These videos feature real, honest, and inspirational stories of mental heath recovery – all told by consumers or family members themselves. Viewers learn how a different person has defied the odds and thrived in spite of mental health challenges. They come from two series of videos: Faces of Hope and Resilience, and Stories of Recovery.

Producer: Rev. Barbara F. Meyers

Recovery Videos

To view a video, click on the name

Rebekah Elowyn, Pastoral Counselor, mother

Rebekah ElowynRebekah Elowyn was in her 40’s when she realized that there were other personalities within herself. The other personalities had formed to shield her from abuse she suffered as a child. She speaks of how they emerged when she began remembering the abuse, and how with the help of a therapist, she was able to integrate them and become whole.

Linford Gayle – Director of the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs in San Mateo

Linford GayleWhile he currently plays an integral role in advocating for and empowering consumers on a county and statewide level, Linford was not always in such a position. Learn how he overcame a suicide attempt, bullying, and a co-occurring diagnosis of bipolar and substance abuse to help improve the mental health system and change society’s views of those who struggle.

 Jessica Hendricks – Has overcome trauma and abuse

Jessica HendricksJessica Hendricks is a young adult of Korean-American heritage. She endured trauma and abuse and developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which was former known as multiple personality disorder. She speaks of her experience, and the positives and negatives of living with DID.

Kathryn Lum – Math tutor, Recovery speaker

Kathryn LumIn her late teens, Kathryn Lum started hearing disembodied voices and became very depressed. Hear how she navigated her life and how she has now found peace and a fulfilling career.

Jay Mahler– Consumer Relations Manager, Alameda County Behavioral Care Services

Jay MahlerRenowned advocate Jay Mahler shares his decades-long relationship with the mental health system. Hear about his first encounter with treatment and how that experience catalyzed a lifelong commitment to consumer rights activism

Rev. Barbara Meyers – Minister, Author, Weaver, Video Producer

Barbara MeyersRev. Barbara Meyers changed her profession from a computer software engineer to an ordained minister. Recovering from a serious bout of postpartum depression, she learned how to live a more balanced life. After she experienced the importance of spirituality in her recovery, she eventually retired from her previous career and became a minister who focuses her ministry on mental health issues. Hear her story and her path to recovery

Lorenzo Quan – Retired social worker and mental health worker

Lorenzo QuanLorenzo Quan has overcome a variety of life challenges – adoption, assimilation to a new culture, a suicide attempt, and homelessness. Today he serves on the board of the Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients and is an active advocate in the mental health consumer movement. Hear more about his story and how he discovered his own path to recovery.

Christina Murphy – Housing Specialist, Student

Christina MurphyFirst hospitalized at the age of 6, Christina Murphy has overcome sexual abuse, hospitalizations, misdiagnosis, drugging, and several stays in jail to become a college graduate, and an employee working to help others. Hear her inspiring story.

Peggy Rahman, Family Member, Teacher

Peggy RahmanHave you ever wondered what it’s like to be a family member of someone with severe mental health challenges? Peggy Rahman, President of NAMI Alameda County, discusses the stigma she faced as the mother of a child with schizophrenia. Hear how she advocated for her daughter, why she thinks hope is so important to recovery, and how her experiences made her a better parent and wife.

Roberto Roman – Mental Health Community Support Worker

Roberto RomanRoberto Roman is a mental health community support worker with Contra Costa Behavioral Health Care Services. After experiencing traumatic losses early in his life, Roberto discusses when and why he decided to seek treatment, his experience with hospitalization, and the oft-forgotten dangers of being misdiagnosed. Hear the lessons he gained from his mental health struggles, his thoughts on his diagnosis, and why he believes recovery is possible for anyone.

Monique Tarver – Minister, Mother

Monique TarverMinister Monique Tarver shares how she first discovered she had mental health issues and the roles her faith and family played in helping her through hard times. Tarver is a leader in building bridges between the mental health and spiritual communities by encouraging the two systems to work together in supporting the whole person.

Brian Wetzel – Comedian, Speaker

Brian Wetzel is a public speaker and comedian who has struggled with depression since the age of 20. Learn how Brian uses comedy and performance to educate society about mental health issues and heal from his own experiences. Hear the lessons he learned from his suicide attempt and how he is able to spot the silver linings in even the most dire of situations.

Felicia Williams – Family member, Healthcare provider

Felicia WilliamsMeet Felicia Williams, a loving mother of a son with mental health challenges, talk about her lived experience. She tells of finally finding adequate resources and making lifestyle changes that enable her and her son to begin to thrive. Consumers, have your family members watch this; Felicia is a role model for family members in similar situations.

CC Wynn – Mother, mental health worker, student

CC WynnCC Wynn has had to deal with addictions to drugs and alcohol along with mental health difficulties. Pregnant in high school, her young son was raised by her sister and her mother when she was in rehab. Her life started to turn around after the birth of her second son, when she decided that she wanted to be able to raise her children. Now clean and sober for 18 years, she is a role model showing that lives can be turned around.

Sally Zinman – Consumer/Survivor Activist

Sally ZinmanLearn about the story of Sally Zinman, a pioneer in the consumer movement who has been doing advocacy work for more than 30 years. Discover how she recovered from abuse on a farm in the name of treatment and the pivotal role she has played in groundbreaking mental health legislation.

Here are some other on-line collections of stories told by consumers and family members:

Video Collections of Mental Health Stories
Non-Video Collections of Mental Health Stories
  • Recovery Stories: National Empowerment Center’s collection of stories. NEC helps organizing and developing consumer-run organizations, and helping transform the mental health service system toward a more recovery-oriented and consumer-and family-driven approach.
  • Recovery Stories: A collection of stories of recovery without psychiatric medications from from
  • Speakout: A collection of stories from Freedom Center, a support and activism communiy run by and for people labeled with severe mental disorders.

Faces of Hope and Resilience is a project of
The Life Reaching Across to Life Organization
3833 Peralta Blvd., Fremont, CA 94536
A member organization of
The Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients
Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients Inquiries: (510) 652-5891
Reaching Across Inquiries: 510-745-9500
Faces of Hope and Resilience Inquiries: com_minister at

Stories of Recovery is a project of PEERS
Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services
333 Hegenberger Road, Suite 250, Oakland, CA 94621
General Inquiries: info at
Stories of Recovery Inquiries: mhm at