Monday, 17 March 2008

MDA Education Evening - March 20


From being enmeshed in psychiatric boarding houses and the justice system, Barry shares how hope finally grew from despair. He makes recommendations on how to make the system work better, and how to save precious lives.

Mental Health Topics for The Community

Thurs, March 20

Sunrise Hall
1950 Windermere St
(East 4th Ave)

For more
contact MDA:
604-873-0103 or

MDA is funded by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), community donations and is a member of the BC Partners for Mental Health
and Addictions Information.

Question and answer period to follow.

Bipolar Disorder:
How I Transformed
My Life

Barry Shainbaum
photographer, broadcaster, author..
and true survivor

Theatre Event; worthy of your support

The Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre Presents:

The Loonie Awards (Not Just Another Recovery Awards Show)

(VANCOUVER) - What do a dog walker, a film maker, and a barista all have in common? They're all people in recovery. They all have stories to tell. They're all recipients of this year's Loonie Awards.

The Loonie awards are presented to people in recovery from mental illness and addiction, people who have the courage to show the inner working of the recovery process. Using a humorous awards show format the cast explores a variety of recovery experiences, like learning what it truly means to be handicapped, the challenge of dealing with negative people, and what it's like to be obsessed with the colour yellow.

By using personal experiences to explore the entire recovery process the show breaks down the stigma of mental illness. From the dizzying highs to the crushing lows, and then on to balance and stability, the cast brings to life their profound epiphanies, life changing experiences, and realizations. A recovery tour de force.

The Loonie Awards takes a light look at a heavy subject. By using humour the cast gains a unique insight into the recovery experience. Audiences get to see what it's like to have a full-blown psychotic episode, to live life under the table, struggle with an eating disorder or what can happen when you bottle things up. They also get to see what happens when you choose recovery, take responsibility for your life, and ultimately move forward to a meaningful, satisfying existence.

We've all had bad days at work, family conflicts, needed to loose weight, gain weight, or quit drinking. If you think there's no hope for people with mental illness to live satisfying, meaningful lives, think again. Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre is walking the talk of what it's like to live with and recover from mental illness and addiction.

The Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre program was founded by Elly Litvak with funding from Vancouver Coastal Health's Consumer Initiative Fund. Elly's experience in theatre and mental health give her a unique insight of the recovery process. Her one-woman show 'Now Who's Crazy Now?' was the inspiration for the program.

"Performing my one-woman show chronicling my journey of living with and recovering from a mental illness was the most empowering experience in my life. I needed to share the experience, the more stories we share the more we reduce the stigma of mental illness. People need to know that recovery is possible, people get better."

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre is an innovative project where people in recovery from mental illness and addiction learn a variety of theatre disciplines including acting, voice, improvisation and playwriting. The ultimate result is a highly educational, entertaining and humorous play where performers portray aspects of their personal recovery journey. Audiences gain insights into what recovery from mental illness is really like for a variety of people and circumstances. Audience members on the recovery path are inspired with hope and concrete examples of 'how' people recovery.


March 21 1:00pm & 7:00pm

Matinee FREE for people in recovery

March 22 7:00pm

St. James Community Square, 3214 W 10th (at Trutch)

Tickets $12 Advance, $15 at the door

CONTACT: ELLY LITVAK 604-688-1556, 604-838-1556 Cell\loonieawards

BrainStorm Poetry Contest for Consumers

It's time to enter the 6th Annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest

ImageOnce again, NISA is running its annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest for mental health consumers, offering prizes and publication to its winners. If you are a writer who has experienced mental health difficulties or mental illness, you are eligible to enter our poetry contest. But you need to get your entry into our offices by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2008.

What kind of poetry are we looking for? Poetry about the experience of mental illness is welcomed; however, all subjects are acceptable. We want to showcase the talent and creativity of mental health consumers, so choose your best work. Poems are blind-judged and decisions are based on poetic merit.

The writers of the top three poems will be awarded monetary prizes of $250, $150 and $75, respectively, and their poems will be published in the Spring 2008 edition of our magazine Open Minds Quarterly. Poems meriting honorable mentions will be published in a later issue. (If you want to read about last year's contest, click here.)

Are you ready? The entry fee is $10.00 for up to three poems, and your poems must arrive at NISA with your entry fee and completed entry form. Please review the rules and guidelines before sending in your work to make sure that your poem will qualify for the contest.

NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization in Sudbury, Ontario. We are consumer-run and we offer a number of occupational opportunities for mental health consumers to focus on their own individual talents and gifts. The BrainStorm Contest is intended as a fundraiser for its psychosocial literary magazine, Open Minds Quarterly, as well as a way to support other consumer/survivors by awarding prizes to the top three winners.

Don't delay! Download the entry form now by clicking here.

Lush Literary Awards Competition



maximum 3,000 words
POETRY: a suite of five related poems (maximum 15 pages)
CREATIVE NON-FICTION: (based on fact, adorned with fiction): maximum 4,000 words

Entry fee: $25 per entry (entrants may submit as many entries in as many categories as they like). Entry fee includes a one-year subTerrain subscription.

The winning entries in each category will receive a $750 cash prize (plus payment for publication) and will be published in our Winter issue. First runner-up in each category will receive a $250 cash prize and be published in the Spring issue of subTerrain.

All entries MUST be previously unpublished material and not currently under consideration in any other contest or competition. The editorial board reserves the right to not award a winner in any or all of the three categories if no entries meet publishable standards. Entries will NOT be returned (so, keep a copy for yourself). Results of the competition will be announced on this website and in the Summer/Fall issue of the magazine. All entrants receive a complimentary one-year subscription to subTerrain.

Lush Triumphant, subTerrain Magazine,
PO Box 3008, MPO, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X5