Friday, May 1, 2015

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness month begins today. 

 When I think of stigma, I don't really think that the world needs to be better educated in order to accept me, or anyone else, with a mental illness diagnosis. It just took ME to accept bipolar is real, to move past popular opinion that the disease is personal weakness. I had to stop believing the diagnosis was bogus and embarrassing in order to reach health for myself. By accepting the condition and identifying it, proper treatment can follow, and or about 80 percent of people with bipolar, health can be achieved through treatment. Those are pretty good odds that treatment could be worth effort. 

Live Well! 

I will be at some events in Northeast Wisconsin to honor the month. Thank you for your interest in sharing stories about mental health, and thank you to the non-profit and government agencies who make platforms available for this subject. 

Wednesday, May 6 (11:30 - 7 p.m.) "Stigma: You're WISE if You Lose It" Health Fair with presentations at noon and 6 p.m.  Free Community Event featuring Pat Smith, Cecilia Broussard, and Tracy Rogers at UW-Manitowoc Campus. Signed copies of "Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis" will be available for purchase at a discounted rate of $10 all day. I will be at the fair from 11:30 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m. This event is presented by Healthiest Manitowoc County Mental Wellness Coalition.

** WISE (Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination) is a statewide organization promoting inclusion and support for all affected by mental illness by advancing evidence-based practices for stigma reduction efforts.  

Thursday, May 7 (2 p.m.) Book Discussion at the Door County Library, Sturgeon Bay. Join Library Director Becca Berger and Dr. Dennis White (psychologist) for a discussion on the memoir. Copies of the book are available for borrowing at the library. Request a copy via the library's online catalog: For more information, contact Cheryl at the library, (920) 746-2383. This discussion is sponsored by Door County Public Health Department Mental Health Focus Group and Door County Library. 

Friday, May. 8 - Saturday, May 9 (two-day event) Lakefly Literary Conference. I will be leading a memoir writing workshop Saturday morning. Come for Keynote Speaker Michael Perry, stay for the breakouts and connect with like-minded souls. Lakefly

Monday, May 11 (6 - 7:30 p.m.) Free Community Presentation, Resource Fair, and Q&A with the author brought to you by Door County Public Health Department Mental Health Focus Group.

Location: Prince of Peach Lutheran Church, 1756 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.  

Monday, May 11 (12:15 -1:15 p.m.) Education Program Sponsored by Door County Public Health Department Mental Health Focus Group. 

  • Location: Ministry Door County Medical Center, Conference Rooms One and Two. 
  • Intended Audience: Primary Care Physicians and All Other Clinic Providers. 
  • Program Objectives: 

  1. To learn to encourage voluntary treatment even when the person does not meet the commitment standard criteria of being a danger to himself or others; to understand that health is achievable despite a mental illness diagnosis.
  2. To empathize with people experiencing symptoms of mental illness and respect them as human beings; to set aside prejudices and stereotypes.
  3. To accept mental illness as a legitimate health problem and struggle that is outside of a person's control, while still holding him accountable for his actions.  

  • Lunch Included
  • RSVP: Medical Staff Services, Laurel Wise (920) 746-3741, ext. 3741 or 

Saturday, May 30  Private Book Club. (Invite me to your book club via Sykpe or in person. Free autographed copy for the host.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

A novel walk

I snapped the following pictures on the Ice Age Trail in Manitowoc, Wis. around 9 a.m. this morning. The scenery is inspiration for a fictional setting in my novel in progress. Enjoy the view, my friends. And, forgive my amateur photography skills.