Leah Prussia grew up in a primarily German-Norwegian family, but as an adult, she embraced her Anishinaabe heritage, as well. Leah holds a master’s degree in social work and works as a college instructor and clinical social worker. She has struggled with depression for much of her life. When she finally found the right combination of therapy, medication, and spiritual practice, she says, “it was like seeing color for the first time.”
“When I’m not healthy, how can I be of help and be peaceful with you if I’ve got turmoil going on here?”
“What does peace mean to me? Personally, I think we’ve got to start from within. We’ve got to take a look at our own houses, our own spiritual vessels, and be able to rejoice in who we are, and walk gently and genuinely. Part of my work is to help people come to that conclusion through therapy.
We’re all hurting souls. With mental illness, it’s often a very intimate, self-consuming, internal process. When people start to feel better, they start to come outside of themselves and look around. Mental illness is a lonely place. So when I work with people, I help them peek around, to kind of come out—like the turtle. Is it safe? Maybe it isn’t so bad, so I’ll stick my head out a little bit further. It starts here. It starts with each one of us.”
Leah Prussia Short Audio Clip
Leah Prussia Full Audio
- Which parts of your identity are most important to you?
- Do you find technology to be a distraction in your life? Have you ever “detoxed”? What did you notice?
- Is there a connection between how we treat the Earth and how we treat each other?
- If we are wounded souls wandering around as Prussia suggests, what things can you do now to heal pieces of your wounded soul?
- What self-care measures do you take?
- What self-care pieces do you neglect? What keeps you from addressing these things?
- What do you hope or pray for?
- What practices help you turn inward? (meditation, prayer, etc)
- Have you or a loved one struggled with mental illness? (this is sensitive not sure how to word it but think we need some questions about it)
- Something about the stigma of struggling with mental health
- Who are you when you’re walking “gently and genuinely”?
- How do you stay balanced? Or, if you don’t, what things put you off balance?