The Big Idea
It all started in the back of a minivan in Northern New Jersey. After being discharged from in-patient treatment and sent home with a thick prescription and a pat on the back, 16-year -old Kat Dolan thought, what am I supposed to do now?
A decade later, Kat has created the space she wished existed when she needed it most.
"I grew up repeatedly hearing the tired phrase, 'You are not alone' without any physical evidence to back this. Out of Your Mind provides a space for others to see how 'not alone' they truly are," says Dolan.
By coordinating donation based events twice a month in the Boone, North Carolina community (with plans to expand nation & worldwide), Out of Your Mind fosters a creative space to eradicate social isolation and reframe mental illness as a Mental Opportunity.
“This is not a ‘tell all’ space," Dolan says, "Out of Your Mind intends to provide exactly what the name implies—a chance to step outside the rabbit hole of circular thinking and share an experience with others who understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset and growing in emotional intelligence.”
Out of Your Mind is not your typical mental health organization. OYM introduces a creative approach to mental health and instead encouraging participants to "get better" and "stop suffering", OYM provides a space to grow in passion for life and just be ourselves--whoever that may be.
In a society that is quick to generalize and group together the "mentally ill", OYM asks us to PAY ATTENTION to one another and REALIZE that our individual ability to TRY TO UNDERSTAND each other is what helps the most. Out of Your Mind encourages all participants, near and far, to reach out of their minds and into their hearts.
Founder & Director
Performance Poet, Writer and Mental Health Advocate, Kat is constantly working to foster community for all those who have (or have had) mental health effect their lives. By planting the grassroots of OYM in her town of Boone, North Carolina, Kat has seen first hand what a positive environment and creative peer support can do for the overall wellbeing of her peers and herself.
"The level of calm I feel after OYM events, particularly group hikes, is palpable. I never worry about being misunderstood at OYM--there is a unspoken sense of acceptance among participants and where there is no judgement there is abundant room for meaningful connection."
Exceptional wanderer, Kat spends much of her time traveling for motivational speaking engagements, hole-in-the-wall open mics and poetry gigs. She is also rather fond of trail running, DIY projects and knitting hats.