ATEC - Episode 60: The Power of Advocacy After Childhood Trauma ft. Johnny Crowder

Episode 60: The Power of Advocacy After Childhood Trauma featuring Johnny Crowder

For 18 years, Johnny Crowder did not speak about the struggles he was enduring at home, partially because when he was young, he believed that abuse was normal, and partly because he wasn’t ready to break away from the patterns of self-harm he’d used for years to negotiate his trauma. But in 2011 he started advocating for mental health and sobriety and began working with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


By the time he graduated from high school Johnny was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and OCD. Because he was unhappy with other mental health resources available, he created Cope Notes in 2018 with the goal of offering daily text messages that provide mental and emotional health support as a first step to recovery. 
Today he’s a 28-year-old suicide and abuse survivor, touring musician, TedX speaker, host of The Cope Notes Podcast. He has fully embraced his role of mental health advocate and though he wishes he didn’t have to endure what he experienced growing up, is grateful he can use his story to help others get the support they need. 
Johnny Crowder is a 28-year-old suicide/abuse survivor, TEDx speaker, touring musician, mental health and sobriety advocate, and the Founder & CEO of Cope Notes, a text-based mental health platform that provides daily support to users in nearly 100 countries across the globe. With 10 years of clinical treatment, a psychology degree from UCF, and a full decade of peer support and advocacy through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) under his belt, Johnny’s youthful vigor for the topic of mental health is unmatched. Whether speaking at events or touring with his band, Johnny’s infectious positivity and firsthand experience with mental illness (ranging from bipolar disorder and OCD to schizophrenia) uniquely equip him to provide realistic, yet hopeful insight into the pains of hardship with authenticity, levity, and wit.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)