CSUB held a virtual mental illness and recovery reconceptualization


Canva illustration by Marlene Garcia/ The Runner

Joselyn Green, Staff Writer

Mental illness is a very serious issue and recovery can be extensive. However, what comes after recovery?  CSU Bakersfield held a virtual mental illness and recovery reconceptualization with Natalia Salinas on Friday, March 25. Salinas was a student at CSUB in the late 90’s, in which she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology.   

Salinas published a book in Dec. 2021 titled “Natalia Salinas M.S.W., L.C.S.W” it’s about her personal recovery. Salinas talked about how she had attempted suicide multiple times, and continued to speak about her background and her story growing up.  

Salinas said, “when my sister was born I was just one years old, and, and from that moment somewhere in my mind I, I felt like oh -I’m bothering my mom or I’m annoying her, or she didn’t have time for me.” She said now she can see how her mom had to divide up the time between both her and her little sister.  

“We don’t realize that these lenses are not really reality.” Salinas said that when she was able to take off those lenses she saw that her mom was really a loving person. Salinas self reflected about how she didn’t see herself going to college because of her “poor mental health” and her concentration level was not that great.

She expressed not getting along with friends and sisters. It was hard for Salinas to keep friends because anything they did she took as if they didn’t like her, which would cause her to act out of anger. Salinas said she didn’t stop fighting until she had her daughter at 23. Someone from the bar had to talk to Salinas after she started a bar fight. The person told her that she better be careful because the other girls were known to “fight dirty” and it made Salinas think about what she was going to do.  

Salinas was a single mother so she had to really start considering settling down and figuring it out. She had gotten her first social work job, and she said she was still self harming but would cover where she cut. She would scratch her hands and her supervisor at the job called her aside and asked what was going on and what was wrong with her hands, and Salinas would make things up  but the supervisor knew, so she started to research ways to get help.  

That incident inspired her to write a book, because of the misconceptions around mental illness. She started the book thinking that it would be helpful. Then it transitioned into her recovery story, and she likes that it went that way. She said, “it is a release of shame and it felt that way when writing the book.” Because so many people think once you recover it’s done, she said we should rethink how we look at recovery.

The quote that Salinas loves to use is by Emile Coue, “ Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, and better.”