Presentation Skills and Expertise

A Serious Topic with a Bit of Humor

I speak with lots of different audiences and my message changes with each one. Here is what I said to a group of new psychology students at UMass Medical School in September 2019.

Here is the Peanut Butter Sandwich Story from a recent talk. As a parent, I struggle with the definition of Recovery:

Author

Witness to the Dark: My Daughter’s Troubled Times. A Comedy of Emotions.

A book, unfortunately, many should read.

“A heartfelt, valuable resource and source of comfort for parents of mentally ill children.” —Kirkus Reviews

“… his story … offers hope that even the most ordinary parents can rise to the challenge and find help for their child.” —ForeWord Clarion Reviews

Public Speaker

I speak — either alone or with my daughter — at local libraries, to medical school and college classes, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Parent Professional Advocacy League, and other professional organization conferences and events.

Our message is one of tremendous hope for mental health despite the realities of school, family, and today’s healthcare system.

Past Events
September 25, 2019 · Private · A Fifth Discussion with Psychology Interns · Worcester Recovery Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
July 17, 2019 · Private · A Discussion with Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Students · Cambridge Hospital · Cambridge, Massachusetts
January 11, 2019 · Private · w/ Patricia Larsted · A Fourth Psychology Class Discussion · UMass · Amherst, Massachusetts
September 12, 2018 · Private · A Fourth Discussion with Psychology Interns · Worcester Recovery Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
September 13, 2017 · Private · A Discussion with Psychology Interns · Worcester Recovery Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
July 19, 2017 · Private · A Discussion with Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Students · Cambridge Hospital · Cambridge, Massachusetts
May 6, 2017 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Mental Health Working Group 10th Anniversary Celebration · First Parish Church · Groton, Massachusetts
April 25, 2017 · Private · A Third Psychology Class Discussion · UMass · Amherst, Massachusetts
September 21, 2016 · Private · A Discussion with Psychology Interns · Worcester Recovery Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
August 24, 2016 · w/ Patricia Larsted · PPAL 25th Anniversary Event · Springfield, Massachusetts
May 12, 2016 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Frances Perkins Branch · Worcester Public Library · Worcester, Massachusetts
March 15, 2016 · Public · Easy RSVP · w/ Patricia Larsted · PPAL 25th Anniversary Event · Bellingham Public Library · Bellingham, Massachusetts
January 21, 2016 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · NAMI GB-CAN · Boston, Massachusetts
October 13, 2015 · Easy Signup · w/ Patricia Larsted · NAMI North Central Mass Annual Meeting · Fitchburg, Massachusetts
September 29, 2015 · Private · w/ Patricia Larsted · Another Psychology Class Discussion · UMass · Amherst, Massachusetts
September 23, 2015 · Private · A Discussion with Psychology Interns · Worcester Recovery Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
June 16, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Kiva Center · Worcester, Massachusetts
May 29, 2015 · Registration Required · w/ Patricia Larsted · PPAL Annual Conference · Marlborough, Massachusetts
May 21, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Edward & Mary Lord Family Health Center · Norwich, Connecticut
May 6, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Gale Free Library · Holden, Massachusetts
February 10, 2015 · Private · w/ Patricia Larsted · A Psychology Class Discussion · UMass · Amherst, Massachusetts
September 18, 2014 · Public · NAMI Central Mass · Worcester, Massachusetts
September 17, 2014 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Bigelow Free Public Library · Clinton, Massachusetts
September 13, 2014 · Keynote · Private · NAMI MetroWest · Marlborough, Massachusetts
May 19, 2014 · Public · NAMI North Central MA · Leominster, Massachusetts
May 31, 2013 · Registration Required · PPAL Annual Conference · Marlborough, Massachusetts
May 11, 2013 · Public · NAMI Walk · Brighton, Massachusetts
May 9, 2013 · Public · Jointly sponsored by Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks, NAMI MetroWest, and Employment Options · Marlborough, Massachusetts
April 16, 2013 · Private · Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks · Waltham, Massachusetts
March 5, 2013 · Private · Worcester County Personnel and Guidance Association · Worcester, Massachusetts
February 26, 2013 · Public · Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks · Waltham, Massachusetts

Advocate — A Letter to the Editor

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made me mad when he submitted his new budget. So I wrote a letter to the editor of The Worcester Telegram. In some strange Turing Test, they published it today.

Here is the link.

Here is the letter. They added the title:

Governor shouldn’t cut RLC funding

When my teen-aged daughter first attempted suicide, the Collaborative Assessment Program came to her rescue and helped save her life by getting her hooked up with the Department of Mental Health. Later, when the Legislature cut that program for everyone except children of families with Mass Health, I told them it will be their fault every time the next kid with private health insurance dies because of their shortsightedness.

They still haven’t fixed it.

Now, years later, my no-longer-quite-so-suicidal daughter has found a safe and welcoming place at one of a small number of DMH-funded Recovery Learning Communities across the state. Here she has found innovative and cost-effective solutions, including peer supports and a hearing-voices group, a place to accept and find meaning in her voices — the very same voices that always come back no matter how hard the doctors and hospitals and their antipsychotics try to silence them.

And here she finds the camaraderie of others, struggling, as she does, to remain in the community rather than locked away in some more terrible place. Now the governor wants to cut RLC funding by 50 percent. This seems to me like another shortsighted, unsafe, and, ultimately costly idea.

BOB LARSTED
Holden

Published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 23, 2015.

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