The Social Development Commission (SDC) and NAMI of Greater Milwaukee partnered on Saturday, December 19, to offer a Mental Health Resource Fair providing free resources to individuals and families living with a mental health diagnosis. The event, which also featured the play PIECES “In My Own Voice,” was held at SDC’s offices.
Several providers of free mental health resources that include individual and group counseling, outreach and prevention, suicide prevention, information on housing and shelters, clinics and more participated in the resource fair. In addition to SDC and NAMI of Greater Milwaukee, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Families Moving Forward, and the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network were among resource agencies and organizations offering education and materials about available services for attendees.
The theatrical production PIECES “In My Own Voice,” depicted the lives of people living with a mental health diagnosis and the light of recovery. The play, written and directed by Brenda Wesley the education and outreach coordinator for NAMI of Greater Milwaukee, has been presented across Wisconsin, and recently nationwide, and has been viewed by more than 10,000 people.
The performance addressed the symptoms and daily challenges of those living with bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia and PTSD. The stigma of mental health diagnoses and how individuals are treated versus someone with cancer or heart disease was communicated through the stories portrayed by the actors representing each mental illness. The play also shared a message of hope and healing with the support and love of those in their lives in addition to medication and proper treatment.
“Did you know?” facts were displayed throughout the production, including the startling fact that suicide is the number one cause of death in teens in Wisconsin.
The event was made possible through a grant to SDC from Families Moving Forward.