Justine Castaneda joined the South Florida Wellness Network as the Youth Outreach Coordinator and later also became the Coordinator for the local Youth MOVE Chapter in Broward County. She is a student of life who has overcome a variety of challenges in her seemingly short time on Earth. In August of 2012, she began her journey of transformation to change her thinking and behaviors, thus changing her life. She strives to live by moral and altruistic principles to ultimately help others as she had been helped. Through continuous action, living by moral beliefs, and through her support network; she had been connected to the South Florida Wellness Network. Ms. Castaneda believes that young people are the future and believes that through education, support, advocacy, creativity, and empowerment that young people can have a healthy outlet and realize that their struggles are not taboo. She believes that peer-support, holistic methods, expressive arts, and a variety of other healthy out-lets and communication can really change someone’s life, as it has changed hers.
Ms. Castaneda has made service to others a way of life for herself in her personal life for the last couple of years, and now on a professional level as well. She is involved in a supportive community and has dedicated herself to teaching, educating, and supporting others in their various experiences. Ms. Castaneda strives to see the humanity and creativity that lies in every human being. Ms. Castaneda believes that there are simply varying degrees of sickness and she strives to educate others in this belief. In Ms. Castaneda’s free time, she attends college, mentors other young women, paints, writes, and goes to yoga class. These have been some of the tools in which she has used to contribute to her wellness. Ms. Castaneda teaches others the tools she has learned along her journey, and remains open-minded to continue learning how to help and serve both others and herself as best as she can. She has become a facilitator of various trainings including WHAM (Whole Health Action Management), WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning), and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid). She continues to participate in her community by speaking and connecting with as many people as possible to reduce stigma surrounding Mental Health in Broward County using both creative and conventional methods. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi.
Youth peer support
“[Youth MOVE] started out as a requirement of my work, but as I learned more and continued to read and stay involved, I realized there was a huge youth movement. This really inspired me because sometimes the work we are doing feels like it isn't going anywhere. Youth MOVE and other youth groups showed me that we are making a difference, it just takes a lot of time for stubbornness to moveJustine