Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Hillary Marotta. First and foremost, I am a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls here in Hershey, PA. I spend most of my days with my girls, but wear many hats outside of our home as well. I train teachers who teach English as a Second Language to adults locally, and I manage curriculum and resources. At church, I serve as leader of the Missions and Christian Unity Committee, which puts me in charge of our church's reach out into local, national, and international missions. When I have free time (ha!), I love to read, walk, and spend time with friends. At any point during the summer months, you can find me at the beach, relaxing with my feet in the sand as that is my most beloved place. Most recently, what I've become most passionate about is assisting in finding funding for and helping to grow This Is My Brave, Inc. I've been helping to secure grant funding as well as produce the Harrisburg This Is My Brave - The Show.
How has mental illness affected your life?
Shortly after start of college, I was diagnosed with depression. I was not feeling like myself at all. It was a difficult transition for me. I was treated successfully with medication and talk therapy, but depression and anxiety have made their existences known many times since. It truly is a lifelong battle, and I empathize with those who share my struggles.
Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?
I wanted to be part of This Is My Brave because I saw the courage and fortitude that Jennifer showed. Her story along with the stories of the premier cast members really touched and inspired me. I wanted to help Jennifer further her cause in any way possible, because this world would be a much better place if we were kinder, more gentle, and more understanding of one another. Stigma comes from fear, and when we can asage the fears of others by sharing our own experiences, we will help end the stigma around mental illness.
Who or what inspires you to stay mentally healthy?
It's an easy answer, but it still rings truest. My biggest inspirations are my two beautiful children. My goal in raising them is to show them a role a model who is strong, courageous, and kind. Every time I make a decision, I think of them and whether I'm staying true to myself. I know I need to stay healthy for them, so I continue to take my medication, make changes as necessary, and continue talk therapy.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
I hope the audience walks away from our show feeling brave, inspired, and empowered. I want people to feel as if they understand mental illness more thoroughly, recognize that mental illness can affect anyone, and feel brave enough to either tell their own story or ask about someone else's. Most importantly, I want people to walk away with less fear.