Ask Gabe Howard Anything About Bipolar Disorder and I guarantee you’ll Get a Straight Answer!

By Chato B. Stewart

Many of my Mental Health Humor readers may remember or recall this year 2014 Cartoon-a-thon for Mental Health Heroes almost did not happen…If it was not for the loving-persistence of my 3 girls who wanted to draw all the heroes…there may not of been any cartoons.

What was the snag this year that held it back? Simply, as a peer, I had symptoms of my Bipolar Disorder and this episode was a doozy! Needless to say, I was down and depressed for over 5 months. Three months were severe, but my girls insisted we push on with the drawing. Drawing the caricatures was Art Therapy for my depression and helped me break through and start functioning again.

One of the blessings of the 2014 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-a-Thon was meeting Gabe Howard. He was nominated from a previous Mental Health Hero: Christina Huff or (Bipolar Hot Mess).

When I looked over his website and Facebook page, I knew right away why Christina Huff recommend Gabe.

I drew all the cartoons black and white for the 2014 Cartoon-a-thon. Just drawing them was a challenge in of itself. Yet, Gabe Howard and I built a friendship via email and text. Encouraging each other. From that time we started talking, I kept telling him I was going to go back and color his caricature. Bipolar gives a new meaning to the term procrastination.

It only took three and half months…not only did I color it, I re-drew it digitally to clean up the lines.

I am happy to present this to my friend Gabe Howard – we are going to give the star treatment to a mental illness activist, writer, and blogger, as well as a 2014 Mental Health Hero.

Recently he won the prestigious title of “LIVING BOLD”

I have Bipolar & Anxiety Disorders and I #LiveBold on HealthCentral

I asked Gabe Howard to tell my readers about his advocacy:

Gabe HowardWell, Living with bipolar and anxiety disorders I try to use that “life experience” to educate, motivate, and inspire others. Realizing that ignorance of mental illness is a direct cause of the fear, discrimination, and stigmatization of people with mental illness, I’ve made it my personal mission to raise the level of people’s understanding about these disorders. 

I am achieving my personal goals while helping thousands with educating, motivating, and inspiring as a speaker, writer, and motivator. It’s made me a better person getting to know so many new people, people like Chato Stewart.

I have always worked tirelessly to motivate others to seek help for their issues and to instill hope that they, too, will overcome. Yet I’m realistic and positive and Found words are hollow if you don’t lead by example, so, I back up my words with actions!

Gabe currently serves on The Ohio Empowerment Coalition ~ OEC’s board of directors and previously served on the board of NAMI Ohio. He was also a former committee member for the Suicide Prevention Council. He has testified in front of the Ohio General Assembly; assists with police officer training through the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) Program; and worked with veterans suffering from mental illness. Gabe has been a guest lecturer at multiple universities, including The Ohio State University; and has done many speaking appearances in multiple states for audiences of all sizes. In addition to his work with groups, Gabe has worked one-on-one with hundreds of families and people with mental illness.

Gabe is a co-author of the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog, writes a monthly blog for the International Bipolar Foundation, has a regular column on Elephant Journal, and has been featured in the Wall Street JournalColumbus DispatchColumbus MonthlyNAMI Advocate, Stigma Fighters, multiple Suburban News Publication newspapers, WCMH channel 4, WBNS Channel 10, multiple over-the-air radio outlets, multiple internet radio stations and podcasts, company training videos, agency internet promotional videos, and many newsletters and online blogs. He has also been a guest columnist in several online publications and blogs and now is a 2014 mental health hero for PsychCentral.com!

Congratulations, Gabe Howard!

GabeHoward

His Personal Mini-Biography:

Gabe Howard is a keynote speaker, award-winning advocate, mental illness blogger and writer, as well a person living with severe bipolar and anxiety disorders. In the past ten years, he has made it his mission to put a face on mental illness that isn’t stereotypical. Society often sees people living with mental illness at their worst and he works to add a more balanced view to the conversation. Gabe is frequently irreverent, often too loud, and always unpredictable, but anyone who knows him will tell you that life would be so boring without him. You can connect with Gabe on TwitterFacebook and his website.

 



Say Hello To ‘Michael Scotti Jr’ Creator of the #doubtfireface

By Chato B. Stewart

In my last few posts, you got to see My #doubtfireface Suicide Prevention Challenge.  Also, my research on American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the #doubtfireface challenge this led me to Michael Scotti, Jr. creator of the viral video: Say “Helloooo” to #suicideprevention!

I reached out to him via e-mail and he I asked if I could ask him a few questions for my Mental Health Humor blog.

Chato Stewart: I’m a blogger and mental health advocate that uses humor as a tool to teach, comfort and help heal my-self and my peers. The loss of Robin Williams…huge! Michael – great thinking with the say “Hello” To Suicide Prevention #doubtfireface challenge!  I would love to ask You a few questions to be published on my Psych Central blog with my video. I was at a restaurant with my wife and 4 kids and grabbed one of my girl’s dessert and did a “Doubtfire.”

Michael Scotti JrMichael Scotti Jr.:  Thanks so much for reaching out and for your Doubtfireface support. I agree. The loss of Robin Williams is a tragedy. He was not only an icon of comedy, but also served as one my biggest inspirations to have a sense of humor always and to follow my dreams of becoming a filmmaker. I would be happy to answer your questions.

Chato Stewart: Where and when did the idea “Doubtfire face” first come to you? 

Michael Scotti Jr.: The movement began on August 11th, the night of Robin’s passing, as a way to honor him and pay tribute to his work in my home in Matawan, New Jersey. I was writing a Facebook post honoring him, and scrolled by a photo of him with his face in cream from Mrs. Doubtfire and it made me smile. Moments later, my sister walked in the door and I asked her to film me, for fun, recreating the short scene. I did it because that was my grieving process. I wanted a way to celebrate Robin’s life and honor him the best way I know how, through film. He was my idol.

The original video that started it all can be seen here.

Chato Stewart: What led you to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention site?

Michael Scotti Jr.: I posted it online with the hashtag “#doubtfireface” and tagged a few friends just to see where it might go. Almost immediately, my friends and family began to join me in making Doubtfire Face videos. I quickly realized the potential this could have in the awareness of suicide prevention. Less than 24 hours later, the Doubtfire Face For Suicide Prevention Facebook page, and hashtag “#sayhellotosuicideprevention” was created. The page’s goal is to provide a community for people who want to share their Doubtfire Face videos, honor Robin Williams, to help spread awareness and to act as a hub for suicide prevention resources.

Chato Stewart: The “Doubtfire Face For Suicide Prevention” is a personal campaign sponsored by you “Michael Scotti Jr.” for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…What Does this mean?

Michael Scotti Jr.:  Along with the Facebook page, and in lieu of all the attention the movement garnered, I created the official campaign on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention web site with our goal of $500,000. Although a financial goal is set, our true goal is to promote mental health awareness and spark the conversation on suicide prevention. We chose the AFSP because we believe in what they are doing. We believe that through their research studies and prevention programs they provide an outlet of opportunity to not only help us understand suicide and mental illness, but also how we can reach the masses most effectively.

Chato Stewart: Does AFSP support or fund the campaign?

Michael Scotti Jr.:  The campaign is sponsored by myself. This means that we are not associated with the organization at all, they are just the charity we have chosen to direct our donations. They are not funding the campaign in any way but they are in full support, providing national social media coverage as well as specific chapter support by doing and supporting the challenge.

Chato Stewart: Your goal is $500,000, and right now your at 1% – that is great considering it’s a personal campaign.  I’m sure others have donated directly to AFSP.

Michael Scotti Jr.:  At this moment, we have raised almost $4300, and we are extremely proud of that. We have seen an outcry of support from those who have seen others suffer or are suffering themselves. We have heard countless personal stories of how suicide and mental illness have touched peoples lives. From the United States, to South Africa, to Whales, to Pakistan, we have seen videos from everywhere. We have also been covered on local radio and news outlets — Scene on Seven, Kidd Nation, Q92.9, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Bustle. People are truly suffering everywhere and we like to think that we have created a universal place where people can go to relate to each other and find support through hearing others stories while also hopefully getting a good laugh. We like to think thats what Robin Williams would have wanted. Although the movement started out as a way to honor Robin William’s life, we like to think it turned into a way for others to celebrate life in general.

Chato Stewart: As “Doubtfire face” keeps going viral, what would you like to see happen?  Obviously money being raised, but I’m sure you can envision more?

Michael Scotti Jr.:  Moving forward, we would love to see some support from those who knew Robin personally and just to see even more people making Doubtfireface videos in order to keep the conversation going. We would love to encourage others to come together as communities to create their videos. Suicide Prevention Week is coming up, and we hope that the Doubtfire Face will be on the list of things people do to spread awareness and to honor the ones they have lost. There is no better time.

Chato Stewart:

Michael Scotti Jr.:  We cant speak officially yet, but we would like to see an official Doubtfireface for Suicide Prevention meet up or event in the near future where we can come together, make videos, celebrate Robin William’s and life together, and to allow people to realize that it is OK to talk about it. It may be tough and it may hurt, but society will never understand how many people are suffering silently unless we do. Even if that saves one life, we have done our job.

Chato Stewart: Congratulations on the success of the “Doubtfire face” movement, who would YOU now challenge?

Michael Scotti Jr.:  Although I know we are already beyond successful in achieving our goals for the Doubtfire Face movement and I am beyond grateful for it, I would love to challenge Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ellen DeGeneres

Chato Stewart: Well you heard it here first folks: Michael Scotti Jr creator of the #doubtfireface is challenging Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ellen DeGeneres…and YOU to support the campaign.  Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and share your great story!

Michael Scotti Jr.:  Thank you so much for your interest.

Facebook: facebook.com/doubtfireface
Twitter: twitter.com/doubtfireface
Official AFSP Donation Page: afsp.donordrive.com/campaign/doubtfireface
 
 
Read all the media Coverage so Far:
Here is a master list of articles and media coverage we have compiled:Elite Daily: http://elitedaily.com/envision/doubtfire-faces-raise-suicide-awareness/707937/,Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/doubtfire-face_n_5675975.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment&ir=Entertainment

Flow95: http://www.flow935.com/thescoop/2014/08/14/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention#sthash.QJGZSxG9.dpbs

Star94FM: http://www.star94.com/info-2-go/2014/08/14/new-facebook-challenge-mrs-doubtfires-hello-for-suicide-prevention-video

The Bert Show: http://thebertshow.com/new-facebook-challenge-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-suicide-prevention/

The Buzz: ‘http://www.thebuzz.com/onair/rod-ryan-show-links-and-guests-52901/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention-12668850/

96.5fm http://www.news965.com/news/news/local/doubtfire-face-suicide-prevention-challenge/ng2y2/

Q92.9fm http://www.q929fm.com/Maria-Accepts-Mrs-Doubtfire-HELLO-Face-Challenge-f/16765506?pid=421079&do=1

http://www.q929fm.com/Q-Listeners-Accepted-the-DoubtfireFace-HELLO-Chall/16765506?pid=421315&do=1

xl102 Richmond http://www.xl102richmond.com/onair/fletcher-44898/trending-doubtfireface-for-suicide-prevention-12670378/

Bustle:http://www.bustle.com/articles/35839-robin-williams-famous-mrs-doubtfire-scene-inspires-a-fantastic-new-suicide-prevention-campaign-video

Country 925 http://www.country925.com/onair/electric-barnyard-50108/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention-12668551/

98.1 Kool http://98kool.com/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention/

Mix 967 http://mix967.ca/daily-scoop/entertainment-news/2014/08/new-facebook-challenge-mrs-doubtfires-hello-suicide-prevention/

Milwakees Oldies http://www.milwaukeeoldies.com/onair/murphy-meg-in-the-morning-36839/trending-robin-williams-cause-of-death-12669321

WSPA http://www.wspa.com/story/26281928/doubtfire-face-trend-raising-suicide-prevention-awareness

alt 98.7 http://www.alt987fm.com/onair/show-blog-54307/thursdays-crap-on-celebrities-12670122/ / http://www.alt987fm.com/onair/show-blog-54307/thursdays-show-recap-12670793/

star1043 http://www.star1043.com/onair/josh-and-sue-in-the-morning-41372/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention-12669166/

96.1 http://961joyfm.com/doubtfire-face-challenge-joy-morning-rush-for-suicide-prevention-video/

b93 http://www.b93.com/onair/matt-54200/the-new-facebook-challenge-is-the-mrs-doubtfire-hello-face-for-suicide-prevention-12668551/

Storify https://storify.com/cbccommunity/doubtfire-face-aims-to-say-hello-to-suicide-preve

classic 107.1 http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2014/08/19/heather-ford-takes-the-doubtfire-face-challenge-video/

world new - http://article.wn.com/view/2014/08/19/8216doubtfire_face_8217_challenge/

Emotional Mojo http://thedbz.com/our-friends-at-emotional-mojo-take-the-als-ice-bucket-challenge/]

92.5 http://www.country925.com/onair/electric-barnyard-50108/broadway-and-jerrod-niemann-do-the-mrs-doubtfire-challenge-12680677/

France24: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x248k1r_web-news-doubtfire-face-the-web-s-new-suicide-prevention-campaign_news

Daily Gazette: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2014/aug/27/0827_viral/

South Wales Evening Post: http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Challenge-accepted-Kev-Johns-does-Doubtfireface/story-22849188-detail/story.html

 

 

Please Be Aware of Suicide Risk Factors in the Fight of Prevention:

The most frequently cited risk factors for suicide are: Mental disorders, in particular: Depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder, Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence, Schizophrenia, ,Borderline or antisocial personality disorder ,Conduct disorder (in youth) , Psychotic disorders; psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder, Impulsivity and aggression, especially in the context of the above mental disorders, Previous suicide attempt, Anxiety disorders and Family history of attempted or completed suicide



American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the #doubtfireface challenge

By Chato B. Stewart

Researching #doubtfireface  On American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

In my last blog post, I got my #doubtfireface on for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention personal campaign. The truth is the first time I heard about it was from one of my Facebook friends after my friend saw my ALS video. I did not get the reference at first ~ Then it hit me ~ it’s a Robin Williams reference to Mrs Doubtfire and cake in the face as beauty cream, he would not get caught as the Dad dressing up as the nanny.

I Googled the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to get more info and found 3 of the last 4 posts about Robin Williams (Unsafe Reporting on Suicide Can Cost Lives 8/11: AFSP’s Statement on the Death of Robin Williams 8/12 : Suicide is Not Cowardly 8/13), yet none said anything about #sayhellotosuicideprevention on the website.

That’s when I called the business phone line of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It took me a while to talk to a real person… that was funny. I should of called the 800 number and saved an hour… but after being bounced around and being put on hold time and again…I finally found someone to talk to me about the social media aspects of #doubtfireface. I cannot name names, but from my source, I can tell you they know about it…LOL

Okay, they know more about it and they are keeping tabs on the success of it.  I asked why they are not getting behind it 100% and pushing it…funding a nation-wide campaign.  My source said she could not confirm or deny such a campaign happening in the future.  WOW, I hit gold, I thought to myself!  I ask who is behind the #doubtfireface and what is the affiliation?  That’s when I got his name, Michael Scotti Jr. and gave me his official personal campaign AFSP Donation Page: afsp.donordrive.com/campaign/doubtfireface. This is a peer-to-peer fundraising site for their causes – think crowd funding for non-profits.

Getting The #doubtfireface Rolling

I Googled more about the challenge and watched a lot of funny videos. Some just with cake or pie in the face and others mixed with the ASL Ice bucket 2 for 1 videos.  Still, I did not see much rolling as fast as the ASL. Why, was it just too young, too strange,  too personal, or just not getting the wide coverage?

Michael Scotti Jr., did not have a vision when he started out with this, it was his “grieving process,” much like me drawing the Mental Health Humor cartoons. I never dreamed I would be drawing them six years after my last suicide attempt.  Never dreamed they would be a way to save me from cutting and branding and that I would be sharing them with tens of thousands of peers each year via my blogs, Social media, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, even power point presentations.  Sometimes, you just don’t know what you have and how it can effect our peers in such a fun and positive way.

In Michael Scotti’s grief for his comedic idol, he made a clip in homage to Robin Williams, much the same way I drew the Shaxbat -Nau Nau cartoon. He tapped into a fun, happier time, one many of can relate to…but he did it with pie in his face.

I believe this will be something more and more people will do for a good cause ~ raise awareness ~ and gosh  – it’s just fun to do.

To get the ball rolling, it’s going to take more and more peers to do it and call out big names to do it #doubtfireface.  Yes, donation money would be a great thing for the AFSP – but the media attention would also go a long way also.

For the record, I did find this Tweet from the AFSP:

 

     Next up: I talk with the man behind the #DoubtfireFace  Michael Scotti Jr



My #doubtfireface Suicide Prevention Challenge

By Chato B. Stewart

My #doubtfireface Suicide Prevention Challenge

You’ve heard and seen many of the ALS videos over the past month.  I even did one with my son. (see my ALS ice bucket challenge). A new challenge is hitting the viral video “Doubtfire Face for Suicide Prevention” started by Michael Scotti Jr. as tribute to Robin Williams.  I contacted Mr. Scotti who told me Williams was “not only an icon of comedy“, Mr. Scotti says,”also served as one my biggest inspirations to have a sense of humor always and to follow my dreams of becoming a filmmaker.” It started out as “grieving process” but it started to take off with more and more people, Doing the “#doubtfireface!” (More of our conversation later.)

Say Hello To Suicide Prevention #doubtfireface challenge:

I Nominate my fellow Psych Central Bloggers, Gabe Howard, Andy “Electroboy” Behrman,
Francine Bargagna, Cinda JohnsonMelody Moezzi and ALL MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS


MrsDoubtfire Face by Chato StewartI was at Golden Corral in Punta Gorda, Florida with the Family recently.  It was a special treat for the family for our kids going back to school and transitioning well.  At one point DJ, the middle daughter of my 3 girls, got a dessert with tons of whip cream…I grabbed it, told my wife to turn the video on and got my “doubtfireface” on. (My wife didn’t know what I was going to do or why. She didn’t know about the Doubtfire Face challenge yet, and just thought I was being me.)

Rules:
1. Create your own Doubtfire Face video with the hashtags #doubtfireface (twitter) / #doubtfireface (facebook) and  #sayhellotosuicideprevention Nominate others to do the same.
2. Donate what you can to our official American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Doubtfire Face team to help us reach our goal of $500,000.
3. Post your video to our official facebook page so we can share it with the world.

Will you be taking part in the “Doubtfire Face” challenge?



 

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