People with disabilities are now sharing their mental health experiences and even offering suggestions to others on a YouTube channel started by a local nonprofit.
The Richmond Center for Disability (RCD) has launched a weekly program called “ShareNet”, dealing with chronic illnesses and underlying mental health issues.
The video isn’t just about helping people understand chronic conditions, but also learning about the positives for people with disabilities, according to Dave Thomson, RCD’s Peer Support and Community Outreach Coordinator.
Thomson said RCD did not want to create the show solely from a doctor’s perspective, because the last thing many people with disabilities want to see is another doctor.
“Another doctor does not help me. I want to see how this guy got the same disease as me and he’s climbing a mountain. How did he do that?” said Thomson.
Meanwhile, Thomson was asked to discuss sensory processing disorder (SPD), a chronic condition he’s lived with for 20 years.
Having SPD means someone is overly sensitive to stimuli, something other people might not even know about, Thomson explained, noting that he always wears earplugs or asks others not to wear earplugs. perfume or cologne to help her avoid stimuli.
Although Thomson is so cautious, he sometimes gets caught off guard because he can’t plan everything in advance.
In his ShareNet video, Thomson outlined four principles he tries to live by: plan ahead, prioritize the important things, keep pace, and pause on certain things.