Pieces: In My Own VoiceStarts at 10:00 AM on February 6th, 2013
Approximately 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults. These and other factors underline the importance of meeting the mental health needs of this age group. And yet, it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of these children get inappropriate mental health services or no help at all. The lack of education about these diseases leaves the warning signs unrecognized and countless lives ruined.
Two organizations in Milwaukee are taking a unique approach to the subject in Pieces: In My Own Voice, an original theatrework which will be presented by NAMI Greater Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Theatre in February and March—thanks in part to a contract with Milwaukee Public Schools, which has been and continues to be committed to educating students about mental illness and providing mental health services for students in need.
The production is an original play by Brenda Wesley that educates young audiences about mental illness, dispels stereotypes, and provides ongoing informational resources. Originally developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee (NAMI), the show was further adapted for teens in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Theatre and students from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts in 2012.
The 2013 production features a mixed teen and adult cast and is touring to five area high schools to bring to life the people behind the labels of "Schizophrenia", "ADHD", "Depression", "Anxiety", "Bi-Polar Disorder" and "Suicide".
Performances are all one-hour long and open to the general public at no charge by contacting MPT at 414-347-1685.
The production is a creative component of the successful ASK (Access, Support & Knowledge) program, which was developed by NAMI. The teen production and five-site tour is sponsored by Milwaukee Public Schools, Mental Health America/ Prevent Suicide of Greater Milwaukee, the Brewers Foundation, Helen Bader Foundation, the Milwaukee Arts Board, the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts, Milwaukee County CAMPAC, and the United Performing Arts Fund.
For more information and an up-to-date schedule of performances, visit www.milwaukeepublictheatre.org.