Creative Team Member, The Book
Founder, Katie Not Afraidy, LLC
Like most that suffer from anxiety, Gina has been living with her disorder for most of her life. Her earliest memory of experiencing childhood anxiety herself was at just 3 years old when she’d bite her hands as a coping mechanism. It was not until she was in her early 20’s that she was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. While seeking counseling and support, Gina tried to share her experiences openly but soon realized this wasn’t an illness most people talked about publicly.
While pregnant with her first daughter in 2009, Gina’s anxiety became more pronounced, as it does for many women, and she began the start of what would be a mission to destigmatize anxiety.
When her firstborn daughter was four, Gina recognized anxiety in her also, and dove into researching how to equip her daughter with tools to not only accept her condition but to thrive because of it.
Her work as a preschool teacher solidified her mission to ensure children suffering from anxiety would recognize it as their superpower, and to arm their parents with tools to help them move beyond the stigma.
Gina is a certified Anxiety & Stress Management Specialist through American School Counselor Association. She has shared her story at mental health conferences and founded an anxiety advocacy parent support group at her daughter’s school.
Currently, Gina serves as a primary school paraeducator where she supports students in learning academic, communication, behavior, organization, social-emotional, mobility, transition, and daily living skills. As she has embraced her superpower, she continues to seek out those with familiar superpowers.
Katie Not Afraidy was born from both the desire to empower children to successfully discuss and manage their own anxiety, and from Gina’s ultimate mission of ensuring all children feel safe and supported in their struggles with their “Story Bugs.”
Gina is married with two daughters, one of whom bears a close resemblance to Katie, and lives in small charming town, just outside Portland, Oregon.