Nanci Schiman is a licensed social worker with a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has over 12 years’ professional experience in child and adolescent mental health, family support, advocacy, writing, public speaking and collaborating with local and national mental health organizations. On a personal level Nanci has three daughters ages 17, 19 and 21. The oldest and youngest were diagnosed with mood disorders at ages 9 and 10 respectively.
Why do I blog?
Writing about my experiences as a parent and a professional allows me to reflect on the challenges and the joys, to put things into perspective, to learn and (hopefully) to grow. My hope has always been that by sharing my story I can offer experience, support and hope. If I can make someone else’s journey a little bit easier, than our struggles have a purpose.
I found BC2M…
…when I was working with what was then the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (now the Balanced Mind Parent Network). From the day that BC2M launched, we handled the inquiries that came in from people impacted by mental illness in a child, teen or young adult.
What Stigma Means to Me:
Something intangible that holds a person back. Whether the barrier is real or perceived, stigma creates a fear of being ridiculed, discriminated, judged or misunderstood.
The Way I Find Wellness:
1. Knowing myself – my strengths, my weaknesses, my quirks and my talents. The more awareness I have about myself, the more I can adapt in a healthy way to whatever life puts in front of me.
2. Knowing my support network so that I can reach out to the resource that is best matched for each particular need.
If I Had a Magic Wand:
I’d give it back. I don’t believe in projecting my values, wants, or beliefs on others no matter how well intended they may seem. While there are many problems and injustices in our world, it’s not my call to start tinkering with them and selectively ‘fixing’ things. I cannot know how those actions might create new problems.
My Pick-Me-Up Song:
Anything upbeat with a positive message or outcome. There are new songs coming out all the time that give me new inspiration. Right now, besides Motown as a solid standby, I’d have to say “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime, and “Riptide” by Vance Joy.
Favorite (Mental Health) Book:
We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication by Judith Warner
If I were a superhero, I would be / have powers to…
Words to Live By:
The Serenity Prayer