Our mission is to create a space for people to share their brokenness, encourage and equip the hurting, build community, and search for meaning.
We have a dream to end suicide.
We have a dream that those with and without a mental illness will be able to find support and encouragement from each other, understanding that we are not all that different.
We have a dream that barriers such as race, gender, religion, financial status, sexual orientation, height, weight and any other form or possibility of prejudice will be eradicated from receiving quality physical and mental health care worldwide.
We have a dream that strategic vulnerability will become a social norm.
Broken People is a group where people can go to know they belong. It's a space for people to share their brokenness, encourage the hurting, build community, and search for meaning. If you are struggling with mental wellness, this space is for you.
Why the name "Broken People?"
"When I am at my lowest, when I am feeling the most depressed, the best way I have to describe how I feel is Broken. I created this group for people who may be searching for others who feel Broken just like me."
Founder & Executive Director
Welcome to Broken People!
In 2001 I was hospitalized for my depressions, diagnosed with Manic Depression, medicated...a lot, and then sent home after two weeks with a large medical bill. I was not a better person.
In 2013 I was hospitalized again for three weeks, received helpful guidance, a correct diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder and Trichotillomania, coping skills, some medication, and a whole lot of support. It was a night/day difference for me. I learned a ton of skills that helped me be a better me.
In 2018, I lost my best friend to suicide. We were each other's mental health support. I was alone. I felt so Broken! This event catapulted me forward to do something about my suffering. To use my story and the tools I've been given and adapted to my life to ease the suffering of others.
I'm the founder of Broken People, have a Bachelors's degree from Liberty University in Interdisciplinary Studies, and lead a support group with the nation's largest grassroots mental health movement NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). I look forward to serving you!
Director of Faith and Spirituality Initiative
My name is Donda. It is not a common name and has Gaelic roots ( Eastern Europe). It means Beautiful Leader. When I ﬁrst learned this my reaction was, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
I think we’ve all had similar feelings at one time or another!
I come from a background of emotional, childhood neglect, abandonment and sexual trauma (from mother/boyfriends). Then I went to live with my dad, along with my two brothers l, into a very over-structured, military home, with a new mom and four additional siblings.
I’ve experienced many ups and downs in life. Married at eighteen. A broken girl to a very broken man. Not good. However, the Lord gave me the strength and encouragement to complete my education where I received a BSN and then became an RN. After I received my RN I was able to move on and work through a divorce. My step-mom introduced me to the love of my life (yes mom set me up for a blind date). We were married after 2 months. We have 2 amazing children. I was able to ﬁnish my Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. We’ve seen and worked through some horrendous things together, but are still madly in love. We are eternally grateful for our strong Christian Faith which has seen us through. We’ve been married 35 years.
I was diagnosed with medication-resistant bipolar 1 disorder 30 years ago. I’ve been stable for many years. I’m an active part of leadership as a group facilitator in our church’s Care Ministries. I’m a Bible teacher and a public/event speaker. I ﬁnd it an awesome privilege to be a part of the Broken People Leadership Team.
Function of Faith and Spirituality - Broken People
Our focus as Broken People is to create a space of openness and acceptance for all people where they're at in their own faith journey. We do not see it as our responsibility to convert people to the Christian faith. We believe Jesus Christ accepts people where they are and we seek to be led by his example.
Broken People is primarily focused on mental health, but has always had a spiritual component because we understand that mental illness affects people from all faiths and walks of life. We view our organization as a platform for people to come and to be met with an open and considerate community. We constantly offer to pray for those of all or no faiths, and are willing to have open and honest discussions centered around troubling faith issues - especially as it relates to mental health.
If you have any questions about faith and spirituality, I'd be happy to talk. Just click the link below and send me an email.
I’m Johnna Paraiso. I live in Murfreesboro TN, just south of Nashville. I am originally from Detroit and still consider the D my hometown. I have 3 grown daughters, 3 sons- in-law, a grandson and a granddaughter. I have been a teacher for over 30 years. Right now I’m teaching English as a Second Language during the day and university classes at night. My mental health has become one of my top priorities over the last few years, after struggles with depression and anxiety. My heart’s desire is to live my life to the fullest and to help others do the same.
Dr. Johnna Paraiso
Director of Advocacy
My name is Marva Couch. I live in Romulus Michigan although I was born and raised in Detroit. I am an ordained minister and a playwright. I went to school for business administration. I lived for years with crushing depression until one day I decided to get a therapist and deal with my issues. One of the areas of mental health that has a special place for me is self esteem. I believe that when we feel good about ourselves that’s one victory we have won. My motto is always keep a humble servants heart.