High Quality Art Promoting Important Social Issues

Erasing the Stigma's Final Waltz

Andrew Root1 Comment
It’s hard sometimes, because you tell your story. You tell it to somebody and then it ends. And where do you go from there?
— Stacey Reeds

We want to say thank you to a few people.

We at AFA have been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people that the Peterborough area has to offer; performers, directors, designers, technicians, musicians, visual artists, and the list goes on and on. Collaborating on a show with that much talent over the past year would have been amazing in its own right, but we were also incredibly fortunate to be able to meet and work with members of the community who showed us new levels of bravery, kindness, compassion, and a real willingness to promote the message of Erasing the Stigma; that mental illness is real, that it affects everyone, and that the first step towards acceptance is to talk openly about it.

It’s such a complicated thing. Everyone’s is different. Everyone is dealing with it in a different way, and unless you’re talking about it, you’re not going to know how to help that person, or what that person’s going through.
— Mallory MacDonald

To Kerri Davies from CMHA, Allyson Rader from the Lynx Early Psychosis Intervention Program, David Barkley from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, Dave Pogue from Team 55: Let's Tackle Suicide Awareness, and the representatives from the Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee, RedPath, 4 County Crisis Centre; Thank you. Without your support, the remount of Erasing the Stigma wouldn't have happened. You have been an invaluable resource to a group of people who showed up with little more than an idea and a willingness to listen. The amount of admiration we have for you and your work is through the roof. You are all such heroes, and we hope you know how much we appreciate what you do.

I struggled for so long needlessly. Resisting that I had a mental illness, then resisting that I needed medication, then resisting that I needed psychotherapy. All these different things, it’s about getting together your tool belt. Some things work for some people, others don’t. It’s all about finding out what works for you. But you need to make a tool belt.
— Matt Keast

To Stacey, Wes, Cassandra, Matt, Mallory, Mandy, Julianna, and Dave; How could we ever say thank you enough? You are the heart of this show, and by stepping up and sharing your stories, you've helped hundreds of people come to grips with their own struggles. Your candour made the show possible, and opened our eyes in ways we never would have thought possible. We are indebted to you in every possible way. Thank you.

Talk. Find someone to talk to. We live on a planet with seven billion people, and a billion of them are on Facebook, so there’s people out there you can talk to... Find ways to forgive yourself. Because that’s the hardest thing.
— Wes Ryan

To everyone who is going through struggles of their own; you're not alone. You've got friends in us, friends in the agencies listed above, supports and allies that you haven't even met yet. The support is there, and we encourage you to seek it out. Click on the links above, and have a chat with our friends at these agencies. They are some of the most caring people we've ever met, and they'll take exceptional care of you. Or if you just need to talk, you can talk to us. We're here for you. You're not alone.

We are retiring Erasing the Stigma for the time being, but the conversation is not over. The more we talk about it, the easier it will become to deal with. We are grateful to everyone who took part in, and came to see the show. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

-Your friends at Art for Awareness.