I write things and speak to people about mental health, suicide prevention, eating disorder recovery, healing your life, and dreaming new dreams. I often go by “Manda” (life is easier for people without that first syllable). I also go by “Panda,” and “Gist,” oh, and “Amanda Mary” when I’m in trouble.

I’ve written articles for places like Elephant Journal and The Zeit, spoken for events like LifeAct’s Into the Light Suicide Prevention Walk, and been mentioned in places like Eating Disorder Hope and The Daily Mail.

My most popular article to date is What Robin Williams Taught Me About Suicide for Elephant Journal, which was shared on social media 700+ times and won number one article of the week.

I love my rescue dog Haylie Denae, music, dark roast coffee, and the ocean because it calms and grounds me. My hero is Robin Williams. My unusual skills include squeezing the toothpaste tube from the middle, making animals out of Play Doh, and eating abnormal amounts of mac & cheese. My personal motto (and forearm tattoo) is We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For.

I want to live in a world where mental health is as prominent as physical health, where girls are taught by society that they’re worth more than their dress size, and where stigma is a thing of the past. I believe in asking for help, fighting when you want to give up, and in choosing to live. I believe we can heal our lives.