Aug. 30, 2016

054 Serena Goldsmith: Crohn's And Bipolar Disorder A Story Of Hope And Recovery

054 Serena Goldsmith: Crohn's And Bipolar Disorder A Story Of Hope And Recovery

Recovery is remembering who you are and using your strengths to become all that you were meant to be

Serena Goldsmith is originally from the East Coast (New Jersey and Virginia), but moved to San Diego County with her family at the age of 13.  Serena went to high school in Encinitas, CA, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College in 1994, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Spanish.  

While attending Occidental, Serena developed serious physical and mental health symptoms and was diagnosed with two health conditions that greatly changed the course of her life: bipolar disorder and Crohn’s disease.  She has spent the past 20 years on a journey of discovery and recovery in order to find answers to how she could lead a healthy and meaningful life with these conditions.  Based on what she has learned, Serena has been able to achieve a level of wellness that makes it possible for her to pursue her dreams and goals and to live a healthy and happy life.  

Serena currently works as a Peer Support Specialist at North Coastal Mental Health Center in Oceanside, CA and does individual and group counseling with clients diagnosed with what are termed “severe and persistent” mental illnesses. Serena is also a student in the Master of Social Work Program at California State University San Marcos.  Serena’s career goals are to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to contribute her experience and knowledge about recovery to the field of mental health, to reduce stigma around mental illness, and to change mental health policies on a national level in order to create more person-centered and recovery-oriented mental health services in the United States and beyond.    

Serena is passionate about sharing her story and what she has learned over the past 20 years during the course of her recovery journey in order to bring hope, knowledge, and inspiration to others.  She has spoken for several different organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), International Bipolar Foundation, Tri-City Medical Center, and Mental Health Systems, Inc.  


  • Crohn's disease, Bipolar disorder, Mental Illness, It’s Okay And Important To Talk About This, Depression and Anxiety, Suicide, Psychosis, Hope, Recovery Educator.
  • Mary Ellen Copeland and the Copeland Center
  • Serena as a facilitator for the Copeland Center’s curriculum Mental Health Recovery and WRAP (Wellness, Recovery Action Plan). The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be.
    • Hope – People who experience mental health difficulties get well, stay well and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.
    • Personal Responsibility – It’s up to you, with the assistance of others, to take action and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.
    • Education – Learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of you life.
    • Self Advocacy – Effectively reaching out to others so that you can get what it is that you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.
    • Support – While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.
  • “Recovery is remembering who you are and using your strengths to become all that you were meant to be.” ~ Recovery Innovations

Wellness Tip

Wellness Tools? - What works for you that helps you stay well.

Links and Resources Mentioned


Alternative Health Tools Practitioners Party Pics

Contact information

Email Serena Goldsmith

Using podsafe music from

Loveshadow - Almost Given Up
Nethis - Steady
Speck - Greensleeves (whatever mix)

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