A charity uses stories to end mental health stigma

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At a home in Culver City, a practice that puts mental health front and center is taking place.

“You’re uncomfortable and you can’t go out because everyone’s looking at you,” Reba Buhr sings.


What you need to know

  • This is my genius.In the year It launched in 2014 and has produced over 80 shows across the US and Australia, featuring over 1,000 performers.
  • They all share their own stories of struggling with mental health conditions
  • The local show will take place on September 25th @ 2pm at the Santa Monica Arena.
  • Tickets It’s $15-$20.

She started having panic attacks in college and shared her story about one time she experienced it while working on a marathon at Disneyland, using her skills as a local voice actress.

“I know now that I’ve always dealt with stress, but I didn’t realize this was what I was dealing with. “I thought that was normal life until I finally got diagnosed,” he said.

She is one of the 10 actresses participating in .This is my genius.A performance on a large stage in Santa Monica to help break the stigma surrounding mental health.

“If you tell someone you have diabetes or asthma, it will attract sympathy. “If you tell someone you’re suffering from a mental health problem, they’re going to give you the impression that you’re sad or depressed or worried,” said John Tsilimparis, a local psychologist and one of the program’s organizers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 5 adults in America lives with a mental illness.

“Everybody is fighting a battle that you don’t see. “You can’t assume you know what someone’s been through just by looking at them,” Buhr said.

She knows that many people are uncomfortable discussing their personal struggles openly, which is why she feels that those who don’t care, like her, have an important role to play.

“If you’re dealing with that, I think I’m the only one, and it can make you feel like it’s the most important drug in terms of mental health,” Buhr said.

As a licensed clinical social worker, Amanda Eldab isn’t all that comfortable in the spotlight, but through her performance poetry, she warns about the dangers of labeling people.

“This piece in particular would come to me in my dreams and I would get up in the middle of the night to write it,” she said. “Whatever [people] If you’re high-functioning/low-functioning, I’d like to say that this doesn’t take away from your own experience.

It’s okay not to be okay with the one message organizers hope to communicate, and storytelling can be a powerful tool for raising awareness.

“Preventing a mental health crisis is much easier than fixing one and such a pre-emptive strike, such pre-planned awareness saves lives,” he said.

As for Buhr, she still has panic attacks, but she has learned how to manage them.

“They’re still uncomfortable and they’re still embarrassing, but they don’t rule my life anymore,” she said.

And no matter the medium, these performers hope to inspire audience members to boldly tell their own stories.

Know your thoughts in the problems and watch Monday through Friday at 8 and 11 p.m. on Spectrum News 1.

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