Happy Birthday! Live & Learn, Inc. was incorporated in August 2014 and has since worked with organizations and stakeholders across the country on data-driven creative solutions in peer support, employment, and service user experiences.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 44% of incorporated small businesses fail after 5 years, putting Live & Learn, Inc. in a special group. In fact, many of the peer-run small businesses in our Directory have been around longer than that!
Let's take a look back at the top five things that have allowed Live & Learn, Inc. to flourish over the past five years.
#1: Our Team and Partners
First and foremost, thanks are due to the Live & Learn, Inc. teams and partners who are central to the work over the last five years.
Much of Live & Learn, Inc.'s success in engaging stakeholders in research is accomplished through long-term investments in relationship-building, co-collaboration, and ensuring the meaningful involvement of people with lived experience in all phases of our projects.
In particular we want to acknowledge our longstanding Peer Respite team (Bevin Croft, Sera Davidow, Chris Hansen, Keris Myrick, Darby Penney, and Sally Zinman), the Self Employment Starts with You Technical Advisory Panel (Crystal Blyler, Louise Byrne, Chris Hansen, Leah Harris, Pat Nemec, Mark Salzer, and Martha Shumway), the Reclaiming Employment team (Adrian Bernard, Lynnae Brown, Sabrina Darrow, Pat Nemec, BJ North, Chris Hansen, Leah Harris, Derek Malenczak, Jessica Maloney, PJ Moynihan, Allie Myers, Carina Smith, Lisa Smusz, and Anne Sullivan-Soydan), and the stakeholder advisors/team from the Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation Study (Monica Cassani, Bevin Croft, Lauren Donahue, Will Hall, Lauren Jessell, Vanessa Krasinski, and Dina Tyler).
#2: Our Clients and Supporters
Thank you to all of the organizations and institutions in research, government, advocacy, and direct service to the community who have enlisted Live & Learn, Inc.'s services to help accomplish our shared vision for redefining the status quo in mental health and social change. You can read more about our clients here.
#3: Our Community
We have successfully elevated the dialogue about innovative, grassroots community practices that meet the needs of millions of people in communities around the country. Our Peer Respite Directory links to information about over 30 peer respites across 14 states, while our Reclaiming Employment Business Directory grows larger every day to highlight socially enterprising small businesses in the U.S. that are operated by people with psychiatric histories. Please write to contact@LiveLearnInc.net to ask about joining!
#4: Public Engagement
Live & Learn, Inc. gets the word out about the work we are a part of through our list-serve, publications, presentations, and media coverage. Our list-serve has grown from a small group of colleagues in 2015 to nearly 2,000 subscribers in community-based organizations, government, academia, and entrepreneurship.
We use these channels to promote the work of our comrades and colleagues. For instance, through our bi-weekly Reclaiming Employment newsletters, we feature businesses operated by people with psychiatric histories.
Our publications make an impact. An impact score of 193 for the seminal article "Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications: A Survey of Long-Term Users" puts our work in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. Our projectshave an impact on society, gaining media attention in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, TruthOut.com, and shifting popular discourse.
#5: All of you
We have only been able to do this work because of the love and support we receive from all of you. Here is to another five challenging and rewarding years. Thank you!