On October 30th, I took part in an inaugural event for the Seattle non-profit, Sound Mental Health. The event was called Eliminating Stigma Through The Arts and it was an honor to be a part of it. Gayle Johnson, Chief Development Officer, for SMH feels that the way mental illness is perceived and treated by society is a civil rights issue and Gayle is definitely a trailblazer and a bright light in bringing this issue to the forefront. Mental illness is such a taboo subject in our society and nobody wants to talk about it. It is estimated that one in four people will suffer a mental health crisis in their lives. One in four. That's an extremely large portion of the population. That means we will all be touched by mental illness in one way or another. That means that we will either know someone who has been afflicted, or we ourselves will be. I don't know if that statistic takes into account the many soldiers who will return home with mental health challenges.
The Eliminating Stigma Through The Arts event took place at the Hyatt Olive 8 in downtown Seattle. I kicked off the evening with my solo show, Call Me Crazy, which is a project that is in development and was followed by Cinda and Linnea Johnson reading from their heart-wrenching memoir, Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey To Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle To Save Her.
One of the event sponsors was the Puget Sound Business Journal and Gordon Prouty, President and Publisher, and Carlton Baxter were in attendance and they were affected by what they saw and heard. We've received some good press by CityLiving Seattle magazine and the article is also appearing in the smaller neighborhood papers, which are offshoots of CityLiving Seattle.