Ebony Flint grew up in the projects in Boston. She identifies as a trauma survivor; having overcome the struggles of a life with continuous sexual and emotional abuse from a very young age. She spends much of her time teaching strategies to help others navigate and address emotional and/or mental distress and other challenges. She is very passionate about this work, as a parent of a child with special needs and a person who has overcome traumatic experiences alone. Ebony is a Certified Peer Specialist, a Peer Group Facilitator for Alternatives to Suicide and Hearing Voices Network, and a Wellness Recovery Action Plan Facilitator for adults, young adults, and trauma survivors. She has experience working with people both within the community and in hospital settings.
Ebony has a teenage daughter and resides in the Central Mass area. She loves laughing, learning new things, watching UFC, and sarcastic t-shirts!
Lionel (they/them) is a Deaf, multiply disabled queer person with 16 years of living with extreme states and 6 years of both working within the mental health system in different capacities and receiving services, bringing their personal experience and person-centered ethics to the table. They enjoy creating art and poetry, Mario Kart, and listening to vinyl records with friends. Their ultimate dream is to create equity through diverse spaces and strengthen allyship across communities.
Micah is a white queer and transgender trauma survivor who grew up as a fundamentalist Christian in the southeastern US. He’s had experience working in peer support, working with young people in and outside of the traditional mental health system, and doing LGBTQ+ community organizing. Micah spends most of his time trying to figure out how to be a good parent to a young child, wondering about the possibilities of true community in the context of a changing world, facilitating virtual support spaces while sitting next to his 2 cats, and appreciating the beauty and abundance of rural New England.
Zoe is the Benefits Connector for the Wild Ivy Social Justice Network and co-facilitates the Wildflower Alliance Psych Meds Support group. Since a young age, Zoe has experienced extreme states that have impacted her life and relationships. Seeking support through traditional mental health resulted in further alienation, an identity based on being in need of fixing, and a dependence on psychiatric medication. Her involvement in this work comes from the realization that what brings us to our deepest selves is connection to other humans, meaningful activity, and focusing on strengths. She holds to the value that we all have something to contribute to our communities and all deserve the chance to create the life we want.
Her current passions are tap dancing, boogie boarding, anything to do with honeybees and exploring urban agriculture.
Natan Cohen (they/them)
Natan is a trans and autistic team member who grew up here in Western Mass. Natan is someone who has experienced bullying, addiction, emotional and spiritual abuse, homelessness, chronic illness, and many extreme and unusual states. They have sought answers everywhere from western medicine to the far reaches of alternative healing and spiritual communities, only to find well-being and belonging in peer support. Natan is a lover of compassionate truth-telling, comedy, science, and sharing the potential of peer support.
As a former drug dealer, Natan’s work has included a focus on holding space for people who are currently and formerly incarcerated. Natan spends much of their time leading trainings, offering support on our Discord server, and our website.
In their free time Natan is passionate about cats, roleplaying games, parenting disabled children, video games, fantasy and science-fiction, and spending time near moving water.
Click our photos to read our bios
Would you like to get in touch with us?
Le gustaria conectar con nosotros?
We are always eager to hear from our community and are happy to answer questions or connect you to the kinds of resources or information you may be interested in. Please feel free to reach out to any one of us in particular, or to the team as a whole using the emails or contact form listed below.
Siempre estamos interesados en escuchar de nuestra comunidad, ya sean preguntas sobre nosotros o otros recursos, informacion general sobre el bienestar mental, o sugerencias para nuestro equipo. Favor de contactarnos usando el correo general o, si busca conectar con alguien en particular, favor de usar su correo individual o el formulario.
General email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ebony, Director and Black Community Connector:
- Mical Henriquez, Assistant Director and Latine Community Connector:
- Micah, LGBTQ+ and Youth Community Connector:
- Zoe, Benefits Connector:
Wild Ivy Resources and Involvement
Community and Public Awareness
Understanding the Mental Health System: Section 12
Panel discussion with Rachel Chunnha, lawyer and ally, and lived experience Alternative to Suicides trainer, Martha Barbone, on your rights before, during, and after a Section 12 in MA. Strategies to mitigate harm are discussed with Q&A in the last half. Recorded in December, 2020. Video link here.
Close the Judge Rotenberg Center: End Violence Against Disabled People
A 1.5 hour panel discussion with disability justice activists Lydia X.Z. Brown and Shain Neumeier on the campaign to close the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), a residential special education facility in Canton, Massachusetts that has been widely condemned as the only facility in the US to use electric shocks as punishment on disabled people. Video link here
Diccionario de Leyes: El Sistema Psiquiatrico
Guia basica de leyes gobernando el tratamiento psiquiatrico en Massachusetts. Aprenda varios terminos, procesos, recursos, y sobre sus derechos. Haga clic aqui
Education and Training
Peer Support Partnership with Community Action Youth Programs
A partnership with Community Action youth programs to create and offer a responsive, interactive, youth-specific peer support training series. Basics of the peer support model were covered, as well as information and statistics about the prevalence and management of trauma, and more in depth material on setting and maintaining boundaries. Four 1.5 hour sessions were offered, and over 30 youth successfully completed the trainings.
Stigma and Mental Health: A Presentation for UMass Psychology Students
Sharing of the Wild Ivy Social Justice Project as well as personal experiences and challenges navigating the mental health system. The discussion included changes needed around interactions with providers, and the stigma of diagnosis and labeling. Followed by a Q&A. This presentation was recorded for the RLC archives.
For more information on trainings available from our organization, please refer to the Wildflower Alliance Training page where you’ll find the core values that animate our trainings, our training team bios, and our currently available selection for individuals in and outside our community, mental health practitioners, and organizations
Peer to peer support means coming together as regular people who have “been there” ourselves, and exploring whatever people are struggling with, side-by-side. We welcome you to find community in our current peer to peer support groups:
Online support: Join our Discord
People from MA and all over the world use our Discord to give and receive support, discuss topics that are important to us, share pictures, music, memes, etc, join live support groups and activities, and connect with others who have similar identities and experiences. Check it out here.
Online support: Zoom Groups
Exploring Relationships to Psych Meds Group. For anyone wanting to examine their relationship to psych meds, whether they plan to taper, withdraw completely, or remain on medication. This is a non-clinical space with two facilitators. Email Zoe if interested: email@example.com
Spiritual Explorations Group. Spiritual Explorations group is a place to share about our relationship to our faith and wisdom traditions without judgement. Email Beth if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wild Ivy Social Justice Network is committed to advocating for our community through direct involvement with existing advocacy bodies, committees, legislators, and emerging groups engaged in the push for social change. Our approach is guided by the reality and the need for intersectionality and solidarity, and the value of lived experience as living wisdom:
“Nothing about us, without us.“
Some our current memberships include:
Hearing Voices Network board membership. The Hearing Voices USA website contains a wealth of information and resources for voice hearers, including information on accessing a support group in your area.
PAIMI Advisory Council membership. The Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council was established to advise the Disability Law Center on priorities and issues important to people who are knowledgeable about mental health services in the Commonwealth. The Disability Law Center is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts.
MassHealth 1115 Waiver: Care Coordination Work Group membership. Please review the information on the waiver, work groups, and its role in mental health services here