My name is Malcolm Aquinas. I live in Salem, Oregon USA.
Currently, I work as a Peer Recovery Specialist at the Oregon State Hospital. Yes, of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" fame (or infamy). I've been sharing peer support, formally, for approximately ten years, and informally for 39 years. I provide private contracted trauma-informed care trainings on a limited basis.
I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a double-minor in philosophy and religion, and a master's degree in teaching with authorizations at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.
I have lived experience (a phrase I like less and less these days) as someone with multiple psychiatric diagnoses (eight!), hospitalizations (voluntary and involuntary), psychiatric medication usage (voluntary and involuntary), incarceration (including solitary confinement, the worst experience of my life), homelessness (four years), suicide attempt survivor, full disability (six years), and complex, developmental trauma.
I am a former wildland fire fighter, wilderness ranger, and Level II USFS law enforcement officer. I managed the County High School Transition Project for individuals with developmental disabilities who were transitioning from public school services to adult services. I was a public school teacher. I was a professional consultant and trainer for the National Center for Trauma Informed Care (SAMHSA and NASMHPD).
I'm a former Project ABLE board member. I'm a former board member and Board Chair of the Oregon Consumer Advisory Council. I'm a current board member of the Oregon Consumer and Psychiatric Survivor Coalition.
I have lost too many family and friends to our broken system.
I'm hoping Personal Medicine and, specifically, the PMC certification will help me more effectively disrupt the medical model stranglehold at the Oregon State Hospital. The veneer of personal choice and personal direction is a primary stumbling block to people experiencing meaningful, substantive, and lasting recovery.
My personal medicine is hiking in the wild.