Amanda Flowers Peterson lives in Redding with her husband and two children and serves as a Connect Pastor at her church, Bethel. Upon arriving to Redding, she worked as a Community Health Advocate for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency and previously had worked in youth ministry for most of her professional career.
Growing up in the Midwest, Amanda’s academic and athletic accomplishments masked the difficulties she was facing at home: poverty as well as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. This masking led to her suffering severe mental health issues. She first acknowledged her illness when she was having blackout anger rages that became more frequent and severe in college. In addition to the childhood trauma Amanda suffered at home, she, at the age of 13, lost her best friend to suicide and was never allowed to fully grieve. In college, Amanda realized she was being victimized by her illness and that she needed help. That decision began the long journey of her finding a therapist who helped equip her with the necessary tools she needed to be healthy.
Today, Amanda shares her story to a wide range of youth groups, schools, and faith communities urging them to not forget their mental health when taking care of themselves.
Amanda’s presentation can, depending on the audience, highlight the following topics:
1. Suicide Loss
2. Suicide Prevention
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
4. Stigma Reduction
5. Therapy and Coping Skills
6. Mental Health Friendly Churches
7. Adverse Childhood Experiences
8. Sports and Mental Health
9. Race and the Effects of Racism on Mental Health