My name is Neesa Sunar. and I have suffered from severe mental illness for most of my life. I struggled with depression and anxiety as a child, then adding schizoaffective disorder as an adult. I've experienced depression, anxiety, mania, delusions, tactile hallucinations and paranoia. For several years, I cycled in and out of hospitals eventually having to go on disability. I gained 90 pounds from a medication, and was prepared to never work again.
In 2012, I started a combination of medications that provided a solid foundation on which I could rebuild my life. Yet I did not achieve full wellness until I became trained as a mental health peer specialist. While attending Howie the Harp Advocacy Center in Harlem, I met many like-minded people with lived experience, and we learned how to utilize our experiences as a strength that can assist others.
After finishing Howie, I took on a job as a peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, NYC. And then I simultaneously went to graduate school to get a Masters in Social Work from Hunter College! Now I"m a social worker! I hope to effect further change under this new title.
I've freelanced as a writer on mental health topics for the past 5 years. If you would like to read my articles, please click here to be directed to that page. :)
I've also written a poetry book: Memories of Psychosis: Poems on the Mental Distress Experience. If you'd like to check it out, please click here.
I run a wellness group on Facebook called What is Wellness? A Mental Heath Discussion Group. It is a supportive place where we talk about wellness and muse on the conditions of our lives. Membership totals over 2,200, and it is a supportive and safe place. If you'd like to join, click here.
I do public speaking engagements on the importance and efficacy of peer support. If you would like to have me speak or transmit online at your event, or write any material related to the cause, please contact me at email@example.com. Yea!!
I am a classically-trained violinist and violist, having earned a Bachelors degree and 1/2 a Masters degree in viola performance. I also am experienced as a private violin teacher.
I am also a singer/songwriter with guitar. I am available for hire to write commissioned songs, and I offer expressive creative therapy by having people co-write songs with me. If you're interested in any of these services, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.