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Sept. 1, 2022

Arts center evening set to help rewrite mental health stigma

A dozen South Florida community members will take to the stage at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday evening September 22 to present their personal stories about dealing with mental health and/or addiction problems through the performing arts.

The evening, called “This is My Brave — The Show in Broward County,” is an extension of a successful eight-year-old international non-profit program called This is My Brave that was de- signed to help change the global conversation about mental health issues and show that it is “okay not to be okay” and get treatment.

“We want to reduce the stigma by helping people understand that mental health issues can happen to anyone,” said Julie Radlauer, the Broward show’s producer and a Broward mental health expert. “During COVID, we all experienced some sort of stress so we can relate at some level. Talking about it is very healing. We want to celebrate these people who are brave enough to stand on stage and help the healing through their unique storytelling.”

Among the many issues addressed during the show, parents concerned about their teenagers struggling with mental health issues will learn ways to begin a conversation about the problem with their child. Cast members will tell their stories in a variety of ways including playing guitar, drums, doing yoga and showcasing their support animals. Among the presenters:

  • a 19-year old Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor who will be read- ing prose about her experience with Post Trauma Stress Disorder. She has been addressing her lingering trauma by advocating for safer school environments;
  • a South Florida Pakistani college student and social-media influencer with a bipolar disorder who will recite poetry detailing her story of recovery and resilience;
  • a man who overcame homelessness and mental health issues through his love of the sport of boxing. Based on his experiences he founded a boxing therapy program that focuses on help- ing an individual get through challenging times.

Since 2014, This is My Brave shows have featured nearly 900 individuals in over 70 unique

transformative productions across the country that have helped change people’s minds and out-

look about mental illness.

Broward’s show is sponsored by Deerfield Beach Community Cares , a Broward non-profit designed to help individuals, children and families living in Deerfield Beach deal with quality of life and mental health issues. The non-profit agency was born from the death by suicide of a Deerfield beach high school student and the need for community support.

To secure tickets go to https://www.thecentercs.com/events/detail/this-is-my-brave. If a reasonable accommodation of disability is needed or to inquire about large groups attending, please contact info@dfbccommunitycares.org