Our Town with Sarada Connors: Dr. B Radio Feature

Sarada: Joining me here on our town, I have Dr. B. I would attempt to say Dr. Cristi’s last name, but I’m going to let her say it. A local Naval Commander Nurse responding to the mental health crisis with a very unique mobile app that’s launching. Very excited to feature you here on Our Town. So, Dr. B, how do you say your last name?

Dr. B: Bundukamara, like see you tomorrow.

Sarada: Bundukamara

Dr. B: Yes, it’s actually phonetically correct, it’s just a lot of letters, so it’s intimidating and thank you so much for bringing me onto the show and I’m just so excited about what we can do here in the community with the app and the launches of different courses and stuff, I’d like to just give a little bit of information about myself.
I have 20 years of clinical experience as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and my doctorates is in healthcare education. But that’s not where I feel like I get my credentials. I feel like I get my credentials and my experience from things that have happened in my life. I’ve adopted five children and I have two biological children and the five children you know came from the foster care system so had some things like PTSD and reactive attachment disorder. And our first major hardship as a family was losing our son Johnny in a drowning accident, then a couple years later, my son, Reggie, was diagnosed with a terminal condition called DRPLA, and my husband and my other daughter will likely die of the same condition, and my son died in 2016.
That’s when I decided to start mentally strong.
So mentallystrong.com we have a lot of things going on. We are going to be launching this app here and it’s going to be a supportive community, where you can ask questions and get professional feedback and really, learn what I call The Mentally STRONG Method and The Mentally STRONG Method is what I used to take care of myself. So, in the midst of my son being diagnosed then my husband and my daughter a couple years after losing Johnny and the PTSD and reactive attachment disorder of my other kids was really just coming to the forefront since they were teenagers. I needed to take care of myself and The Mentally STRONG Method is this. All my years of clinical experience mixed with my life experience into a practical model that can be taught to anybody.
You know we talk about mental strength being an attribute that we respect in people, but we don’t really have ways of teaching it, and so I want to present the mentally strong method to the world that this is a way. That we can all be a little bit mentally stronger each day that this is a life journey and I can just tell you it’s not easy. I’ve had to use it on myself for so long.

Sarada: And we all you know we all go through things and sometimes we don’t know how to process that. We don’t know how to deal with that.

Dr. B: Sometimes we go to a professional therapist for a period of time, but maybe don’t leave with tools that we can use for a lifetime and The Mentally STRONG Method is this tool that we can use for a lifetime and the app that we’re launching is kind of a step down from the courses so we have the Mentally STRONGer together course, where you can learn The Mentally STRONG Method and then join the app and then everybody in the app is kind of speaking the same language so we can talk about our journey and what we’re doing, and how we are living our life, thinking, organizing and choosing to be happy despite what’s going on. And we all need it. I mean if we are honest. We all could use tools to help us, you know, organize our brain and make good choices. A lot of times we know what choices we should be making, but all of the mess is holding us back.

Sarada: Right and just feeling like people understand you. So that’s so important with mental health is people feel like no one understands me. But you’re like, no, I do so.

Dr. B: Right

Sarada: Mentallystrong.com is the website. You are also an author of two books. Tell us about your books.

Dr. B: Yeah, so the first one I started writing right after Reggie died in 2016. And so, it’s really kind of that the journey of creating the mentally strong method. It doesn’t. It talks about it a little bit, but it’s really about all of the hardship I was going through. As you know, my teenage girls went through a lot of things where they were running away, being rebellious, making choices that make some other stomach. That all of those struggles as Reggie was getting worse in his diagnosis and trying to juggle all of these emotional pieces. So the first one is my story and then the second one is the actual method and how we do that. So you know the first part is like how do you think through what’s going on in your brain? And then how do you organize it? A lot of people tell me, Oh yeah, I went to a therapist for a while, but I feel like we just talked and I know there’s good therapists that are highly trained. They’re probably doing techniques, but a lot of time the recipient feels like. I’m just talking and so I want people to feel empowered that they can actually learn to think, organize and choose what’s going on in their brain, and they can, you know, have that strength. Strength is not just, you know, pushing through. Sometimes it’s you know it needs to be taught.
So all the things that we do, we are also launching the Raising Mentally STRONG Kids Course which has years of theoretical content, developmental theory, and then how to use The Mentally STRONG Method to start teaching our children at a very young age how to organize their thoughts and make choices.

Sarada: Love it, this is incredible and I see it’s currently available now for download on the iOS and Android device. Do you just search mentally strong in the app stores?

Dr. B: Yes, you just search the search mentally strong. It’ll come up. The free version has a lot of you know positive thoughts, things that we’re doing around the community, and then the paid version is where you can interact with professionals. You can get information about The Mentally STRONG Method. I strongly encourage people to start with a course because they’ll understand the method as we’re communicating because we do like to communicate with that kind of same language of this is how we think about our life. And yes, we do need to sometimes go backwards and say, OK, you know these things in your childhood are are still affecting you. However, how do we let those goes go? What can we address and what can we let go? And you know, kind of helping people organize that. And it’s very distinct. This is kind of a bridge between professional counseling and life coaching and life coaching industry is great industry. But I feel like it’s a lot of. Well, just think positive and your life will be fine and I have lived through that, that’s not a reality I have, I think, positive all the time. I am constantly trying to reframe and bring in, you know, positive energy. I allude positive energy. A lot of people are like I can’t believe that you can still be happy after what you’ve been through.

Sarada: Uh-huh

Dr. B: But I do and I believe that we all can. And so that’s what we are trying to teach, and we’re trying to support that. And when you know we want Mentally STRONG to be a brand that that you think about t not only when you need help, but maybe when your friend needs help and it’s that bridge between you know needing professional help and life coaching. We do provide professional help in our face-to-face clinic which we have one in Colorado Springs, and we plan to franchise that as well.

Sarada: Mentallystrong.com is the website. Mentally STRONG you can go and download it, Snoop around her website, but nobody should live in anger and sorrow.

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