Starting a Dialogue About Living with Mental Illness

May 12, 2015

Two years ago, Jennifer Marshall launched a project on Kickstarter to make it easier to talk openly about mental illness. “This is My Brave” was the product - a night of music, poetry and storytelling performed by and for people with mental illness and their advocates.

The event is coming to Iowa for the first time on Friday, May 15. Joseph Sorensen is a songwriter from Cedar Rapids who will be performing.

“Music has always helped me process how I feel. Many of my songs are about mental health; I try to write songs with very hopeful messages,” Sorensen explains. He says he’s been coping with his own mental illness through music since early high school.

During River to River segment host Ben Kieffer talks with Brooke Easton, who is a producer for the event, as well as Sorensen and Marshall. 

Joan Becker, author of the new memoir Sentenced to Life: the Mark Becker Storyalso joins the conversation. She says it's okay for people to ask about her son, Mark Becker, who shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg head football coach Ed Thomas. 

"It's okay to ask how he is. People talk about heart disease all the time, if they want to. This shouldn't be any different," she says.