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Stephen Nawotniak

Starting in May of 2000, Steve completed an 8 month, non-motorized trek from Buffalo, NY to Key West, FL. He canoed across NY on the Erie Canal, sailed the Hudson River into New York City, hiked the Appalachian Trail to Roanoke, VA and biked to Key West, FL. Along the way he gave presentations to over 1000 youth on the values of volunteerism and education and completed over 230 hours of community service along the way. He studied the geology of the Eastern United States as part of his Self Designed Masters Degree. These studies complimented his Bachelors in Earth Science, Secondary Education.
Two years later, in August 2002, Steve was hospitalized for a week with a major depressive episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The next 8 years of his life was spent learning how to live with his condition on the journey from hospitalized patient to licensed healthcare professional. Steve published the book Handbook for Healthy Living with a Mood Disorder sharing the skills and tools he uses daily to live, what he calls, a desired quality of life. Steve has spoken at various events including the International Association of Peer Specialists, The Museum of disABILITY History in Buffalo, New York and various high schools in the Western New York area to challenge the stigmas associated with mental health.
His Mubu the Morph children’s book series speaks to the inner journey we all face as we discover our purpose. Mubu’s concept was generated from Steve’s personal experiences of his bipolar condition and professional experiences as an Occupational Therapist. Stephen currently lives and practices Occupational Therapy in Buffalo, NY.

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