Verde Valley AZ (April 29, 2015) – Bringing new awareness, hope and sensitivity to Sedona and the Verde Valley, the area’s first Mental Health Awareness Week will be May 11-16 announced Barbara Litrell, facilitator of the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley (MHCVV) and Lori Morrison, Coordinator of the Education Committee of the Coalition.
Dedicated to all who seek to lift the stigma associated with mental illness and to understand and learn about the resources for treatment and recovery, Mental Health Awareness Week is organized by MHCVV and supported by sponsors. All events are free but reservations are requested.
With the theme Stronger than Stigma, each day will feature a variety of activities in Sedona and Cottonwood including speakers, panels, films and community conversations geared to communicate that it is important to talk about mental illness, there is no shame in seeking help, and there is hope after diagnosis.
The focus on Monday, May 11, 9AM-Noon is on individuals and their families and will include a live presentation, “In Our Own Voice,” a first-hand account of what it’s like to live with a mental illness.
The presentation will be followed by a community conversation. The event will take place at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Dr., Sedona.
At 4 and 7PM on Monday, there will be a showing of the powerful film “Canvas” at Sedona’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. Hwy 89A. The film has been recognized for its accurate portrayal of a family transformed by mental illness when the mother suffers from schizophrenia. Writer/Director Joseph Greco will be present to answer questions. Members of the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley will lead a discussion. Tickets are free but must be obtained at the box office or www.sedonafilmfestival.org.
Tuesday, May 12, the focus will be on the elderly and youth. At 1:30PM, there will be a showing of the film “Alive Inside” at the Sedona Community Center, 2615 Melody Lane, Sedona. “Alive Inside” chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. It portrays how music’s healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. Barbie Edwards will also participate with harp music. Seating is limited and reservations should be made by calling 649-0135.
On Tuesday 6:30-8PM, at West Sedona School Library, 570 Posse Ground Rd, Scott Roderick, Chief Clinical Officer at Spectrum Healthcare, will address “Mental Illness and Children,” including the most prevalent mental health problems for children today. Teachers, parents and community members from throughout the district are especially encouraged to attend.
Also on Tuesday evening, the film “Bullied to Silence” will be shown at 6PM at Mingus Union High School, 1801 E. Fir St, Cottonwood. This documentary gives a voice to the bullied child that will be the positive change to verbal and cyber bullying. Filmmakers, Tami Pivnick and Susan Broude will be present for the discussion following the film.
At Noon on Wednesday, May 13, a brown bag lunch and community conversation at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley (JCSVV), 100 Meadowlark Dr. will feature Dr. Steven Dingle, Chief Medical Officer for the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services. His presentation, “Treating the WHOLE Person with Purpose and Passion” focuses on the role of spirituality and resilience as a dimension of wellness. Beverages will be provided by the JCSVV.
At 1:30PM, there will be a second showing of the film “Alive Inside” at the Verde Valley Senior Center, 500 Cherry St.in Cottonwood. Reservations should be made by calling 649-0135.
Wednesday evening, 5:30-7PM at Spectrum Healthcare, 8 E. Cottonwood St., Cottonwood, the Verde Valley community is invited to hear representatives of Health Choice Integrated Care talk about how AHCCCS behavioral health services are improving in this area.
The focus for Thursday, May 14, is latest recovery options. A panel session and community conversation have been planned from 10AM-2PM at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 100 Arroya Pinon Dr., Sedona. Light lunch will offered compliments of the Church.
On Friday, May 15, 9AM-Noon at Church of the Red Rocks, 54 Bowstring Dr, Sedona, the theme of Alternative Healing for Mental Health will feature a panel of professionals including Dr.Oliver Cooperman, Dr. Pam Pappas and Shawna Bowen, better known as “From Rock Star To Therapist”. The program will start with a not-to-miss powerful interpretative dance presentation by Sedona’s Pash Galbavy with poet, author and U.S. Army veteran Tom Puetz.
On Friday at 7PM, the film “Running from Crazy,” Mariel Hemingway’s family journey living with mental illness, will be shown at The Old Town Center for the Arts, 5th St. and Main in Cottonwood. Reservations should be made at 649-0135
A closing gathering, “The Faces of Compassion for Mental Illness,” will take place on Saturday, May 16, 10-11AM at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 Hwy 179, Sedona. The gathering is open to the community to honor those we have lost to mental illness and to show support of individuals living with mental illness as well as their families and caregivers.
For more information visit www.mentalhealthcoalitionvv.org or call 649-0135.
It is the hope that Mental Health Awareness Week will provide information, assistance, and various forms of awareness and healing for all involved. Erasing stigma with compassion, and ignorance with supportive knowledge, we can become strong agents for Mental Health awareness.