Prevention & Awareness

Send Silence Packing: Meet Danielle Lukens

dani-family_v2Hi, I’m Dani, and I’m delighted to introduce myself as the other 50% of the Fall 2016 Send Silence Packing road staff! It’s great to meet you.

What can I say, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind! In late August I packed my bags, said my goodbyes, and hopped on a plane to D.C., eager to embark on a 70-day journey across the United States. I was in disbelief that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel and support a cause I am so passionate about. It’s now almost two weeks since I boarded that flight and I’m still not sure it’s fully sunk in that this is my life!

daniWhen I read the Send Silence Packing Staffer job posting I knew I had found my dream job. Road tripping, mental health advocacy, and college populations all in one job?!?!? It just seemed too good to be true. But here I am in a hotel room in Oklahoma pinching myself and wondering, “How did I get here?”

Some of you may be wondering the same thing, so hopefully I can clear things up for all of us! I graduated from The University of Vermont in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies but a burgeoning passion for mental health. During my senior year one of my best friends’ mental health started to deteriorate.  As one of his primary supports I was introduced to a whole new realm of mental health care that I had never known before. I am grateful for having witnessed the barriers he encountered when trying to access care, and to the stigma surrounding bipolar and transgender people within the mental health community.

I have since pursued a career in the mental health field and have worked in diverse workplaces ranging from a teen substance abuse clinic, to a funeral home, to the counseling and wellness service at New York University. When the opportunity to join Active Minds as an SSP Staffer presented itself it seemed like the perfect next step.

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I am so thrilled to be part of Active Minds and to bring my passion to the Fall 2016 tour of Send Silence Packing. Stay tuned for more updates from the road!