The Voice Of Hope Articles

The Voice of Hope: Words Of the Wisdomless

Friday, September 16th, 2011
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Part 5 of The Voice Of Hope Newsletter Interview with Dianne Stringer the Peer Support Coordinator, Recovery Educator at Patient/Client & Family Council in Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada.

Chato B. Stewart is one of those gems you find when Googling for information for this newsletter. He opened himself up to me recently. Turns out, this guy has some real insight and we could all learn something from his path and his laughter. – Dianne Stringer

Chato B Stewart HumouristDianne: Any pearls of wisdom you can share would be wonderful!

Chato: People need to know it’s ok to talk about mental illness! Humor doesn’t just break the ice to help people feel comfortable talking about mental health, it builds bridges to connect people living with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder with those who don’t understand the illness by opening up channels of communication.
One of my favorite pearls of wisdom: “Live Life Like a Cartoon and Always Bring Your Eraser.”


The Voice of Hope: When Did You Start Drawing Mental Health Humor Cartoons?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011
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Part 4 of The Voice Of Hope Newsletter Interview with Dianne Stringer the Peer Support Coordinator, Recovery Educator at Patient/Client & Family Council in Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada.

Chato B. Stewart is one of those gems you find when Googling for information for this newsletter. He opened himself up to me recently. Turns out, this guy has some real insight and we could all learn something from his path and his laughter. – Dianne Stringer

Chato B Stewart HumouristDianne: What possesses you to draw?

Chato: Drawing the cartoons, like I mentioned earlier, started while I was in the psychiatric ward. What kept me drawing them was selfish reasons… You see, I was using the cartoons as art therapy. It wasn’t until I posted three cartoons online, after a friend encouraged me to make a website for them, that I realized the power behind something as simple as a cartoon to bring a little smile to one of my peers.

Within less than two months, I was hired as a blogger for mental health at a blogging network. In May 2010, I started blogging at Psych Central (established in 1995). It’s the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health and psychology network. I feel right at home blogging; not to mention meeting many mental health advocates and peers helps me feel that I’m not alone in my recovery.


The Voice of Hope: Positive Mental Health Humor

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
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Part 3 of The Voice Of Hope Newsletter Interview with Dianne Stringer the Peer Support Coordinator, Recovery Educator at Patient/Client & Family Council in Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada.

Chato B. Stewart is one of those gems you find when Googling for information for this newsletter. He opened himself up to me recently. Turns out, this guy has some real insight and we could all learn something from his path and his laughter. – Dianne Stringer

Chato B Stewart HumouristDianne: Have your cartoons always been relatively positive? If not, tell me about that.

Chato: Dianne, I started drawing the Mental Health Humor cartoons during my last vacation in the Crisis Stabilization Unit at Charlotte Behavioral Health Care in Punta Gorda, Florida in 2008. Right from the start, the cartoons were meant to be positive with a little flavor of skepticism.

My goal was to draw cartoons from the point of view of the consumer (survivor/patient). I figured, it’s about time that some cartoons focus on situations Mental Health Consumers deal with. Yet at the same time, give us a chance to laugh. Not to laugh at ourselves because we’re mentally ill… No, never, rather find humor in some of the situations we get ourselves into.


The Voice Of Hope: Humor to Escape Mental Illness

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
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Part 2 of The Voice Of Hope Newsletter Interview with Dianne Stringer the Peer Support Coordinator, Recovery Educator at Patient/Client & Family Council in Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada.

Chato B. Stewart is one of those gems you find when Googling for information for this newsletter. He opened himself up to me recently. Turns out, this guy has some real insight and we could all learn something from his path and his laughter. – Dianne Stringer

Chato B Stewart HumouristDianne: Have you always used humour to escape….or to connect? What is the difference?

Chato: Humor is used not only to escape and connect but to divert and draw in… When we hear someone laughing, who doesn’t turn, out of curiosity, to see what’s so funny? Still, I believe many of us use humor mostly as an escape from unwanted or unpleasant situations. I used humor when I was a child to deal with my turbulent relationship with my father… I quickly became the class clown in school. I think this was mainly due to the fact that I was dyslexic and had difficulty reading and learning in traditional ways. I could remember audible information and had a logical mind, so I was able to graduate high school without ever reading one book cover to cover.

Thirty years ago, there was no such thing as ADD or ADHD of which, I’m sure, I would have been labeled. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder that I ever thought of using humor for anything other than drawing attention away from my lack of education.


Mental Health
Humor



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