Serena Goldsmith: A Story of Hope and Recovery

Serena Goldsmith is originally from the East Coast (New Jersey and Virginia), but moved to San Diego County with her family at the age of 13.  Serena graduated from San Dieguito High School in Encinitas, CA in 1989 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1994, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. 

While attending Occidental, Serena developed serious physical and mental health symptoms and was diagnosed with two health conditions that greatly changed the course of her life: bipolar disorder and Crohn’s disease.  She has spent the past 20 years on a journey of discovery and recovery in order to find answers to how she could lead a healthy and meaningful life with these conditions.  Based on what she has learned, Serena has been able to achieve a level of wellness that makes it possible for her to pursue her dreams and goals and to live a healthy and happy life. 

Serena currently works as a Peer Support Specialist at North Coastal Mental Health Center in Oceanside, CA and does individual and group counseling with clients diagnosed with what are termed “severe and persistent” mental illnesses.  Serena is also a student in the Master of Social Work Program at California State University San Marcos.  Serena’s career goals are to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to contribute her experience and knowledge about recovery to the field of mental health, to reduce stigma around mental illness, and to change mental health policies on a national level in order to create more person-centered and recovery-oriented mental health services in the United States and beyond.   

Serena is passionate about sharing her story and what she has learned over the past 20 years over the course of her recovery journey in order to bring hope, knowledge, and inspiration to others.




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