“The more Manya spoke, the more I felt something
special in her message!” – First responder
“Great job turning your tragedy into a way to help those around you.” – Participant, APCO conference
“It is not easy to talk about the psychological and/or mental aspects of disaster response. I applaud your efforts to bring this to the forefront and open it up to discussion.” – Stuart G.
“Insightful information from a survivor.” – Participant, IAEM conference
“Great content, very eye opening.” – Participant, NENA conference
In advocacy work with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Manya was able to influence new legislation: H.R. 5703 – Post-Disaster Mental Health Act, which will expand federal support (through the Stafford Act) for mental health services after disasters. Read Here.
Manya learned about courage, strength, and resilience the hard way – when bombs exploding at the finish line of the Boston Marathon shattered her life. From her experience of post-traumatic stress and being an invisible victim because of her lack of physical injuries, Manya gained an understanding of what it means to find one’s voice and fight for a seat at the table, the importance of moving past stigma and recognizing psychological impacts of violence and other difficult events, and the value of compassion and inclusiveness.