Keep Oregon Well is a public advocacy campaign designed to reduce stigma surrounding mental and behavioral health, build a trauma-informed community, and give people the opportunity to learn more about mental health and stand with those struggling with theirs.

This ongoing volunteer spotlight blog series features some of the many caring, talented, passionate people it takes to spread the word about Keep Oregon Well throughout Oregon!

Keep Oregon Well Volunteer Spotlight: Emma Bonitati

Why does mental health matter to you?

Mental health is important to me because it affects many aspects of daily life and overall well-being. When we feel well emotionally and psychologically, we often feel and function better in the other areas of our life. With that being said, I feel it is also important to note that it is okay not to be okay and it is okay to ask for help.

What initially made you want to volunteer with Keep Oregon Well or Trillium?

As someone who has experienced the benefits of quality mental health care, I felt it was important to give back to the community in some way. It was also important for me to volunteer in a mental health setting as an undergraduate psychology major at Portland State University.

Tell me about your favorite volunteer experience?

I always enjoy the monthly self-care day. It provides fun and creative outlets and I love seeing how participants can enjoy themselves in the moment.

Keep Oregon Well is centered around wellness and self-care. Tell us about some of the ways you take care of yourself. 

Over the years I have learned that self-care looks different for every individual. For me, it involves hanging out with my cat Nugget, putting down my phone and making time to read a book, spending time in nature, and trying different restaurants with my friends and family. Simple wellness habits I try to follow include getting enough sleep and remembering to take vitamin D during the grey Portland winters!

To close our chat today, do you have a favorite quote you would be willing to share?

One of my favorite quotes is a quote by Gandhi that hangs on the wall above my desk to serve as a daily reminder. “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” -Gandhi