This August, Xcelerate welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Martin and Holistic Community Therapy as new partners for our Mental Wellness Support Program. We are excited to share with you this brief interview with Dr. Elizabeth.
What inspires you about Xcelerate's work/mission?
Xcelerate supports a wide variety of business owners from historically marginalized communities. As a business owner with multiple marginalized identities, I believe this work is paramount for a stronger business community. I am really inspired to see an organization dedicated to holistic and multifaceted support - so all are seen and heard and given access to the supports they need to thrive.
How has your identity as a woman and any and all other intersectional identities impacted your career journey?
I identify as Black, Queer, a Trailblazer (1st in my family to earn a doctorate degree and start a business), and a Health Advocate. As a teenager I helped my father to advocate with doctors for his health. I listened intently while in the clinic and dutifully took notes to take home for daily reminders of what he was supposed to do to stay healthy. I realized how disregarded he was by the medical system. It lit a fire in me to fight for those the health system often forgets. I have advocated in and out of the health/mental health field for many years. It is my honor and personal mission to do so.
Why did you choose to become involved in the mental health field?
I deeply love hearing life stories - understanding why people think the way they do, what inspires them, what drives them to be their best self. I believe the body can be a gateway to healing. I chose to focus my studies on how everyday movement can change our mental health. From washing the dishes to singing in the shower - these activites define who we are and what makes us shine.
How does mental health occupational therapy benefit entrepreneurs?
Occupational therapy is a medical profession that is trained to also be a mental health specialty. We focus on improving function, regardless of a diagnosis or specific condition. Many conditions have specific functional patterns and we are experts at finding out how to address those for improved health - physical, mental, and spiritual. We help individuals find what activities are most meaningful and support them to do more of them. Mental Health Occupational Therapy supports entrepreneurs in prioritizing themselves and adapting everyday activities like: self-care and deciding how to balance the day for wellness.
What is one piece of advice or an inspirational story you can share with our community?
I once helped a client with ADHD, a history of trauma, and a brain injury to setup her shop and work environment so she could remember to get in regular bathroom breaks, drink water, and eat throughout the day. Integrating these basic things into her day helped her to prioritize her own well-being and create sustainability in her work.
We know that building a business is stressful and can surface trauma. If you are seeking mental wellness support that’s trauma-informed and gender and culturally competent please fill out our request form.
In November 2022, Xcelerate welcomed Matea Ivanovic to our team as Programs Coordinator. Get to know more about Matea!