Home Health “Behind Closed Doors:” Panel discussion to shed light on the often overlooked...

“Behind Closed Doors:” Panel discussion to shed light on the often overlooked mental health consequences of domestic violence

Clockwise from left: Mya McNair, Michele Adams, Michelle McKay, Brandie de la Rosa, and Cle Davis

There are mental health consequences of domestic violence that are often overlooked and not explored and a stigma that keeps people from having healthy conversations about it. With that in mind, E3inspire will be hosting a conversation on mental health titled “Behind Closed Doors,” which will feature a panel discussion bringing together experts to explore key insights, challenges, and solutions in the realm of mental well-being. 

Brandie de la Rosa is the founder of E3inspire (which stands for Educate, Empower, Engage), a workplace violence advisory firm that helps companies understand the impacts of trauma on their organization and how to use emotional intelligence to transform trauma in the workplace.  

Brandie de la Rosa

“I think this is such an important topic. We want to focus this event on being positive and uplifting as we address mental health and remove the stigma around mental health dealing with the trauma of sexual assault and domestic violence,” de la Rosa tells Madison365. “A lot of individuals are scared to talk about it. They’re scared to seek help about it. They’re scared to be viewed as having a mental issue or admitting that they are struggling mentally. That’s considered a weakness in a lot of individual’s eyes, especially people of color.”

The in-person panel discussion will take place on Sunday, March 24, at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, 504 S. Brearly Street, on Madison’s East Side.

The special guest of the evening will be Michele Adams, an award-winning film director who has had her work featured in Amazon Prime, film festivals, and magazines. There will be an exclusive meet and greet with Adams following the discussion.

“A lot of Michele’s work focuses on mental health and her latest film (Prisoner of Love), which is on Amazon, is specifically about intimate partner violence from across genders,” de la Rosa says. “It really speaks to the breadth of what can happen to somebody’s mental health right when they experience this type of trauma.”

Myra McNair

“Behind Close Doors: A Discussion on the Hidden Mental Health Toll of Domestic Violence” will also be an opportunity to hear from a panel of experts as they discuss topics and answer questions on the mental health effects of trauma, intimate partner violence, and more. Panelists will include Myra McNair, founder of Anesis Therapy; Cle Davis, a domestic abuse survivor, Michelle McKay, a survivor and resource advocate; and de la Rosa herself.

Cle Davis
(Photo supplied.)

“Cle (Davis) is a survivor and I think it’s also important to have a male perspective. Everybody associates domestic violence or intimate partner violence with females and that’s, of course, not always the case,” de la Rosa says. “So he’s there to speak from a male perspective and what that looks like and also overcoming it. 

“Michelle McKay is not only a survivor, but she’s worked with individuals that have been impacted … not just domestic violence but from a whole slew of trauma including sexual assault,” she adds. “And Myra [McNair] is great. I love Anesis Therapy. I’ve sent people there from E3 and Anesis has just been amazing. I really respect Myra .. she’s definitely a go-to person for a panel expert here.”

Javier Acevedo will be the emcee of “Behind Closed Doors.”

The emcee of the event will be Javier Acevedo.

“So with this event, we really want to push the narrative of addressing these mental health issues, but more importantly, how do we overcome that? One of the other main focuses is from the neurological side,” de la Rosa says. 

De la Rosa has a background in neuroscience. “That’s something I’ll be bringing to the table, how to address that specifically: What are techniques that can address rewiring your brain, if you will, and how does that look? What does that look like? What are actual takeaway items as the audience leaves that they can implement in their personal life daily when they get triggered? We want to explain why the mind works the way it does. And, you know, why is it important to understand your mental health in order to fix it.

“Sometimes we don’t know as victims why we’re stuck or why we react the way we react or why our personality is the way it is in certain instances. And so we will be talking about how individuals don’t even realize that about 75% of intimate partner violence victims have PTSD and about 54% are dealing with depression. You may not even know that as a victim … that that’s the symptoms, and the things you’re dealing with are symptoms of either PTSD or depression.”

De la Rosa says that it’s important that people walk out of “Behind Closed Doors” with not only resources but community connections.

“We want to really make sure we give information out and make the awareness known and actually have good items that individuals can use when they leave. It’s practical things in their daily routines that will start shaping their lives in a trauma-free way,” she says.

“We want to engage the audience, as well. There will be some canned questions for our panelists from our moderator. But it’s really an interactive feel that we want to go for. So we will have a microphone out in the audience. We are encouraging individuals to ask their questions and it will be a very open-ended approach so everybody feels very comfortable. We want to make sure it’s interactive so everybody walks away feeling like they got something out of it.”

The goals of “Behind Closed Doors” are for people to be able to break the silence and to foster understanding about the often overlooked mental health consequences of domestic violence.  “Behind Closed Doors” which will start at 2 p.m. with a cocktail hour and appetizers, is an event for everybody.

“This is for anybody that’s impacted or they know somebody that’s been impacted,” de la Rosa says. “We also have had individuals who are just starting in nonprofits that are working in this space to support individuals who have mental health issues around things such as trauma, so they’re trying to understand: what does that mean? So for them, this is very educational as they try to implement their support in the community.”

To register for “Behind Close Doors; A Discussion on the Hidden Mental Health Toll of Domestic Violence,” click here.