Sometimes I get worked up about promoting mental health awareness. I get upset about stigmatization and marginalization of persons with mental health issues, disorders and disease. I get angry with people who would either judge people whose mental health is less than optimal, or exploit us for gain.
But if you’ve read my blog before, I’m not likely telling you anything new. And in all sincerity, I sometimes feel I rant about these things too much. (Although I also often feel these topics aren’t addressed adequately in public forums.)
So if I get a chance to bring awareness to the public, in a positive way, I’ll usually jump at that opportunity. And such an opportunity presented itself to me recently. I was asked to participate in a public show and book launch at the local hospital.
The book launch component was the hospital publicly acknowledging the Recovery Booklet for Mental Health that was written and published by our friend Melanie Knapp with contributions from other community members including me. The book has been available since last year and there are funded copies of it available in the mental health department of our hospital to aid those who might find assistance or encouragement in its pages.
The show aspect of this opportunity was a collection of spoken word, poems and songs written and performed by people who were either care givers or consumers or both. The M.C. Of the event was Miss Knapp herself and the entertainment was all orchestrated and organized by her.
My role was small enough, I sang two of my songs and made sure that those in attendance were aware that I have Adult ADHD.
You know, I thought it was going well. It was scheduled to be 2 hours long and we thought it would possibly wind up earlier than that, but it actually came in almost right on the dot of two hours.
The music, poetry and spoken word entertainment was a good and healthy cross section of competent amateur offerings with some semi professional parts to it. All in all, a show worth seeing.
But that’s not really the point. The point that made this a success is that the audience responded positively, so positively in fact that the powers that be at the hospital have publicly suggested that they’d like to see this become an annual Mental Health Week occurrence.
I can’t fault them for that, and it’s another opportunity to educate the public, and to raise awareness.
So if I’m asked, I’ll be going back. The more they know, the less the stigma.
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Last reviewed: 11 May 2014