Mental Health Storytelling Event THIS IS MY BRAVE Returns To Boston

Mental Health Storytelling Event THIS IS MY BRAVE Returns To Boston

This Is My Brave, Inc. (TIMB), the national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness through storytelling, returns to Boston Friday, November 16 at 7:00pm at the Strand Theater. This one-time-only performance features Boston community members sharing true stories about their personal challenges with mental illness and health. These stories open a dialogue and create new opportunities for participants and audiences to thoughtfully engage around the topic of mental health. November also marks International Stress Awareness Day (November 1), Veterans Day (November 11), and International Survivors of Suicide Day (November 17).

One in five American adults face mental health issues (National Institute of Mental Health). Yet, the conversation around mental illness continues to carry shame, and many people who deal with mental health challenges remain silent. This Is My Brave aims to break that silence by celebrating and honoring the stories of people who are dealing with mental illness, and the stories of their loved ones. Since its first show in 2014 in Arlington, Virginia, This Is My Brave: The Show has featured over 675 people sharing their stories in 48 performances across the United States and in Australia.

Each performance is hosted and produced by a local producer or partner organization, with support from TIMB. Local teens and adults audition to be part of each event and performance submissions encompass struggles and perspectives on any form of mental illness including depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, suicide attempts, anorexia or bulimia, schizophrenia, PTSD, and more. Stories can be shared via comedy, spoken word essay, original poetry, or original song; caregivers and loved ones are also encouraged to participate. The resulting live one- or two-night-only events are open to all ages and regularly sell out.

"I continue to be blown away at what the This Is My Brave community is able to accomplish, together," stated Co-Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Marshall. "Each year we've grown and offered more and more storytelling performances. Our storytellers use the hashtag "#StorytellingSavesLives" because it's true. I've heard countless stories from people around the country who say that our show inspired them to keep fighting and to have the courage to share their own struggles. Boston always gives us a warm welcome and I'm so glad we get to return in November."

Boston Producer, mother, yoga/meditation instructor, and three-time suicide attempt survivor Kasey Maher has dealt with a variety of mental illnesses at different points of her life including depression, anxiety, OCD, an eating disorder, and postpartum depression. She got involved with This Is My Brave as a way of dealing with the deaths of two close family members, and shared her personal story in early 2018. Fellow Producer Jamie Davenport is a writer, performer, and coffee shop manager who lives with chronic anxiety, depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Davenport is passionate about mental health advocacy and believes telling stories is the best way to conquer any stigmatized topic; she got involved with This Is My Brave by responding to a casting call to perform a poem about OCD.

"This Is My Brave takes incredibly challenging, sometimes devastating, life events and struggles with mental illness and offers an outlet for healing and hope" said Maher. "That's what I experienced as a cast member and I'm proud to help give that same experience to storytellers and audience members. We can all work to end the deadly stigma, silence, and shame that surrounds mental illness by sharing our stories."

Local storytellers for this performance include James Boomhower a flight paramedic and mental health advocate; CJ Ghanny, a peer to peer specialist and writer; Ana Febres-Cordero, a student and mental health advocate recently featured in Seventeen Magazine; Angele Maraj a local musician; among several other talented individuals

Tickets on sale now: $20 general admission; $15 student

https://app.mobilecause.com/form/wP1cRg

Mental health professionals will be on hand for any audience members who need support during the performance.

This Is My Brave was co-founded in Virginia by Jennifer Marshall and Anne Marie Ames (1958-2017), two women passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, and saving lives through storytelling. In May of 2014, TIMB debuted its first ever live show in Arlington, Virginia at the Spectrum Theatre to a sold-out crowd of nearly 400. Over the past four years, the nonprofit organization has hosted performances across the United States and in Australia, including Greenville, SC; Valparaiso, IN (Chicagoland); Denver, CO; Iowa City, IA; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Napa Valley, CA; Boston, MA; Lewiston, ME; Wheeling, WV New York, NY; and beyond. TIMB has been featured in The Washington Post and O, The Oprah Magazine, Stage-Directions Magazine, as well as many other publications. TIMB will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2019. For more information about This Is My Brave, visit www.ThisIsMyBrave.org or http://youtube.com/thisismybrave.



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