Ann Lewis

Mother and Small Business Owner in Springfield MO

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Hello, I’m Ann. A mother of two and a grandmother of 8 living in Springfield MO. As a child, I faced adversity in various forms of abuse. As a result of the abuse, I was very angry and in turn became an abuser. My goal was to ensure I would not be vulnerable to anyone, so I become the baddest and the meanest. At age 13, I was hospitalized with my first suicide attempt. I was diagnosis as Major Depressive Disorder. It was at this time I first learned about how Trauma can lead to Mental Illness. At age 23, I joined Job Corps a federally funded program designed to provide Educational, Vocational and Social Skills training to at risk individuals. I attended Mingo Job Corps and through the support and mentorship of the staff, my life began to change. Their encouragement led me to see positive qualities within myself. I had leadership skills I could utilize. I learned that others could learn from my experiences. This led me to seek out healing. Healing not only for myself, but to aid others in healing by focusing not only on surviving, but by thriving as well. After 14 months of focusing on my strengths, I was offered employment with Job Corps. I loved working 16-25 year olds. Helping to overcome the obstacles each faced to become the best version of themselves. I worked for JC for 17 years until a Brain Aneurysm and my Mental Health caused me to leave. I then moved to Augusta GA. It was in Georgia I first learned about recovery. I trained to become a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) a person with "lived experience" trained to support those who struggle with mental health, psychological trauma and/or substance use. I was able to use my personal experiences to provide peer support. My professional experiences include but is not limited to... sharing my recovery story, facilitating group discussions, advocating for those living with mental illness and aiding homeless individuals in finding treatment as well as housing. My passion is to continue providing HEALING through HOPE.