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National Mental Health Awareness Month
May has been designated as National Mental Health Awareness Month and the DC Poetry Project is committed to raising awareness about the issue of mental illness. Clinical evidence suggests, mental illness is commonplace in society and unfortunately the stigma associated with mental illness often reigns supreme. For example, sufferers live in silence and family members and other caregivers feel helpless and without hope for their loved ones’ recovery. One area that has served as an important coping mechanism for healing is writing, reciting, and sharing poetry (see YouTube video below). Poetry offers many who suffer from mental illness, as well as their loved ones, the opportunity to “Metaphorically Scream,” and guides their thoughts in positive ways to release feelings, to raise awareness, to demystify stigma and to raise hopes related to recovery.
The DC Poetry Project Poetry Salon
A salon is a gathering of people from living rooms, bookstores and libraries. They are held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase knowledge through conversation.
The Salon will salute playwright-poet-novelist Ntozake Shange. Ms. Shange has publicly shared her story about living with a mental disorder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbh1TZ27rqI . In her honor, there will be a showing of her most noted work. The program will be held on Sunday, May 18th at Watha T. Daniel Shaw Neighborhood Library www.dclibrary (http://www.dclibrary.org/watha).org/watha (http://www.dclibrary.org/watha). The program will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the large Meeting Room on the Lower Level.
The program will be facilitated by Sophie Ford Clark, who has been praised for her work as a champion of women's rights. Ms. Clark is also the Executive Director of the Washington, DC Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMIDC.org). In this position, she has demonstrated deep commitment to empower those living with mental illness to share their journey with others to help demystify and de-stigmatize the anxiety and negative perception often surrounding mental illness. If you would like additional information about NAMI DC, please call 202-546-0646.
Let Poetry Ring,
Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram