EPISODE #22 | May 30, 2019

Guest: Charles K. Poole


Life hasn’t exactly turn out the way he expected. Given his circumstances growing up poor, even homeless at one point, with his mom and older brother and sister, Charles Poole could have easily melded into the statistics that tend to define families — especially young black males – living in poverty. But defying the odds is a significant part of what makes Charles who he is. Even with outliving his entire immediate family at the age of 56, Charles is full of life and endowed with a keen wisdom born only through experience and tragedy. How has he found the resilience to move on from circumstances that would render most people mentally and emotionally spent? Faith. Hope. Family. And knowing himself.

After graduating from Saint Louis University with a communication degree in the mid-80s, Charles moved from St. Louis and landed on Los Angeles soil, where he took a hard look at his life. As a writer by nature, his mental well-being found solace in the written word. And his cathartic blog revealed glimpses of himself that evolved into a series of three books themed, “I Am My Own Cause.” In this week’s episode of Mental Health Matters, Executive Director Tom Duff, MSW, LCSW talks with Charles about finding hope amidst tragedy and trauma, returning to St. Louis for reasons he didn’t understand at the time, and what happens when Charles poses the daily question: “What would you have me do with this day, Lord?”