Brighid O'Shaughnessy has been working nationally in mental health for nearly 25 years. With a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago with a focus on Trauma and Neuroscience and a graduate certificate in Restorative Justice in Education from EMU, she offers coaching, consulting, training and advocacy to support both youth and adults.

Her focus is on building people's capacity to lean into and prioritize healthy relationships and repair harm when it happens. She also works to ensure schools are as equitable and just as possible, especially for students of color and those with mental health challenges, disabilities and neurodivergence. She currently is a Restorative Practices Coach at Stevenson Elementary School on the Southwest Side of Chicago and also works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Diverse Learners Advocate.

Prior to her work in schools, she was the Founder and Longtime Executive Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance, a non-profit that uses documentary theatre to shed light on issues of mental health. Her productions at ETD reached over 55,000 people across the country and her novel approach to mental health awareness and stigma reduction led to teaching and collaborative opportunities at both University of Illinois at Chicago and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

She has garnered many grant awards for her work such as the 3Arts Vision Award, was named one of the U.S.'s top 200 Heroic Leaders making a difference in the country by Extra Mile America and has been featured on WBEZ, ABC News, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, The Reader, New City and more. She was granted funding from such prestigious groups as The Chicago Community Trust, The Driehaus Foundation, Rebecca's Dream, The Chicago Cultural Center, and the Illinois Arts Council to name just a few. She is currently spending all of 2024 working on a new theatrical piece exploring the impacts of adoption on families, highlighting her own families journey with transracial adoption.

Brighid has been a Nia practitioner for nearly 20 years and teacher for over a decade, sparking health and wellbeing through movement to people of all ages and physical abilities. She teaches twice a week currently and has a stalwart group of students who attend her classes regularly. She loves providing healing spaces for people to return to and reclaim their bodies and find the connection between their physical and emotional lives. She is also a Certified Qoya Teacher and is believes the body is a gateway to intuition and inner guidance.

For her resume click here.

Brighid O'Shaughnessy, LSW
Founder, Return to the Roots