Get set for #Emerging Proud day 2018!

 Get set for #Emerging Proud day 2018!

12th May 2018: SAVE THE DATE! 

#EmergingProud needs YOU to make our 2018 event an even bigger success than last year; together we can continue to raise awareness that mental distress can be part of a transformation journey…will you join in and help us to spread the HOPE?

It’s FREE to join, FREE to run, FREE to take part! 

On the 12th May 2018 #EmergingProud are honoured to be collaborating with Oz Osbourne of ‘The Outsiders’ to utilise their ‘So-Me’ event template; a simple mechanism to encourage public conversations on specific social -impact issues.


The topic of the day will be;

‘Reframing mental distress as a possible transformation process’

and volunteers who resonate with having experienced this will engage in conversations with interested strangers in public places all over the world with the aim to change perceptions that being diagnosed with a mental illness can actually lead to the start of a new, more meaningful and authentic life…

In 2017, fourteen global locations took part in International #EmergingProud day, and we aim to double that number this year; will you take on the challenge and organise a free event with us?

What does it involve?  main-logo

About SoMe

SoMe is a mechanism for facilitating 1-1 conversations about specific social, community or environmental issues. The concept uses the things that work well in online social media to bring people together in face-to-face discussion.

Events happen in local communities and at an event there are three SoMe spaces: The Wall, The Chat Room and The Message Board.

The Wall is where SoMe volunteers display pre-written ‘profiles’. These are A4 sheets, printed and laminated, containing some basic information including their interests, favourite books/films etc., along with a quote they have written about the experiences they are prepared to share. This quote must comprise 140 characters or fewer, similar to a Tweet on TwitterTM. Event organisers help volunteers to create their profiles beforehand, and visitors to the SoMe event are invited to look through the profiles and choose one a SoMe volunteer to talk to in the Chat Room.

The Chat Room is the space where SoMe volunteers and visitors sit down and talk. Profiles can be used to prompt and stimulate the conversation, which can be challenging but always respectful. Once the conversation has finished, the visitor is asked to visit the Message Board.

The Message Board is a space where visitors can evaluate their experience, also in 140 characters. Once written, their message is added to the board, which creates an ongoing, ‘live feed’ evaluation of the event and attracts other participants.

Running a SoMe event is relatively straightforward and inexpensive. As long as you have some volunteers prepared to talk to people about their own experiences, a venue, and a few basic resources, you can run a SoMe event.

We aim to collate feedback from the Message Board in each location to produce an impact report on International #EmergingProud day 2018…Together we can create positive change in how mental ‘illness’ is perceived; 

Are you interested in taking part? 

I’ll be interviewing Oz about SoMe and sharing our plans for #EmergingProud day 2018 very soon; stay tuned to find out more about how you can get involved! 12th May; SAVE THE DATE! 

Meet Oz Osborne, Director of ‘The Outsiders’, who inspired ‘So-Me’


The Outsiders create innovative social projects that encourage dialogue, inspire cooperation and promote community cohesion.

Oz is an innovator and a thinker. He asks questions of himself and the people he is working with in order to ensure that there is genuine social value at the end of the project. He has a background in mental health and wellbeing consultancy, and a proven track-record of creating innovative approaches to social issues. Oz began work at Mind in Great Yarmouth as a young person’s mentor and there developed the highly acclaimed Fitography project. While at Rethink, Oz managed the Stuff Stigma campaign, during which time he organised the first national Five Ways to Wellbeing conference, and the first independently organised Human Library in the UK. Oz has organised over 90 Human Library events and together with his business Partner Nick, has become the most experienced Human Library Organiser in the UK. Later, as a consultant with Time to Change Oz developed the Time to Change Village which has since become the national flagship community engagement activity for the campaign.

Follow the EPbanner blog to find out more details soon! 


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Anna lauches her book; ‘The Heavy Volume of Aliens!’

You may remember the lovely Anna Lipska from the #EmergingProud film…well Anna is certainly Emerging and we are so proud of her!

Once house- bound for a year due to the shame and stigma of being given a Psychiatric diagnosis, Anna has now published a book about her spiritual emergence journey, which took her in, and thankfully back out of, the world of mental health…

Anna Book

Hi, my name is Anna Lipska and my story is one of a million others.

In 2012 I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, told I would never recover, and had to take psychiatric drugs for the rest of my life.

I was treated according to the biomedical model with pharmacotherapy. Mood stabilizers, antidepressants and finally antipsychotics had a disastrous effect on my health both mental and physical, but what in my case proved to have been most harmful was the label, which took away from me hope to live a life that had a meaning.

My life has changed in many ways and now I don’t feel like an alien on Earth as I describe it in the book. I know human life on Earth involves experiencing both beauty and sometimes immense suffering and there is no running from that. I know that I am not as special as I used to think – neither in the amount of my suffering nor in what I perceived as weirdness. I have found out that the diagnosis I heard when I was in my early 20s was both inaccurate and simplistic. Most of all it didnt explain anything – about me, other diagnosed individuals, or the nature of life.

I looked for alternative ways of understanding my experience and I have found it. I have found incredibly wise and strong people whom I am honored to call my friends and my tribe. They are giving me the reason to go on and with whom I share stength and hope when I have it. I shifted from the mentality of a patient convinced of having no impact on my life due to ”a chemical imbalance in the brain”, to an awareness that years of my depression, mania and psychosis were attempts to integrate experiences that were extremely hard to integrate and that I was constantly breaking down to finally break through.

My life is far from perfect, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s simply a massive pain in the ass. But it is not a result of my ‘mental illness’. It’s because life is simply bloody hard. And now I don’t have an escape which my ‘insanity’ granted me.

But I am grateful.

I had the chance to get a degree in Clinical Psychology, recover (in terms of having no drastic episodes, being free of psychotropic drugs for over 4 years, being able to work full time and be a useful member of society), write this book, start a postgraduate training in Integral Psychotherapy and tell my story – something so many people are not given a chance to do. Not because their history is less interesting but because of difficult internal and external circumstances.

My story is one of million others and it is in no way unique.

”The Heavy Volume of Aliens” is a guide book about how all of that was possible in my life despite my morbid prognosis. I started writing it when I had some insight and at the same time a lot of my issues were still unresolved. It has its limitations and reading it now, I feel like I’d like to change a fair amount of it. Maybe it’s not the best recomendation, but I did not write this book having in mind it should become a best – seller, nor do I suffer from a delusion that I have it all figured out and I have discovered an ultimate cure for the so called Bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia. I am just sharing my experience. I started writing it when I was in a deep despair and I was looking for books which would guide me through the maze of my inner chaos. I didn’t find it and decided that meant I needed to write my own book.

The process of writing it helped me a great deal in integrating myself and so I thought maybe it could help someone too.

Although I come from Poland the book is written in English because from my observations the Peer Support movement is getting very strong in UK and US while in Poland it’s practically nonexistant. In the near future I will work on translating it to my original language to facilitate the change in mainstream mindset of Psychiatry in my country.

I hope some of you read it and find it helpful. And if you don’t, I’ll be grateful if you share your insights with me. I’m sure it will help me grow.

Thank you for your interest in my book and for your support. Coming out of my closet and showing more of who I really am, was, and still is, terrifying. But the alternative would be far worse…

As Maya Angelou brilliantly put it:

”There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.

Well, now the story is told. This chapter ends here. And I can move on.


Thank YOU Anna, with love from the #Emerging Proud community and all who we are sure will find your book an inspiration.

We’ll be interviewing Anna about her journey, the contents of her book AND the Polish Spiritual Emergence Network in a few weeks, but in the mean time, you can get hold of your copy of Anna’s book here:

Anna website


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We’re Emerging Kind with FREE film screenings around the UK!

As part of the Emerging Kind project, newly – trained Peer Group Facilitators will be hosting their own Emerging Proud community film screenings in their UK localities, funded by the Missing Kind charity. The idea of these screenings is to attract people who resonate with the concept of spiritual emergence, and may benefit from attending a Peer support group to help with the integration of their STE (spiritually transformative experience).


We noticed previously, after running screenings, that people were often relieved that someone finally seemed to understand what they’d been going through, and were left asking; ‘But what now? Where can I go to connect with others?”

The resources are still few, and so we wanted to create more of the much needed ‘Safe Spaces’ for people to go to; to feel less isolated, to talk openly without fear of being told they were ‘crazy’, to connect with others who’d experienced something similar…

That is what the Emerging Kind Project aims to do.

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Last week I held my first support group in Norwich; it was the most beautiful, heart – expanding experience. A true Peer – Peer space where we started to, and will continue to evolve, our own group guidelines to keep the energy of our space together protected…where we treat each other with unconditional positive regard for the varied journeys that have brought our paths to converge. My path took me around the world, and finally I feel like I’m putting down my community roots back where I belong ❤

If you’re interested to see if a screening and local group are happening in your area, go to this page, which will be regularly updated as new screenings are planned, and groups are set up.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to keep our valuable work going; the Crowdfunder has now ended, but you can contiue to donate directly into the charity’s tEK project pot; all money raised will go to expanding the number of support groups and ultimately, we pray, towards saving lives of those who may be suffering alone ❤

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Chris Cole interviews yours truly about then and now!

Today’s blog involves a bit of shameless self – plugging! It was an honour to be invited to join the inspiring Chris Cole, host of the Waking Up Bipolar podcast, (focused on the intersection of bipolar disorder and spiritual awakening), for a chat. He is the author of The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madnessinspired by his own journey of spiritual unfolding and mental health challenges.
In a few weeks Chris will be #EmergingProud himself and the shoe will be on the other foot as he sits in my interview hot seat! Keep posted to hear all about Chris’ journey, but for now this is Chris’ interview with yours truly…
Katie Mottram: Training Peers, Emerging Proud, and Mending the Gap
by Chris Cole


In this episode of Waking Up Bipolar, Chris Cole speaks with Katie Mottram— author, speaker and producer, but most importantly, a peer experiencer. Having worked in the mental health system for 15 years, she experienced a spiritual awakening in 2012 which completely changed her view of “mental illness.”

She is the author of Mend the Gap: A Transformative Journey from Deep Despair to Spiritual Awakening, and her personal story is featured in the 2016 publication by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Spirituality and Narrative in Psychiatric Practice: Stories of Mind and Soul.

Katie was one of the Founding Directors of the International Spiritual Emergence Network, providing a collaborative platform for the global networks that exist to support people going through the spiritual emergence process. (

Katie’s latest projects are the anti-stigma campaign in support of those experiencing spiritual phenomena, #EmergingProud: and the Emerging Kind; a project training Peers to hold ‘Safe Space’ support groups for those going through a difficult spiritual emergence process.

As you’ll hear in our conversation, Katie Mottram is someone who has seen the current biomedical paradigm of mental health from all angles and is filled with passion to empower others, as we all move toward a more compassionate approach to crisis and transformation. It is with great pride and honor that I present to you the incomparable Katie Mottram. Thanks so much for joining us!


Support Katie’s crowdfunding campaign here:

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FREE Emerging Proud screenings to initiate tEK Peer Support Groups

Funded by the Missing Kind Charity in support of the Emerging Kind project to set up Peer Support groups around the UK, we will be hosting FREE community screenings and discussions…

The first will be in Worcester, and you can book your FREE ticket HERE 

This is an informal full film screening hosted by Ellie, one of our newly trained Emerging Kind Peer Group Facilitators.

Watch how Peers managed to ’emerge’ transformed from their perceived mental health crises; can a breakdown really be a journey to breakthrough?

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This screening is free to attend and is intended to initiate interest in an ‘Emerging Kind’ Peer support group on the topic of spiritual emergence, for those who resonate with the concept. A regular Peer support group will be facilitated by Ellie in the area following the event. Interested participants names will be taken on the night; places are limited so please ensure you book your ticket quick!

Ellie B

MediumEmerging-Kind-Logo-with-STRAPLINE copy

Testimonials from the world premier on 12th May 2017:

 “Thank you so much for working to further this movement. You’ve given me a safe space to shed many tears of joy and hope.” Theodore

“The film was extremely affirming and emotive to watch. I found myself relating deeply to the people discussing their experiences of spirituality within mental health, and resonated with the struggle of being severely misunderstood. It was especially inspiring to witness each beautiful person have the courage to speak openly about their awakening with such depth and humour.” Thomas

 “The film blew me away – it was beautifully put together, and totally inspiring. More than just addressing the stigma attached to mental health, it speaks to the human condition in general and I think we all have a lot to learn from the stories that are being told. Absolutely loved it.” James

Watch this page for details on the other UK location information to follow soon!  

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CRAZYWISE at the Monastery; a week today!


Sunday 14th January 2018, 11:30 am – 3.45 pm 


What can we learn from those who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience? The CRAZYWISE film adds a voice to the growing conversation that believes a psychological crisis can be an opportunity for growth and potentially transformational, not a disease with no cure.

CRAZYWISE follows two young Americans diagnosed with “mental illness.” Through interviews with renowned mental health professionals including Gabor Mate, MD, Robert Whitaker, and Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Phil explores the growing severity of the mental health crisis in America dominated by biomedical psychiatry. He discovers a growing movement of professionals and psychiatric survivors who demand alternative treatments that focus on recovery, nurturing social connections, and finding meaning.

If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to see Crazywise then don’t miss this one!


This event includes a full informal film screening with the opportunity to ask questions LIVE via webinar link to film Producer Phil Borges, and to join an open discussion on the topic.

The day’s schedule:

11.30 am Introduction from Katie Mottram, Founder of the aligned #EmergingProud campaign

11.45am Full film screening (1 hr 20 mins)

1.10pm *Lunch break: Why not treat yourself to a cream tea in the Pantry on site! Networking and ‘nature time’ opportunity

2.00pm Reflections and sharing session

3.00pm LIVE Q+A with Phil Borges via Skype

3.45pm – finish

(*Please note that lunch is not included with your ticket cost)



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Wishing you a Kinda Emerging 2018!


2017 brought us success and sadness …Without these inevitable cycles of life; the darkness and the light, we wouldn’t be inspired to create change; evolution is born through chaos and pain. Let us embrace the chaos, and give birth to whatever magic wants to emerge in 2018. Together let’s make it historical ❤




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