Welcome back our Iowa City Production team!

My life has been based on Serendipitous connections. 

Lisa Baum, my co-producer, and I reconnected after a fate-filled job interview. 

Jenn Marshall and I connected through storytelling and blogging. 

All chance meetings, all leading up to one amazing and life-changing experience – This is My Brave

I’ve struggled with mental illness my whole life. There are moments when the world is but a murmur in my brain, and I’m able to function day-to-day without anyone knowing. Then…there are the days when the cacophony of the world is just too much to bear, even with the blinds shut tight and a blanket over my head.

For years, I wrote about the good days and bad days over on my blog. Sharing story after story, about my experiences with mental illness. Suddenly, people started to share their stories, and soon Jenn was asking me to bring these stories to a stage. 

How on Earth could I say no?

Last year, Lisa and I were truly blessed to bring the voices of mental illness to the stage. It was time to end the stigma and raise awareness for a disease that is more prevalent than diabetes. At times it was heartbreaking, but then there were moments that just stopped me in my tracks. The moments filled with laughter, music, inspiration and hope. 

It changed Lisa and I forever, and the audience as well. 

So many people asked (begged) us to do it again. 

“Next year I need to tell my story,” a dear friend stated. “You are doing it again aren’t you?” 

Well, of course. Because there are many more stories yet to be told, and we can’t wait to hear them. 

Would you like to share your story?

Email your musical piece, poem, story or visual essay to Brook@thisismybrave.org and help end the stigma. 

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Brook Easton lives in Iowa City with her husband, two boys and a dog {who is also a boy}. She’s shares her story on her blog at RedheadReverie.com and is the social media manager for her husband’s business William Easton Design. Her first-hand experience with mental illness has followed her through three generations – her father, herself and her son. Her dream is to end the stigma of mental illness, and have it be recognized as a true medical diagnosis with the same insurance coverage and life-saving resources available to all.

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Lisa Baum is a community connector who lives in Iowa City. She’s the mother of two sons, a music connoisseur and travels the world discovering other cultures. Lisa knows mental health issues affect every person on Earth at one time or another and This is My Brave is one of the most powerful tools we can create to bridge the gap of understanding.