Nonprofit uses storytelling to remove mental health stigma

Inside the Culver City home, rehearsals are taking place with mental health at the center.

“Everyone is looking at you, you’re uncomfortable and you can’t leave,” said Reba Buhr, performing a monologue.

What you need to know

  • “This Is My Brave” launched in 2014, featuring over 1,000 performers and has produced over 80 shows in the US and Australia.
  • They all share their own stories of struggling with mental health conditions
  • The local show takes place on September 25th at 2pm on the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
  • Tickets $15-$20

She started having panic attacks in college and used her talent as a local voice actor to share stories about an episode she experienced while running a marathon at Disneyland.

“I know now that I’ve always dealt with anxiety, but I didn’t realize it was what I was dealing with. I thought it was normal life until I was finally diagnosed.” was,” said Burr.

She is one of 10 performers participating in “This Is My Brave” on Santa Monica’s Broad Stage.

“When you tell someone you have diabetes or asthma, it creates compassion. , will be skeptical,” said John Tzilympalis, a local psychotherapist and one of the show’s producers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States has a mental illness.

“Everybody is fighting an invisible battle. You can’t tell what a person has been through just by looking at them,” Burr said.

She knows that many people are uncomfortable discussing their personal troubles openly. She therefore feels that she has an important role to play for those who don’t care as much as she does.

“If you sympathize with it, it can make me feel like I thought I was the only one dealing with it, and it’s some of the most important drugs when it comes to mental health.

As a licensed clinical social worker, Amanda Eldav shuns the limelight, but through her performance poetry, she warns about the dangers of labeling people.

“This piece in particular came to me in my dreams and I had to wake up in the middle of the night to write it down.” [people] The point is, if you are high/low capable, it doesn’t detract from your own experience.

One of the messages producers want to convey is that it’s okay to not be okay, and storytelling can be a powerful tool for raising awareness.

“It is much easier to prevent mental health crises than to repair them.

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

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

And regardless of the medium, these performers hope to inspire audiences to courageously tell their own stories.

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