Hi Friends! 

First, my brain: It's acting a little bit like an unruly toddler who freaks out every you try and pick it up. It's a long story and I promise I'll tell you all about that soon because finding a diagnosis was a true comedy. I'm slowly making my way back to work my brain disease through me off track (go figure, right?) It's been a long journey of learning how to listen to my body and how to self-advocate for help and I'm so excited to be getting better! This chapter has given me a new appreciation for why accessibility to health and mental health care is so vital. You can see some journey here: www.instagram.com/jessicaminhas.

Writing: Since I haven't been in front of an audience or on camera much over the last ten months or so, I've been diving into my first memoir (I'm terrified) and working on more print journalism pieces (my first love!). Check out Conscious Magazine to read some: www.consciousmagazine.co

I'll Go First: Some of you may know that I launched a 501(c)3 nonprofit called I'll Go First which uses storytelling to bridge the mental health and trauma recovery treatment gap for under-resourced communities about a year and a half ago.

I was moved to commit to mental health care accessibility while I was working in sex trafficking advocacy, a fight which remains a part of who I am today. I found that mental health inaccessibility is a key factor for a victim's vulnerability to reperpetration, meaning if someone comes from an abusive, neglectful home, or a home in which substance abuse is the norm, they are more likely to be victimized by people who would want to take advantage of them and harm them.

This hit close to home for me because I come from a military family in which a large portion family members have struggled with PTSD at some point or another. My grandfather was a World War II veteran, and he coped with his trauma with alcoholism. PTSD can affect anyone, anywhere. In a world in which 45 million people are on the move because of war, famine or climate change, providing sustainable mental health and trauma recovery care will be a part of rebuilding our communities.

I’m really excited to be growing  I’ll Go First more so it can help people just like you or me who have had experiences in our past that sometimes continue to hurt us. I’d love your help in making it an organization that serves people well. Say “hi” if you’d like to learn more! Visit us at www.illgofirst.com

Stay tuned!

- Jess