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AN INSPIRING STORY OF HOW LITERATURE IS USED AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Kagan Goh sharing an inspiring Facebook Messenger message I just received from my friend Mohamed Jasim about how my book Surviving Samsara profoundly changed his friend Ali Fadel's life and inspired him to seek medical help and treatment. I obtained permission from Mohamed Jasim and his friend Ali Fadel to share the communication between us. Today Friday 25 February 2022 Kagan Goh met with Mohamed Jasim and Ali Fadel at the Forecast Coffee on 14th avenue and Main Street. Later we went to Odin Books, a mental health bookstore to pick up copies of Mary Ellen Copeland's WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) book. It was a heartrending meeting of kindred spirits. This is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong friendship.

Mohamed Jasim Good Morning Kagan

I just wanted to send a message to you for my friend. He struggles with anxiety, depression and substance abuse. I recommended he read Surviving Samsara. We went to Indigo together and picked it out a few weeks ago. To say the least your book has changed his life. You’ve inspired him to get the help he needs and get back on his medication. He desires a better life more strongly than I’ve ever seen.

Ali Fadel: I was on page 45 and I just finished the book in one sitting.

Mohamed Jasim: Hahah that's amazing! I was literally just thinking about messaging you. How was it?

Ali Fadel: Bro I want to thank you for suggesting this as my first book. It really opened my eyes and gave me hope. I'm seeing my psychiatrist this Sunday early afternoon to request going back on my medication for anxiety. This book inspired my decision. I shouldn't continue to suffer. I need to put my mental health first and then all these positive life changes will stay maintained. I'm playing with fire having gone off the meds and expecting not to relapse. I'm gonna do this bro inshallah only up from here. I fucking loved this book man. The happiest of endings. I'm so proud of Kagan bro. Nearly cried at some part towards the end. Can't spoil it. Miss you man.

Mohamed Jasim: Miss you too bro I'm so glad this book helped and inspired you! Can I share this message with Kagan?

Ali Fadel: I'd feel honoured man. I'd love to meet him sometime if that's possible.

Kagan Goh sent: Dear Mohamed I am so incredibly happy that my book Surviving Samsara is inspiring your friend to seek medical help and go back on his meds. This book is a lifesaver and if it can help inspire people like your friend, my life's work is fulfilled. I wonder if you and your friend would be willing to share this post on my Facebook page because this inspiring message could save lives. If not that's okay too for keeping his identity anonymous.But if he's the courage to break the silence of the stigma of mental health, we would be helping others which is what this life is all about

Mohamed Jasim: Your response brought tears to my eyes. I can’t wait to share with Ali. I’m sure he will be most happy to share his story as soon as I ask him

Kagan Goh sent: This message means everything to me. There's no shame in being sick. There's no sick people. Only people with a sickness. We are first and foremost human beings. That's our birthright which can never be taken away. Your message brings tears to my eyes. I am crying from happiness and gratitude.

Mohamed Jasim: You’ve changed a life my friend and he’s my best friend. I’m eternally grateful to you

Kagan Goh sent: My life's mission is to educate people about mental health issues and help fight the stigma and prejudice and discrimination against the mentally ill

Mohamed Jasim: To be honest man, I have a few very close friends of mine with mental Illness, two with manic depression and one with a very severe depression. I am an empath and I take it as my mission to help them as well. It brings me great joy to see them improve every year that goes by.

Kagan Goh sent: Dear Mohamed I would be most happy to meet with you and your friend Ali and share some resources and give advice how to navigate the mental health system and avoid the pitfalls. I work as a mental health worker in my day job and off work I continue to help people who reach out to me. I'd do this altruistic work even if I wasn't paid. If you know anyone who needs advice and help to navigate the mental health system and access resources and services I am at your beck and call.

Mohamed Jasim: Ali has let me know that he would be honoured for you to share his story!

As my friend Stephen Gray predicted, this book is becoming a life-saver for people with mental illness, giving them a roadmap of how to navigate the mental health system. Here is Stephen Gray's Goodreads review:

Stephen Gray rated Surviving Samsara 5 out of 5 stars.

To say that "Surviving Samsara" is an important book is an understatement. This book could be a life-saver for people who have gone through the extreme conditions that overcame Kagan Goh and from which he successfully worked his way back to a healthy and stable life.

The book will also be an influential eye-opener for people working in mental health fields. For the rest of us, reading "Surviving Samsara" will provide a rare opportunity to see (and empathize with) what mental illness and recovery look like from the inside.

Not only is this an honest and revealing document, Kagan is an excellent writer with several books and other projects to his credit. At times poetic, the narrative engages and flows.

Filled with bountiful gratitude that my book is making a positive impact on people's lives.

Mad Love & Love Madly Kagan Goh


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