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Sender: Jacob Hess
Subject: Introduction
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2014
Msg: 100896

Dear "high council of the transpartisan movement," (:

I've been enjoying all your lovely insights these last couple of weeks - catching up now and then when time opens up. Though I often feel limited by current life circumstances to contribute all I want to this work, I'm honored to be included among you (and working hard to be able to make it to our Washington gathering).

I've shared my background before on the NCDD list - a committed Mormon and social conservative whose heart-warming towards liberals started among amazing classmates and professors at the University of Illinois - helped along by a personal discovery in my dissertation research that the terms of our public conversation about mental health are being largely set by large, multi-billion dollar corporations (rather than suffering masses or the science itself).

Suddenly, Foucault was no longer some "crazy relativist" - not in the face of an undeniable instance of power creating "truth." As a community psychologist, I believe that a more humane and empowering response to serious and mental disorders starts with more honest awareness (and dialogue) about the cultural and interpretive contexts around things like depression, ADHD and schizophrenia. My primary energies these days are going into a non-profit aiming to broaden the conversation about mental health in our country - especially in the direction of mindfulness-based, risk-factor oriented approaches.

On that note, I'm also a rookie Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction teacher (love it!!). In terms of transpartisan work, I'm fondly awaiting the day when we can have some solid transpartisan work happening here in Utah (no, the Romney-Obama battle was *not *the time). In the meanwhile, I'm focusing on a project analyzing a qualitative data set of public reactions to the gay marriage battles over recent years - hoping to jointly crunch and publish the data with a diverse, red-blue research team (let me know if you're interested!)

I've been waiting for the right time to share patterns in the feedback that Phil Neisser and I gathered on our confab call last year - and think these monthly discussions will be the perfect place and time to do so.

Looking forward to the months ahead! --Jacob

-- Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. Co-founder, *All of Life* 801-712-1346,


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