Manage episode 281454734 series 2815827
Matt Kuntz is the Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness in Montana, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, supporting, educating and advocating for people with mental illnesses and their families. He is also an Army veteran, graduate of West Point Military Academy, former corporate lawyer and a father of three in Helena, MT.
Recognized by President Obama as one of 18 “Ordinary Americans Who’ve Made An Extraordinary Difference,” Matt’s legislative work in the mental health field has undoubtedly helped improve the lives of many people. He was recently appointed to serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Council, helping to sustain a national research program focused on the high-priority health care needs of veterans, and he also helped institute the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University, where he leads studies on Montana Youth and Veterans.
In this episode, Matt shares openly about his own struggles with suicidality and what helped him through the darkest periods of his life. We discuss the mental health research he’s involved in, the murky, but hopeful, waters of diagnosis and treatment in our current healthcare system, and the strategy he used to move from a random guy in Montana to someone who helps to pass laws through Congress.
Most importantly, we break through the stigma that’s typically associated with mental illness and talk candidly about the biological susceptibility and environmental factors that lead the human brain to function differently for each and every person.
This is a raw and open conversation, a new perspective on the complexity of the human brain and the diversity of the human experience.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: namimt.org
MSU Center for Research and Recovery: montana.edu/cmhrr.
Matt's Book: An Illustrated Journey Through Bipolar
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