Heroism and Hope Mark Baltimore's This Is My Brave

Friends, if you and/or anyone you know navigate life with depression, anxiety, panic, PTSD, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health challenge, you know the everyday - often silent - heroism involved. On April 6, at Notre Dame of Maryland University's LeClerc Hall, fourteen courageous community members will stand up to break through that silence and share their healing journeys through story, poetry, song, and comedy in the upcoming Baltimore production of This Is My Brave.

This is Baltimore's second TIMB, with a cast including successful authors, poets, actors, mental health advocates, healers, and technical communicators, all of whom have fought hell and high water to get where they are: alive and cherishing life. Yes, they're successful professionals - but courage and zest for life are the gifts that connect this group at the core. Their journeys traverse the distance from horrifying to transcendent; their spirits are indomitable.

As a Reiki practitioner navigating my own healing journey, I chose to co-produce Baltimore's 2019 TIMB after attending last year's production. The stories of the cast spoke powerfully to me of the determination, grit, and tenacity involved in healing, in growing in consciousness, and in affirming and embracing life from its depths to its heights.

So what is This Is My Brave? First, it's a five-year-old national nonprofit dedicated to breaking down the stigma of mental illness, through theatrical productions such as Baltimore's upcoming show. It is each one of those shows - 20 across the nation last year. There are plans for a This Is My Brave podcast and a college pilot program is currently in development. In short - this is becoming a movement. With one in five Americans experiencing mental health challenges at some point in their lives, it's time for the silence and the stigma to be broken.

But we can't do it without you. If you have witnessed the heroic journey of a friend, family member, neighbor, employee, in navigating mental health challenges, please do what you can to support this show. Take out a playbill ad - or a sponsorship. Buy tickets and turn out the community in support. Let this be the start of a new conversation about mental health.

For information about playbill ads or sponsorships, contact Lauren Kenney, Baltimore TIMB Program Manager, at laurenk@thisismybrave.org