Cheryl’s life perspective is to embrace resiliency while living with bipolar disorder, migraines and fibromyalgia. She and her husband Pete lost their vibrant and kind son Dan, at the young age of 23 to bipolar disorder when he died by suicide in 2011. It is their family’s mission to educate and raise awareness about bipolar disorder and in particular in young adults so that no other parent will have to experience such a tragedy. Her webinar will address: the concept of resiliency, when and how her own journey from preteen years to her bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2006 to today has risen from the ashes to one of soaring into being a woman of resilience living deeply into the mind-body-spirit connection, and share a life-strategy as the cornerstone for living with resiliency.
She holds an MS. Ed, MTS, and a Ph.D. in Christian Education and Congregational Studies. Cheryl is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and President of the DBSA Chicago Loop Chapter. She facilitates two weekly support groups, trains facilitators, and speaks about mental health education and forming community as a core wellness strategy in support groups. She also serves on IBPF Consumer Advisory Board. Cheryl is a clergy in the United Methodist Church, currently specializing in mental health concerns and in ministry with the diverse urban First United Methodist Church at Chicago Temple.
Cheryl’s speaks, teaches, and conducts research in education and in the ministerial and mental health arenas. A primary focus in 2012-2013 has been developing and directing the Mental Health Initiative pilot program training congregations to design mental health community partnership programs. This project and raising awareness on suicide and young adults were recent feature web articles for the international denomination. Cheryl writes about her personal journey in “Your Story Matters,” Speaking Out: Gifts of Ministering Undeterred by Disabilities, 2012. She presented phase I of “Spirituality and Wellness Based Lifestyle,” at the 2013 International Society of Bipolar Disorders conference. Cheryl was interviewed about her experiences with disclosure and stigma in for the DBSA Bipolar Disorder Education Video Series, speaking candidly about her life. Different Drummers, of the Emmy award winning Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries, featured her story as a clergy with bipolar disorder and that of her family throughout four shows in 2012 and 2013. Mental Health and Young Adults features their son John talking about his brother. Cheryl lives in Chicago with her husband Pete, finds joy in their son John, and as a pianist and amateur photographer.