1- Hello Laura, Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Laura Gray, and I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the United States. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Brian for almost 19 years, and we have three children, two sons who are nearly grown and living on their own, and a daughter who is in high school
2- What are your focus areas and why
My focus area in this business is to help people who are dealing with or who have struggled with mental health issues but who are, without a doubt, ready to live a better life. I focus on following a 5-Step plan that I have devised (and that has evolved over the last 10 years) to help people do this. I function as a Mental Health Coach and an educator rather than a therapist.
3- How do you describe “Stable, Strong, and Stigma-Free” in few words
Stable, Strong, and Stigma-Free isn’t a support group, but rather a place where people can come to learn how to implement this 5-step program and literally transform their lives for the better.
4- Where do you think, your book, “THE 5-Step Plan for Taking Charge of Your Diagnosis and Living a Happy, Balanced Life” is making an impact?
I think it will make an impact in two places. First, it will impact those who are still struggling with mental health issues—diagnosed or not. Society and health care professionals have told us for a long time that if we have a mental illness, the best we can hope for is to just be “okay”.
This book totally shatters that assumption and lets people know that they CAN live a great life and that they CAN feel good most of the time. Second, I believe the book will impact people who know someone with a mental health issue, such as a family member or even a patient.
This plan provides a perfect blueprint for getting a handle on one’s diagnosis or issues. I know this because for the first 18 years after I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and OCD, I thought I’d be fine as long as I popped a handful of pills every morning… but there’s so much more to deal with it than that, and I want to speak to the people who are searching for more.
5- And what does the word “Stable” really means to you?
Well… I don’t think that any of us is “stable” 100% of the time… but if I had to define it, I would say that stability means you’re on a fairly even keel most days and can deal with whatever life throws at you.
6- How do you see the future of mental health therapy in the next 10 years?
I really see us getting away from so much therapy and going toward Mental Health Coaching. Don’t get me wrong—therapists are great—I have one myself. But I see us moving toward something more holistic that incorporates a “dream team,” if you will, of people who are in our corner, and the Mental Health Coach is an integral part of that team. I also see us stepping back a bit from Big Pharma.
Again, not that meds aren’t necessary for a lot of mental health issues… I’d be curled up in the fetal position if it weren’t for the few that I take—but again, there is so much more than just taking your medicine if you really want to be in recovery from your illness.
7- If you could turn the time, what would you love to change in regards to your career?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a firm believer that it took me doing exactly what I’ve done in my career, in the exact order I did it, to get to where I am now. In the future, though, I’d love for this 5-step plan to catch on and for me to be able to do retreats (both public and private) to help people deal with their mental health issues. I also love to speak and make public presentations, so I’d love to add that to the mix, as well.
8- What is the “one-word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding in life?
DARE. Dare to follow your dreams. Dare to do the things that you want to do but that really scare you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t. And dare anyone to stop you!
9- What are you most excited about at the moment
Well obviously, I’m thrilled about my book launch. Sunday, April 7th is the big day that it will be out on Amazon. I’m also really excited that my Business page on Facebook has gotten over 450 “likes” in only 2 ½ weeks and that our closed Facebook group is up to over 100 members in that time. I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon!
10- The last word or final thoughts
I just have to tell people out there that if you’re struggling with a mental health issue—whether it’s depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder or a personality disorder or any other issue—and whether a doctor has diagnosed you or not—I can help provide you with real solutions to real problems