Today we’d like to introduce you to David “Eli” Israelian.
Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment that you would love the world to know about. Give us as much detail as possible!
We are changing mental health care through innovative technology. I launched Peer Mental Health for peers, run by peers. Peers are people living with mental health challenges who used to sit on a couch in their parent’s house or in a board-and-care facility, but now they are public advocates, building apps, producing podcasts, and publishing digital magazines. To thrive, peers need to engage in their treatment. We provide between-care treatment to keep peers engaged in their mental health recovery by building social skills, teaching resiliency techniques, and offering workforce identity. Our program reflects the 8 dimensions of wellness. I have partnered with AnaVault, a cutting-edge behavioral healthcare technology company and we are creating a virtual reality platform that supports motivating peers to access mental health care and resources with an emphasis on workforce development. We call it “The Continuum ”. We accept that people have mental health challenges but we are also committed to the belief that none of those challenges should stop any person from being accountable and contributing to their life as well as to society in a meaningful way. Maintaining wellness while working toward goals is a journey on the continuum.
Is there anyone in your life you’d like to shout out that has helped you get to where you are? How have they helped you?
I’d like to acknowledge Paul Robinson who took me in when I was a homeless teenager and broadened my love and opportunities for technology development; Dr. Marlene Valter, who saw the vision of improving the mental health treatment system by leveraging technologies and developing a culture of better alliances between mental health providers and mental health clients; Dr. Joshua Lee Cohen, for providing the golden nugget ideas and network of pioneers in the field of mental health and tech. And Dr. Elyn Saks, my dear friend, thank you for all that you’ve done for me and the work I’ve been able to forge through your love and support. You are a true pioneer. There are many more individuals that I could name as I don’t believe there’s such a thing as ‘self-made’. It truly takes an army of mental health warriors to have made this possible.
Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with our audience?
The price of envisioning a better world should not come at the expense of your mental health. It has been in the forefront of my work to address the digital divide by providing digital devices and training across the states for individuals to access care. In the fight for digital equity and mental health rights, my patience was tested, my character was judged, my account was in the negative beyond negative, and I was hospitalized 12 times before seeing the light of my work play out. This is to say, giving up is a choice. So if you choose to succeed in your endeavor that betters the world, anchor yourself in that vision and reel it in. “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”, a line my father shared before he died, from the film A Bronx Tale. Life is precious and we only have on average 36,500 days to live so make everyday count and leave the earth better off than you came.
Finally, how can people connect with you and learn more about what you do?
If you’re interested in starting a conversation on how Peer Mental Health can work with your community in improving access to care and resources, please reach out to us by email to email@example.com and one of our peer representatives will respond back to you shortly. If you’re inquiring for the purposes of press, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about our organization and The Continuum, please visit https://www.peermentalhealth.com.
To learn more about AnaVault, visit https://www.anavault.com.