Stability Network

Episode 30 – Sepee Zabala Loves Jazz

Sepeedeh or “Sepee” Zabala is a working mother of two who moved to Berkeley, California in 1993 as a Christian missionary.  Raised an atheist by Iranian parents who immigrated to the U.S in the sixties, she was baptized in a horse trough in a living room in Washington, D.C. while attending college.  Her spiritual journey continues, now a tapestry of proven practices that allow healing, health and well-being while communing with like-minded believers of no particular faith or denomination.

Sepee is a member of The Stability Network, publicly speaking about her experiences with Bipolar, Depression and Addiction.  She has advocated in Alameda County’s education and health systems for children and teens suffering brain health symptoms along with the challenges navigating school, adolescence, and relationships.  She hopes to continue to advocate for young people, as well as for adults like herself who greatly benefit from employer support and workplace safety.

Sepee graduated from Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1993 where she studied International Affairs and Theology.  For the last 14 years she’s worked at a leading global financial firm.

Topics include:

How did her family of origin react to her mental health struggles?

How has faith supported her mental health?

What work accomodation did she request?

How has The Stability Network supported her mental health advocacy work?

What does healing mean to you?


The Stability Network – Sepee and Eric are members, met at conference in 2018

Purdue University – the other Big Ten school in Indiana

Delight in Disorder – Tony’s blog where you can find more details about his upcoming book, “From Despair to Delight”

Jazz – Ken Burns documentary

The Stability Network Experience

By a matter of serendipity in early 2017, I was invited to join The Stability Network.  

The previous year, as a contract employee at Cummins Engine Company, I had put together a business case for creating a Mental Health Affinity Group.  The company already had other Affinity Groups that were focused on African American employees, Newcomers, LGBTQ employees, etc.

The intention was to create a safe place for those who identify with having a mental health diagnosis to share coping skills and their aspirations for success while effectively managing their mental health struggles. Unfortunately, my contract with Cummins ended and my main “corporate champion” for the cause was transferred to India.  

Through this process, I met Donna Hardaker.  When I was asked to create a business case for the value of the Affinity Group, Donna helped me find the statistics and other organizations already doing this kind of work. Donna is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the mental healthcare system. I was intrigued by her unique sense of the masked stigma and unique challenges that people with mental health diagnoses face in their career development.

After it was clear that the Affinity Group development had stalled, Donna surprisingly invited me to join The Stability Network. I was honored by the invitation and gladly accepted.

This past weekend, I attended The Stability Network’s national meeting in San Francisco. It was a follow up to last year’s regional meeting in New York City.  The energy at the meeting and the natural bonds between all the members was a great atmosphere to be around.

Over the past 2 years, my involvement has helped me gain deeper relationships with other mental health advocates, helped me craft my own advocacy storytelling techniques, and inspired me to start the Revealing Voices podcast. The Stability Network inspires and encourages people experiencing mental health challenges to thrive. I am fully committed to the vision to help people with mental health challenges to thrive in workplaces and communities.

As Tony and I prepare for season 2 of Revealing Voices, we will be highlighting some of the individuals from The Stability Network who boldly share their mental health journey.

During my time in San Francisco, I was blessed to get the chance to ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. The sight of this engineering marvel rising from the fog filled me with gratitude. The trip was rejuvenating and I’m energized by all my fellow advocates across the country.