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NPO Media Podcast is a platform for individuals living with mental illness to have a voice and let others know they are not alone.

NPO Media Podcast is a platform for individuals living with mental illness to have a voice and let others know they are not alone.
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NPO Media Podcast is a platform for individuals living with mental illness to have a voice and let others know they are not alone.






Catherine’s Story

Catherine is a full-time college student who has been living with anxiety and depression for the past six years. She also documents her story on an Instagram blog titled @positivelycat. She is working with NAMI to help break the stigma surrounding mental illness.


Chris’ Story

Chris shares his experience as a parent of a child living with addiction. He shares insights that offer strength and hope for others. This episode is the first collaborative project between NAMI NYC Staten Island and Five Flags Company, Inc. . Five Flags Company works to promote financial empowerment for those who are less fortunate on Staten Island and beyond. Together, we recognize the primary need for health and wellness. Drug...


NPO Media Podcast Episode 13-Elizabeth Kelley

Elizabeth Kelley is a criminal defense lawyer with a nationwide practice focused on representing people with mental disabilities. She co-chairs the CriminalJustice Advisory Panel of The Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice andDisability. Kelley is the editor of representing people with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association in Fall, 2018. She serves on the Editorial Board of the ABA's Criminal Justice section...


NPO Media Podcast Episode 12-Gene Kaplan, L.C.S.W.

Episode 12 of the NPO Media Podcast features an interview with Gene Kaplan, L.C.S.W., a licensed Clinical Social Worker with the NYS Office of Mental Health. Mr. Kaplan chronicles his career as clinician and educator, describing various treatment approaches he has helped bring to South Beach Psychiatric Center. Frequent questions brought up by families with NAMI NYC Staten Island are also addressed by Mr. Kaplan.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 11 – Desiree’s Story

Desiree is a young professional and a single mother. She bravely details the struggle for recovery by a loved one with co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance abuse disorder.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 10 – Christina’s Story

Christina Bruni is a mental health advocate who published her first book Left of the Dial: A Memoir of Schizophrenia, Recovery, and Hope in 2015. Formerly a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s, she chronicles this experience in her book along with what happened after she recovered. Chris has an MS and works as a professional librarian. Visit Christina's author website at


NPO Media Podcast Episode 9 – Edie’s Story

Edith Scheie is a Staten Island native, whose parents were from Norway. She has 4 siblings, an older sister and three older brothers, who have contributed to the development of her sense of humor, as well as her resilience. She received a public-school education and attended Wagner College and Queens College, City University of New York. She studied music from the age of 7 to the age of 20, starting in the children’s church choir. She played Carnegie Hall, as well as other venues around the...


NPO Media Podcast Episode 8 – Justin’s Story

This episode features Justin, who shares his personal experiences with hospitalizations and the road to recovery while living with bipolar disorder and severe social anxiety. An experienced digital content creator, Justin makes the case for finding what works and pursuing it with tenacity.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 7 – Anna’s Story

This episode features Anna, who shares her experience living with an eating disorder and also speaks about barriers to treatment and misconceptions that people have about eating disorders. A full recovery from an eating disorder is possible, and everybody's story is different. This is Anna's story.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 6

Episode 6 of the NPO Media Podcast features Dominic Ruotolo, who shares his journey from tenuous teenage years to the present. Dominic works as a Bridger for Baltic Street, AEH, Inc., a peer-run not-for-profit corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with mental illness. A certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor, Dominic draws on his personal and professional experience to empower others as they transition out of the hospital and work on their...


NPO Media Podcast Episode 5

Episode 5 of the NPO Media Podcast features Greg Hitchcock, a journalist, filmmaker and advocate who was diagnosed with schizophrenia while serving in the military. Sharing personal experiences, Greg takes us from the earliest days of his illness through his ongoing recovery journey. Greg's work can be found online at Thank you to the dedicated folks at NAMI-NYS for helping us spread the word about the podcast. Because of you we are able to share Greg's inspiring...


NPO Media Podcast Episode 4

Episode 4 features James J Lewis of mid-Hudson Valley, NY. James called in via Skype to share his story of living with bipolar disorder. He is a community advocate and a member of NAMI. He shares his insights with other young people to provide a message of empathy and hope.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 3

The 3rd installment of the NPO Media Podcast features a conversation from Norway via skype with author and teacher, Robert Crane. He describes his personal and professional life, sharing his experience of living with bipolar disorder while offering insights on what has helped him on his path to recovery.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 2

NPO Media Podcast episode 2 features Kenneth Cybulska, NAMI peer facilitator and Honoree for the 26th Annual NAMI NYC Staten Island Awards Celebration. Ken details how he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and had to learn the skills needed to cope with his illness.


NPO Media Podcast Episode 1

Episode 1 of the NPO Media Podcast features Ricardo Nunez, a remarkable young man living with schizophrenia. Ricardo describes his illness and the challenges he must face while working on his recovery.