Making the world a better place
It is my pleasure to introduce myself as Shaun Daniel Carl Flores, a 28-year-old UK-based mental health advocate/activist. I have been a mental health advocate for people with OCD for a number of years. My OCD diagnosis earlier this year turned my world upside down. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation were my companions for a series of months. In order to combat my pain, I have turned it into my passion. I am passionate about raising awareness of OCD and having more people from ethnic communities share their experiences with it.
Throughout the years, my OCD made me believe that I a threat to society. I live with two types of OCD, sexual orientation OCD (SO-OCD) as well as harm OCD.
I was unaware for years that these thoughts could ever be attributed to OCD. Upon my diagnosis, I had answers that allowed me to delve deeper into the OCD community and the world of mental health.
During my treatment with the therapist I had, I was able to regain my life, and now I am striving to help others do the same thing. The recovery of my OCD has been centered around advocacy and activism, as well as activism.
It used to be so dreadful for me to think about the disorder, but now I can laugh at those thoughts. Both writing and speaking have been cathartic experiences for me.
I promised that, in order to make this world a better place for those suffering from OCD, I would keep telling the truth, using my lived experience to speak straight from the heart, unapologetically, unashamed and relentlessly.
I gave a TEDx Talk about the education system and how we can do more to ensure that no one is left behind in 2018 as well as in 2022 on “the straitjacket of masculinity and male mental health.”
As of now, there remains a third TEDx Talk in my periphery that aims to raise awareness about OCD and to raise funds for this mental illness that has been severely underfunded and underresearched for years.
Being the right influence on society is my core mission, not a fraudulent social media influence.
The lack of representation led me to create a WhatsApp group for black people with OCD. This group is small at the moment, but with a lot of potential. Despite this, Sam Cooke reminds us that change is coming.
By sharing my story, I am halving the burden on my shoulders that I had when I was at the height of my OCD breakdown.
I am now willing to take on a new responsibility to become the person I wanted to be when I was at the height of my OCD breakdown.
Since my mental health advocacy and activism has taken off i am making use of the NCTJ i was studying to become a journalism, by embarking on freelance writing, with published articles in countless publications such as BBC News, The Metro, Inews, Screenshot Media, Treat My OCD, Black Minds Matter UK, Disability Expo and MQ Mental Health Research, Kindred
The COVID-19 conference inspired my podcast, “Flower Hour,” about bridging societal gaps and working toward a more inclusive society.
I’ve had the chance to interview a bunch of people like Lavinya Stenett, founder of the Black Curriculum, Melz Owusu, from Free Black University, and Africa Brooke, international life coach.
Outside of my creative pursuits, my dedication to social justice and social equity is matched through working in the creation of a legalised cannabis economy in the UK through Transform Drug Policy Foundation and the black-led social enterprise Blax Sok, aiming to regulate and create a commodified market for cannabis whilst leading the charge for social justice.
In this work, I produce, direct and host “The Green Food” podcast speaking to guests in relation to topics of social injustice and social inequality.
My favourite saying currently is by Carl Jung, “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
Whilst I am not religious, from the trauma our people have been through for years we lived in hell, with no agency over our personhood, I have become the man I am thanks to my ancestors and the relentless and incessant idea I can better the world for the generations after me who will come.
Social Media: theshaunflores