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Speakers are welcome to talk from a variety of viewpoints, open or not about specific diagnoses, personally choosing to be on medication and choosing not to be. Though often prosaic, we are never prescriptive. We start the conversation, and all talks are half story telling and half dialogue with audience members. We will change your views on schizophrenia. Bring us in for your team or students. Direct communication is the best and only way to help change people’s attitudes about each other. Painted Brain Talks have the most dramatic, immediate impact on audiences of any Painted Brain activity. They consistently, and with statistical significance, lead audience members to reconsider their ideas about people with mental illness in three key areas: reduced stigmatizing attitudes, improved attitudes about ability and potential, and increased belief in the potential for recovery. More crucially, audience members reported an increased likelihood of seeking mental health treatment and support for themselves if needed.
Our speakers present a mix of voices from professionals and peer leaders. Painted Brain feels that mental health providers, like our director, can benefit the field of mental health by opening up about our own struggles. Professionals do nothing for stigma reduction by hiding our own mental health challenges, and such secrecy perpetuates the false dichotomy between mental illness and mental health. Our speakers are artists of all stripes, loud advocates for a new view of psychiatric symptoms and brave voices charting a path towards an identity that incorporates mental health instead of denying the importance of this aspect in our development.
By speaking in raw and honest terms about living with psychiatric symptoms in a complex world, we challenge students of all ages, backgrounds, and persuasions to think differently about mental illness. Our speakers represent all walks of life and all types of mental health experiences. We do not script a message for audiences though will tailor the talk towards the demographic. For example, in speaking to young mental health professionals the focus will be on how our speakers have experienced mental health hurdles, whereas speaking to high school students the focus is on that period of their lives.