Welcome to my interview with Ashley Perkins, PharmD – Mental Health Advocate, Educator, Author, and TEDx Speaker.
In post-pandemic America, everyone is more sensitive about mental health. If you have ever felt misjudged or misunderstood because you have a mental illness or if you have misjudged or misunderstood someone with a mental illness, you’ll appreciate this episode.
Ashley Perkins, PharmD, is a mental health advocate with a background as a pharmacist and educator. She graduated from Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2008 and is currently in the EdD program at Marshall University, with a focus on curriculum and instruction. In March of 2020, with John Bollinger, she formed We Matter Too, Inc. which focuses on helping those with mental health issues and mental disorders through first-person narratives of experience.
When removing the biggest barrier to seeking help or treatment, stigma or the fear of judgment, you can possibly help more people find help or seek treatment if they so desire.
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Links from this episode
Twitter – We Matter Too @wemattertooinc
Twitter – DR. Ashley @BecauseIMatter
LinkedIn – Ashley Perkins, PharmD https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyperkinspharmd/
Instagram – We Matter Too
Book – I Matter Too by Ashley Perkins (amazon.com link)
TEDx Talk – Ashley Perkins
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
Butler University College of Pharmacy
Florida State College at Jacksonville
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Highlights from our conversation
Ashley wears a lot of hats in addition to being a pharmacist, wife, and mother.
- She’s a mental health advocate and the co-founder of We Matter Too.
- She educates pharmacy technicians at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
- She’s a TEDx speaker.
- She wrote I Matter Too and collaborated with a narrator to create the audiobook version.
Ashley used her pain for a purpose. She was discriminated against for having a mental health diagnosis. The experience motivated her to co-found We Matter Too.
We Matter Too provides resources and community for those with mental health issues, mental disorders, and their caregivers. It’s an organization made of individuals that use their stories and lived experiences to provide support to peers. Their purpose is to help end the stigma against mental health.
“I am not my diagnosis.”
Labels and mental health diagnoses help individuals get access to treatment, accommodations, and resources. They are not meant to be identities. Stigma is hard to overcome.
From ADHD to anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD, PTSD, postpartum depression, alcohol use disorder, and autism, Ashley has a number of mental health diagnoses. Talking about her mental health diagnoses publicly helps Ashley fight the stigma (shame) surrounding her diagnoses.
What happens when a pharmacist gets a DUI?
During our conversation, Ashley talked about self-reporting her DUI to her Board of Pharmacy, getting help, and the license renewal process after a DUI. She also gave advice to other pharmacists who might find themselves in a similar situation.
Giving a TEDx talk was on Ashley’s “bucket list.”
Her advisor at Marshall University coached her, and she had a great experience. Practicing helped. She was excited to give the talk, and it went well. (Congrats, Ashley!)
I Matter Too by Ashley Perkins
- 358 pages (paperback); also available on Kindle
- 9 hours, 29 minutes via audiobook (Look for my review on amazon.com.)
- Ashley tells her story about succeeding in life in spite of challenges.
- She self-published, and it took 3 years from idea to published.
- A second book is in the works.
Connect with Dr. Ashley Perkins on LinkedIn and Twitter!
Thank you for listening to episode 212 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast!