My name is Traci Taylor. I am from Loudoun County, Virginia. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Early
Childhood Education from James Madison University and a Master’s Degree in New Professional Studies from George Mason University. I am currently an aftercare preschool teacher. I am also a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) In Our Own Voice Presenter. In this role, I give speeches about my personal experiences and challenges with mental illness to various audiences throughout Northern Virginia. In my free time I enjoy volunteering at a local hospital, attending church, and spending time with my two adult daughters.
Mental illness has affected my life in many ways. I first started experiencing significant depression in the late 1990’s. In the early stages, mental illness wrecked my life and turned it upside down. I simply didn’t know how to deal with the challenges that I was experiencing. My mental illness caused a lot of stress for my two daughters, mom and dad, and sisters. After thirteen hospitalizations, trying all kinds of medications, participating in countless therapy and support group sessions, and a diagnosis change, I can finally say I am on the mend and starting to feel that my depression is more stable.
I want to be a part of This Is My Brave because I’m tired and frustrated with the stigma associated with mental illness. I want everyone to feel accepted and free to reveal. I am also presenting because it is a way for me to heal. The people that inspire me to stay mentally healthy are my family, the members of my treatment and therapy teams, and regular everyday people who fight their way through life’s challenges with strength and grace.
It is my hope that the audience will leave the show with newfound understanding of and appreciation for individuals who deal with mental illness every day, and the challenges they must face. I hope that they view me and the other cast members as intelligent, stable, creative, talented, and hopeful individuals who have a powerful voice and a great deal to share with the world if people stop to listen.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Traci 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 Northern Virginia 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.