Ambler Theater aims to end mental health stigma

Ambler Theater aims to end mental health stigma

AMBLER – Elise Seyfried says she hates procuring, however 16 years in the past she discovered herself on the mall every single day.

“I purchased 30 pairs of costly, high-heeled sneakers in a single yr. I had no management over the impulse. I used to be smelling a blue streak. I virtually could not cease,” the Orlando-based freelance author, producer and mom of 5 says of her uncharacteristic conduct. “I did not know what was flawed with me.”

Sooner or later, whereas testing a style journal, “I noticed a full-page advert for a bipolar drug” with an inventory of signs, she mentioned. “I had all of it.

“My coronary heart sank. No one desires this. I knew I wanted assist.”

Seyfried was recognized with bipolar dysfunction in April 2006. After six months, two therapists and several other medicine changes after that, she was feeling higher, she mentioned, and in the present day she feels “actually good.”

“I am fortunate I did not must go to the hospital,” Seyfried mentioned. “Issues may have been loads worse.”

Seyfried, just lately retired — after 20 years — director of religious formation at Christ Lutheran Church in Orlando, mentioned she has turn into a “psychological well being advocate by way of my writing and talking.”

In 2018, she served as a co-producer and forged member on the Philadelphia-area premiere “This Is My Courageous,” a present that gives reveals for individuals who dwell with or have family members residing with psychological well being challenges or substance use issues.

A volunteer with This Is My Courageous, a nonprofit group devoted to ending the stigma surrounding psychological sickness by way of storytelling, Seyfried is lead producer, with co-producers Jenny Smith, Lorraine Flynn, and Denita Stevens, on the group’s present on October 9 on the Ambler Theater.

No stranger to the stage, Seyfried and her husband Steve, each actors, based Household Levels to supply youngsters’s reveals in 1980 and the Rehoboth Summer time Kids’s Theater two years later.

She mentioned the TIMB present was “a really highly effective expertise for everybody”. “When you expertise it and see what it could possibly do to your life and others, you need to preserve it going.”

She mentioned the Ambler Theater present will characteristic 11 forged members “who inform their true tales of psychological sickness and restoration by way of private essays, songs, dance, poetry and comedy.”

“We attempt to be various,” Seyfried mentioned, noting that forged members embrace a real-life comic with Tourette’s syndrome, a wheelchair person with borderline character dysfunction, and Rachel Eve, a singer/pianist who will carry out an authentic music.

“After I was youthful, I had social nervousness and music helped me come out of my shell,” mentioned Eve, a Philadelphia singer, songwriter, and psychotherapist who typically makes use of music remedy in her follow.

“I do not essentially play music with everybody. I’ve skilled in different strategies as effectively,” mentioned Eve, who has an MA in Inventive Artwork Remedy and is a licensed skilled counselor.

“I’ve struggled with nervousness and despair since I used to be a young person, and I have been on medicine my entire life,” she mentioned. “There have been instances when nervousness was crippling, exhausting.

“I’ve lots of coping abilities and thru development and studying they’re effectively managed more often than not and never all the time current,” Eve mentioned.

She mentioned that one of many producers, Jenny Smith, invited her to audition for the present, after discovering her on-line.

“Music and lowering psychological well being stigma are among the many best emotions I’ve,” Eve mentioned. “Though I’ve been doing this enterprise for a very long time, I believe [the show] Will probably be helpful to me.

She mentioned, “It makes you weak to being concerned in a extra public house, and it’d cut back a few of my internal emotions about what I ought to or should not share as an individual in that space.”

Eve mentioned the present “we hope it is going to be an expertise the place individuals can really feel much less alone and provides them extra permission to speak about their struggles.” “Psychological well being challenges don’t discriminate. Listening to particular person tales has a private affect that talking about them typically doesn’t have.

“Therapeutic isn’t a straight path; there are ups and downs,” she mentioned. “It’s one thing I dwell with and care about and prioritize taking good care of myself.”

Though she performs in a number of cowl bands — piano, voice, guitar and ukulele — in addition to folks music with a little bit of jazz along with her companion, “standing in entrance of individuals performing was by no means the main focus,” she says.

“I used to be actually touched, impressed and impressed by what everybody has to share – the wonder that may come from traumatic experiences,” Eve mentioned on the present’s rehearsal. “It helps us join and know that we’re not alone.

“I stay up for seeing all of the completely different expressions.”

“This Is My Courageous,” which falls throughout Psychological Well being Consciousness Week, will probably be October 9, 5 p.m. at Ambler Theatre, 108 E. Butler Ave. Tickets, $20 every, can be found at Philadelphia.

Seyfried mentioned all after-expense proceeds will probably be given to the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Process Pressure.

In keeping with the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness, one in 5 adults in america suffers from a psychological sickness annually.

“There are nonetheless lots of misunderstandings,” Seyfried mentioned. “Society normally doesn’t know how you can take care of individuals who have struggles.

“Throughout the pandemic, some who had by no means had psychological points earlier than, maybe for the primary time understood this. There’s sympathy,” she mentioned. “As issues get again to regular, I hope they’ll nonetheless perceive and never return to having so many unfavorable impressions of individuals with psychological sickness,” she mentioned. .”

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