In this "How to talk policy and influence people" interview with Mick Finnegan, National Expert by Experience Adviser at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, we discuss his experience of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including being a victim of child sexual abuse by a senior officer in St John Ambulance. We talk about the consequences of embodied trauma stemming from rape, including serious mental health problems and homelessness. We consider the culture of denial around trauma and dominant biomedical model of distress and the reluctance of many mental health practitioners to routinely ask questions about trauma which may be at the root of people's "symptoms". We discuss the stigma surrounding mental health problems, suicide attempts and the benefits and limits of medicating misery. We talk about the the detrimental impact on survivors when they are not believed and supported and the failures of organisations like St John Ambulance, and individuals within them, to take effective steps to protect children from known sexual predators (see https://www.irishtimes.com/new...g-believed-1.4331594). We consider the inadequacies of the trauma-blind criminal justice system, the low levels of prosecution for crimes involving sexual violence and the healing nature of Tusla's finding that there was strong evidence supporting Mick's allegations against the St John Ambulance volunteer. We talk about relational repair and Mick's emotional reunion with his father after years of estrangement and his hopes for the future, including his academic, professional and advocacy-related goals.