Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mike Shanahan. I am a graduate of Stevenson University where I majored in Business Information Systems. I attended Archbishop Curley High School. I grew up in Essex, MD and currently reside in Abingdon, MD where I live with my wife of 15 years, two wonderful children, Griffin (10) and Ryann (5) and my two dogs (Ace the English Mastiff and Winston the Boxer). In my free time, I enjoy playing baseball, coaching my son’s baseball team, fishing and just hanging out with my family.
How has mental illness affected your life?
I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder 11 years ago. Throughout that span of time, I have been on more medications and made more trips to the Emergency Room than I care to remember. I have also tried to educate myself on mental illness as much as possible and, slowly but surely, have made great strides in my journey. My mental illness not only affects me but family and friends as well but thankfully I have a wonderful support system.
Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?
People who suffer from mental health issues use different techniques to help them deal with their illness and manage their lives. For me personally, I use humor as my coping mechanism (not actually during a panic/anxiety attack but rather in general). When I was approached by friends who asked me to do a comedy routine, my initial instinct was to say no because I felt others wouldn’t understand my sense of humor however after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that if I could help even one person relate or make even one person laugh/smile, then it was worth it.
What inspires you to stay mentally healthy?
My kids are the biggest inspiration I have to stay mentally healthy. They look up to me and I want to be the best father I can be, mentally and physically, so that I can help guide them down the right paths during their lives.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
I hope that the audience understands that mental health awareness is a very serious and important topic that, all too often, flies under the radar. If my performance can relay that message, while helping shed the stigma surrounding mental health and, if I’m lucky, make some people laugh as well, I consider that a successful show.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Mike and more brave storytellers. This is one mental health performance you won't want to miss!
Please share this post with friends and family in the Baltimore area. We're all affected by mental health and addiction issues, and the more we can support each other, the easier it will be for people to seek help. This Is My Brave is proof that Storytelling Saves Lives.