This week we highlight the host of the upcoming End the Stigma: Shining a light on addiction in your community event in Peoria, AZ . Knowing what you want to accomplish at an early age will definitely take you a long way and help you accomplish your goals quickly. Natalie Carlat has always known she wanted to go into the mental health field. In 7th grade she did a huge project on alcoholism and has not stopped since. Let’s stop the stigma and start the conversation by increasing awareness!

Introduction

Q: Who is Natalie Carlat, what do you do, and why?

A: My name is Natalie Carlat and I work at Southwest Behavioral Health. I work with the severely mentally ill and co-occurring at residential homes. I have always loved the mental health field and I’ve always had a passion for helping people.

Q: Tell us a little bit more about your background. Where did you grow up?

A: I’m originally from Plano, Texas and moved to Peoria, AZ when I was 5 years old. I graduated from Liberty High School and I am currently working on my Masters degree in professional counseling at Grand Canyon University. I definitely love the weather in Arizona and love the city of Peoria. Peoria is a large city but still has a small town vibe because everyone seems to know everyone.

Q: Growing up, who inspired you to follow your passion?

A: My mother. She has always inspired me with her confidence and ability to get things done.

Q: When did you develop a passion for wanting to help others dealing with addiction and substance abuse?

A: I’ve always known that I wanted to go into the mental health field. I remember in 7th grade I did a huge project on alcoholism and I’ve always had interest in addiction. I don’t know why but I feel like I have always been drawn to it and there is a reason for it. I’ve always been passionate about the topic and it has helped me reach my goals very quickly.

Ice Breaker

Q: Your mother is the Mayor of the city of Peoria. Do you think you’ll ever run office one day?

A: It’s definitely not my thing or passion but my mother Mayor Carlat is very passionate about the work she does for the City of Peoria.

Q: We are coming from out of town and need a place to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Peoria. What three restaurants would you recommend?

A: There are so many great places to eat in Peoria which makes this a tough question. For breakfast I would recommend going to Mercer’s and then when lunchtime comes around I would go Revolu Modern Taqueria. For dinner you have to go to Fabio on Fire! It’s literally the best Italian food ever and Fabio is cooking it right there for you! It’s a cool mom and pop spot. I also always recommend going to Java Grounds. They are a really cool coffee shop that helps inner city teens and provides job experience and training.

Q: Favorite inspirational quote?

A: My favorite quote is from Shakespeare and it says, ““Though she be but little, she is fierce!”” I like it because I am 5’2.

Q: Finish the statement. Awareness and knowledge about addiction in your community is important becuase____________________________

A: Awareness on any mental health is important, but with addiction it’s obviously become a problem and we need to step out of that negative mindset and start getting these people help. It’s not just people who struggle with addiction that need help but their families also.

Community

Q: What are some of the stigmas surrounding substance abuse and what are some effective ways to reduce those stigmas.

A: A stigma in general is bad for any mental illness. For example a long time ago cancer use to have a stigma. During that time people who had cancer were ashamed and people were afraid to be around those individuals. Once people got over certain stigmas about cancer, people came together and learned a lot about it and now look how much people are doing for cancer research. Imagine if people got over the stigma of addiction. Half of individuals that have an addiction also have some type of mental illness as well. If we stop looking at it as a lack of morals and start looking at it as people needing help I think we will start seeing more resources being provided toward fields dealing with addiction.

Q: You are the host of the upcoming End the Stigma: Shining a light on addiction in your community event in Peoria, AZ. Can you tell us about this event?

A: I’m really excited for this event and I think it’s going to be a great event for the community. I’m hoping that a lot families come to the event who are either dealing with some form of addiction or know of someone who is dealing with addiction. We are going to have a lot of resources for the community on this day. With addiction it touches everyone and it’s not just one person who needs help with it. This event will be held on September 23, 2017 from 1pm - 4pm at the Rio Vista Rec Center in Peoria, AZ. We are going to have guest speakers, family testimonials, resources, and the event is completely free. All you have to do is register online at www.peoriachamber.com/end-the-stigma.html.

Q: This sounds like an amazing event! How can people get involved and help out?

A: People can donate and sponsorships are available. All the proceeds are going to Crossroads. People can also bring items such as toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, and other items that are listed on the website when you register. Most importantly you can be involved just by registering, showing up, and learning about the amazing resources we have available in our community.

Q: With all of our interviews, we like to sign off by saying thank you! We know you’re trending, which is why we chose you to be one of our featured guests. In honor of the tradition, we would like you to finish the sentence…I’m trending because…

A: I’m young and I want to make a difference!