Category Archives: Mental Health
Scores of people were uplifted and entertained by ten performers at the Hope is Alive! open mic at Ol’ Merc Pizza in McArthur on Friday night May 18.
The evening performances included songs, spoken word, poetry, and stand up comedy. Performers included Alex Colvin, Stu Stoore, Chuck Darwin Hepburn, Kimberly Davis, spoken word artist Angel, a stand-up comedian, Michael Bennett, Phil Dekker, George Whitfield, and a young woman poet who rose from the audience at the end to read.
Chuck Darwin Hepburn, not only played and sang on the guitar. He also provided innovative improvisation on his saxophone to accompany several other performers. Mr. Hepburn recently moved to Bieber.
As well as performing a variety of tunes on guitar and ukulele, Stu Stoore also did an excellent job of managing the sound system.
Hope is Alive! open mics celebrate the power of the creative arts to uplift, comfort and heal people in times of mental or emotional crisis. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Marc Dadigan. The program was sponsored by Stand Against Stigma funded by the Mental Health Services Act. Mid-program, Amy Sturgeon, a community education specialist in suicide prevention gave a short talk. Toward the end of the program Carrie Jo Diamond, director of Stand Against Stigma also spoke about the activities of Intermountain Mental Health Week.
After the program, several musicians stayed to jam together.
For more information about Stand Against Stigma, visit www.standagainststigma.com.
Intermountain Mental Health Week has arrived! Five FREE events that will give residents of Shasta County small towns resources they can use to support someone going through a mental health challenge:
- Finding Hope in Our Neighbors: A Stand Against Stigma Forum – 6-8 p.m. (reception at 5:30 p.m.), Tuesday, May 15th at the Intermountain Evangelical Free Church in McArthur – Professionals and Brave Faces speakers who have become masters of managing their mental health discuss what communities can do to support those in recovery. Panelists include:
- Donnell Ewert, Director of Shasta County Health and Human Services
- Cathy Tillman, MHSA Volunteer Program and Peer Support Coordinator
- Denise Green, HHSA Peer Support Specialist and Brave Faces Advocate
- Susan Power, President of NAMI and Brave Faces Advocate
- David Martinez, Retired firefighter/EMT, retired drug and alcohol counselor, Winnemem Wintu tribal member and Brave Faces Advocate
- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training – QPR is a research-based training that involves three simple steps. When put into action, these steps can prevent a death by suicide. Trainings will be offered in Shingletown and Burney:
- Hope Is Alive! Open Mic Night – 6-9 p.m., Friday, May 18th, Ol’ Merc Pizza in McArthur:
Spoken word artists, rappers, poets and musicians from throughout Shasta County are invited to share performances that celebrate how art helps healing and promotes understanding. Hope Is Alive! Performers should sign in at 5:30 p.m.
- Becoming Brave Training – 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, May 19th, Circle of Friends in Burney. Take control of your mental health story with this peer-led training. Based on a national curriculum, this one-day training will cover 3 primary goals:
- Evaluating the costs/benefits of disclosing personal experience with mental health conditions.
- Developing strategies for safer disclosing.
- Crafting one’s story into a meaningful message.
Lunch is provided, there is still time to RSVP! Call 229-8484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!
Carrie Jo Diamond
Community Education Specialist
Stand Against Stigma Coordinator
Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency
Office of the Director
2615 Breslauer Way
Redding, CA 96001
Office: (530) 229-8484
Fax: (530) 229-8447
SHASTA COUNTY – HHSA’s new Captain Awesome campaign encourages men to take charge of their mental health. Featuring advertisements designed with a sense of humor and a resource website, ShastaSuicidePrevention.com/Men, this community outreach endeavor provides men access to tools, strategies, and resources to be mentally fit. The aim is to help men educate themselves on key components of mental wellness, and lets them know it is okay to seek tools and support from a professional.
Mental health outreach to men is a priority, as men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women, and often have more difficulty asking for help when they need it. The campaign targets men of all ages, with a special focus on those between the ages of 45-64, the group that has the highest rate of completed suicides.
Created in collaboration between the Shasta Suicide Prevention Workgroup and Stand Against Stigma programs, the Captain Awesome campaign was informed by national research, national and local mental health statistics, other outreach programs and focus groups comprised of Shasta County community members. The intention is to celebrate the many perspectives of what it means to be strong and resilient, and allow members of the community to offer their own definition of what it means to be “Captain Awesome”.
About 50 people gathered at Billy’s Roadside Café in Montgomery Creek on Friday evening October 6 to hear poets and musicians share a message of hope and inspiration.
The program was sponsored by Stand Against Stigma, funded by Shasta County Health and Human Services to address issues associated with mental illness and to provide suicide prevention services. The Hope is Alive! open mics celebrate the theme of healing through performance arts. The gathering in Montgomery Creek was the fourth Hope is Alive open mic in the Intermountain Area and the 12th in Shasta County at large.
Marc Dadigan, community education specialist for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, emceed the event. The evening performances began with a performance by Randy and Verena Compton followed by the talented Billy Riggins who share some of his original rap music.
Mental illness is often associated with substance abuse.
Poet Larry Harris from Redding shared three poems of personal experience describing the struggles and victory that his family experienced through their daughter’s bout with mental illness. It was a tale of hope prevailing over despair.
After a period of substance abuse resulting in mental breakdown, his daughter successfully went through therapy and recovery and now leads a successful happy life as an actress.
In one particularly poignant poem, Harris talked about his daughter going to a Simon and Garfunkle concert in San Francisco on her own after rehab. Harris shared the emotion a parent goes through as he experiences the restoration of trust, letting go and watching his child emerge as a happy independent young woman.
Michael Bennett and Kimberly Michelle Davis from the Circle of Friends in Burney both sang songs. Bennett charmed people with an a capella rendering of Mac Davis “Oh Lord it’s Hard to be Humble.” Ms. Davis once again delighted the audience as she sang Broadway show tunes in her lovely soprano voice.
A young lady who had traveled two hours to attend got up and recited a short poem.
A highlight of the evening was the personal testimony of David Martinez, a spokesman for Stand Against Stigma’s Brave Faces who has suffered from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Mr. Martinez is a member of the Wintu tribe. He has been a biker, a cowboy and an EMT for the fire department. He has also worked in Redding as a substance abuse counselor. After sharing his story, Martinez shared two popular songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” and “City of New Orleans”.
Singer-songwriter Mauro livened things up with several of his original songs.
Next, the audience was treated to a performance of Native American Rap by Louis Gustafson and his family. As well as singing, Gustafson also plays bass and performs with Pit Crew. He also is a wonderful drummer who performed at the 2015 Burney Basin Days with the Pit River Nation Drum Group.
The evening was closed out by Alex Colvin and George Whitfield. Colvin opened with a poem “In This World of Heart and Mind” expressing the healing power of love and then sang “Live for Others.” Alex and George then sang “Ghost Riders in the Sky” together.
Before singing two songs, “Sounds of Silence” and “Vietnam Song.” George talked about the seriousness of mental illness and suicide plaguing our country. Seventeen veterans die every day from suicide.
“Don’t let stigma stand in your way,” Whitman said, “If you feel like your life is going to pieces, reach out for help.”