Jen Constantine – Op-Ed Bio

Jen Constantine is a psychiatric system survivor, mental health advocate, wife, and mom. Jen grew up in the Black Hills of rural South Dakota.  Socially isolated, exploration of the woods around her home and deeply spiritual experiences in nature permeated her early life and shaped her understanding.  Jen became an adept navigator of simultaneous multiple altered realities; though as a young adult she spent years incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals and “community mental health” centers, heavily medicated on multiple psychiatric drugs.  She formed the first peer support group in South Dakota in 2007 and, after discovering the peer movement, began volunteering with the newly forming non-profit South Dakota United for Hope and Recovery (SD United) in 2009.  Jen is currently Executive Director of SD United (still the only peer-run organization in SD) and is one of the subjects featured in the film “Healing Voices.”