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Kiley Wilkens-O'Brien, LSW, MPPM
& her familiar Sir Fezzik, Greatest Dane 

She who heals herself heals the world.

As founder, my passion is sourced from lived experience. I am a highly sensitive person who identifies as queer and bisexual. Born and raised in central Maine by a loving  and supportive family, I still struggled. Like many traditional New England Yankees, my family was deeply uncomfortable addressing mental illness. This coupled with the limited resources in rural communities resulted in years of mental anguish. I am a suicide attempt survivor and in long term recovery from an eating disorder. I remain engaged in the lifelong process of healing, unlearning, and learning anew.

 

Years later I learned that much of my family's fear, shame, and stigma regarding mental illness stemmed from a great grandfather's unexplained death while in the care of a state-run mental health institution. This event resulted in deep systemic trauma where for generations my loved ones were afraid to seek care. Distrust in established systems and deeply-rooted traumas need to be addressed in order to make laws and policies that benefit all people. I believe the process of seeking and sharing diverse stories is the key.

 

She who dreams manifests and makes magic.

 

I always dreamed of a career in a helping profession. I achieved this dream and spent a decade in the field as a Licensed Social Worker. Moral injury resulting from unmanageable caseloads, inadequate resources to offer clients, unrealistic expectations, and low wages drove me from the field. Social work taught me critical project management skills, which I refined earning my Master of Public Policy, Planning, and Management from USM's Muskie School of Public Service. I set my sights on updating, advancing, and reimagining health and human service systems instead. I have proven to be a tenacious policy professional, tackling behavioral health reform efforts for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. I provide insight as a subject matter expert regarding behavioral health, aging and disability services, child welfare, and forensic social services. My process centers radical honesty, integrity, and truth seeking. I believe that discomfort is the feeling of growth and positive change. 

I love convening diverse problem solving minds and creating safe spaces for them to flourish. I have been told that I possess an incredible ability to motivate and that I create deep, long-lasting impressions. 

 

Let's make some magic together.

 

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