juggling their many other roles and responsibilities.” -SolSisters
They had breakfast, lunch, a panel discussion and workshops in between.
The panel consisted of 3 mental health professionals on the topic: “The Juggling Act: Self-Care and the Multiple-Role Woman”
This panel was a very diverse group of women- all sharing their unique and authentic stories. They gave advice on how they handled tough situations life has thrown at them, as well as how they balance motherhood, their careers, personal goals and relationships (with others and also the relationships with themselves).
I really enjoyed hearing every one of them speak- it was insanely inspiring and empowering. Empowering in a sense that, if these amazing (and crazy busy) women can wear all the hats they wear, then I can too.
The workshops at the conference were:
- Childhood trauma with Dr. Christine Coleman, LMFT (founder of SolSisters!)
- Habits (How to create good ones/how to break bad ones) hosted by wellness coach Brandi Jackson
- A workshop for mothers
- And even a Spanish workshop by Nancy Ramirez, MSW
I went to the habits and childhood trauma workshops.
[Photos from SolSisters]
Within the first few minutes of the opening ceremony, the only word I can really use to describe how I felt- is “home”.
I felt like I truly belonged.
Since this was my first mental health conference, I didn’t really know what to expect. I even texted my boyfriend in the first 30 minutes saying how happy I was that I even went.
I was in awe at how open the attendees were about their traumas (during the childhood trauma workshop). People were NOT afraid to speak their truth and share their experiences with one another. Even I (myself) felt brave when they were sharing their stories- because I know first hand how terrifying that can be.
I felt proud of every single person in attendance that day.
Not only were the workshops inspiring, but they were super insightful. I was taking notes at both workshops I attended, and even took a ton of pictures of the slides they provided via powerpoint presentations. The info was much needed and very applicable to my life. I even bought a book they recommended and am currently on Chapter 5 of it and I love it (y’all know I’m a book worm)!
Probably one of my favorite parts about the conference- after I grabbed my box lunch and headed for the courtyard to eat outside, I passed by conversations amongst the attendees and overheard things being discussed like “what kinda therapy they were taking, what mental health books they were reading, what mental health disorders they had, traumatic experiences, etc.
And it wasn’t a “draining” or “overwhelming” vibe either- it was an empowering vibe.
I can’t name an experience in my life where I’ve ever been in a space like that. Up until this year actually, I’ve never openly discussed mental health topics.
So to be in the presence of people who were not only open with their stories, but owning them? Life changing.
They were not ashamed. They all wore their stories on their sleeves- like how a peacock wears its beautiful feathers.
If I could name the top experiences of my life this year… hell… of all time, attending this mental health conference is easily top 5 experiences for me.
I really really really really (x1,000) urge my readers, and other people out there to attend one.
You will not be disappointed.
I heard about this one through a friend on Insta- but usually Eventbrite is the best way to search for these types of events!
Shout out to the SolSisters- they are truly an amazing group of women who are empowering the community and changing the world. You bet I’ll try to make every conference they host from here on out!
And the amazing part of their events (on top of the billions of other things) is that they make inclusivity a priority- this mental health conference was only $20! This included breakfast, coffee, and lunch.
I love love love the SolSisters. I am a huge fan and supporter now.
You can find more info on them, their events, and their mission on their site:
& their insta is:
If you enjoyed this post, you’d probably love my [Are You an Empath] post.