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SUP Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney

Improve Balance & Reaction Time: Indo Board Training Gear & Suzie on the New “Gigante” 24″ Disc

Maui Wave Action!

Waves are a force of nature like no other. Susan does a superb job to illustrate this and more. A great read!


Surf Stronger Order This!

Mental Health Update:Glenn Close Narrates Groundbreaking New Documentary That Shatters Misconceptions About Mental Illness

MomandISanFran1On the eve of my mother’s birthday, I am compelled to write. Some of you may know that I am a very strong advocate on the subject of “mental illness” and I believe it is a matter that needs to be expressed and shared from every mountain top, as all of us know how fragile the mind is. And if our minds are not healthy, how can our bodies be?

My mother is one of 6 siblings, where 4  have been plagued with a serious mental illness since their early twenties. She manages frequent episodes of paranoid schizophrenia, manic depression, who at this moment is suffering from voices that fill her head and hallucinations that occupy her sight, keeping her from going outside to enjoy the sunshine or from grabbing a simple cup of coffee at the local Pete’s. She sees scary faces sitting on her window sill that frighten her that tell her I am in harm. I am her world you see and she is mine.

Today, the day before her 66th birthday she is paranoid; afraid to change her clothes, afraid to look out the window and afraid that the “people” at the local grocery store won’t like the outfit she has picked out.  We have talked more that six times on the phone and like many other days she is coping hour to hour and minute to minute. Her medications are all mixed up as on a daily basis she must manage with the kind help of her case manager, a barrage of drugs that leave her with debilitating side effects. I certainly don’t blame her for not wanting to take them.

Some days are more “clear’ and others a jumbled mess.  She is amazing how she copes from day to day and helps so many others in her building that suffer too. How she can do what she does as she knows there’s something not right about the chemicals in her brain. She remembers when her life was different. How she is saddened that she has to battle the voices that paralyze her with fear.

The one amazing thing that people living with mental illness do know is that they cannot give up hope. The will to live and function and navigate a “healthy” life is the quest.

I imagine as you are reading this, you may be surprised or shocked I am so open to share this story but I must. I write this to help you or anyone you may know who may have a family member who is needing help right now.  Mental illness is often shrugged off, stuffed in a closet or framed with denial. This can no longer continue. Your voice, “their voice” must be heard.

Continue reading Mental Health Update:Glenn Close Narrates Groundbreaking New Documentary That Shatters Misconceptions About Mental Illness “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness”

Mental Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

   August 16, 2011Taken from the Maui Breakfast Club: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM. Listen Here:

                 Mental Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

 As some of you know, I am a huge advocate when it comes to spreading the word of mental health. With the world facing so many challenges, it’ s no wonder why we’re more stressed, depressed, over eating, under eating, turning to alcohol or drugs or worse yet, some are choosing the sad path of suicide. But, there is one thing that somehow keeps us all going and that is “hope”.

Without it, we wouldn’t get out of bed, practice our lessons, exercise or help another. Hope helps us conquer the unknown, the uncertainty that faces many of us. Hope is also the mantra used in the world of mental health professionals to encourage all of us to believe that there is a tomorrow that will be better. I believe our President’s message also includes the word hope.

The word “hope” defined by Wikipedia: Hope is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.

This segment was especially important to me, for I personally manage a loved one, my mother who lives in a world of delusions, hallucinations, and fear, where some of her biggest challenges during a given day is riding the bus and returning home safely. Each day, each hour or each minute can change from function to complete dysfunction. Her disease is schizophrenia and like other brain disorders, it can diminish the feelings of hope and be clouded by thoughts and voices that are not hers.  One thing she holds onto is hope.

( If you missed link above: Listen here )I remember marching on the steps of the capital in Sacramento in 1995 with my mother some years back for a NAMI rally with signs that read, “Don’t give up the hope“.  I marched with her and my shoulder sling from some mountain bike accident or something; holding my sign too. Once again the government was cutting funding to a much needed program. But, we were not giving up hope for a positive outcome.

Speaking of positive, the word “positive” is another form of shaping a healthy mind and adds to our word hope to help us manage our hope. We’re always told to remain positive in times a great trouble or large challenges. This is easier said than done when it’s you that must remain positive. You wonder how it is, why some people are always this way?

I’ve discovered that there is a proven inverse relationship that helps us maintain our physical health when we are able to focus on keeping our mental health fit as there is a relationship to having hope. A  study performed at the Keen University in New Hampshire studied the relationship of hope and having an optimistic, positive outlook when dealing with chronic pain. The results revealed that there is a better outcome of managing illness, chronic pain and other physical challenges if one has hope, optimism and a positive outlook.

As a health care professional, I try to encourage my clients and those I mentor to look at things in a different manner. One doesn’t wake up and say, “I’m going to be positive.” It takes time to reshape one’s behaviors and ways of thinking. It’s a process. Just like losing weight, it takes time if you want to keep it off. It takes effort and a mindful attempt to look at the world, your life, your situation and most importantly,  your health in order to have this thinking stick.

I hope you enjoyed the radio segment. A special thanks to the Maui Breakfast Club and to you for spreading the word of mental health and wellness. It does a body good.


Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui and Mental Health Advocate.

Previous Radio Show: August 9th: Shred to Shed Losing Weight with Stand Up Paddling.

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Resources I recommend:

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health: See my article for NAM here: Standing Up for Mental Illness

“Inspiring Hope Through Research” by  Dr. Robert M. Post, M.D.

Columnist for Wall Street Journal: Health: Melinda Beck