The Gift of Mental Health Awareness

 Ryann poses for a photo after our 2016 DC show.

Ryann poses for a photo after our 2016 DC show.

Today we want to wish a very Happy Birthday to Ryann Tanap, one of our DC storytellers from last year's show. About a month ago, Ryann emailed to tell us she wanted to do a fundraiser for her birthday to benefit This Is My Brave. 

From Ryann's Facebook page:

You all know me: I shamelessly promote mental health because it is just as important as physical health. I do this because there is absolutely NO shame in asking for help. We all have our reasons for seeking help, whether it's being affected by trauma, mental illness, addiction, etc.

To be 100% honest, here is my journey over the past year. I am so thankful for those who have been a part of it.

On August 11, 2016, I auditioned for the This Is My Brave, Inc. Fall Show. Two months later, I was on stage with the D.C. Cast, talking openly about my (challenging) search for a therapist. It was the first time I ever performed spoken word about my own mental health story. Five months after that, I finally found a therapist that I connected with (and whom took my insurance). I am proud to say I now go to therapy once a week.

All this month, I've been asking for your support of This Is My Brave. This incredible non-profit organization provides a supportive community, as well as stage time, for those who want to shatter the stigma and share their mental health stories. We use art (storytelling, poetry, song, dance, etc.), because it is a healthy form of self-expression. Also, the org invites those who may not be comfortable to join the mental health conversation in a creative way.

I made it a goal to hit $1K in support of This Is My Brave. I have until the end of tomorrow night to do so. With your help, I am giving back to an organization that inspired me to talk about what many people in society shy away from. I want others to have the opportunity to be their true selves - in front of a live audience. Will you join me?

We're so proud of you, Ryann and we appreciate everything you do to advance mental health awareness! Have a wonderful Birthday today and thank you for fundraising for us!

A big Thank You to all Ryann's supporters for their donations:

Daphne Kwok

Marisol Thomer

Natalje Tucker


Kristin Pedemonti

Virginia Lee

Kristine Mosuela

Kendall Lorenzen


Nenha Martin

winifred watson-florence

Edna Kane Williams

Mike Bruijns

Masrur Islam

There's still time to donate if you'd like to contribute to Ryann's Birthday fundraiser and help us to fund more shows in cities across the US for 2018!