SARDAA Volunteers Recognized at Tom Braxton CD Launch Party

A CD Launch Party for Tom Braxton was held at the home of SARDAA executive Director, Linda Stalters & Russ Stalters and was co-hosted by Dr. Jim and Sandy Anderson. Tom Braxton and Gianna, the vocalist has performed at the last two SARDAA Gala’s, Jazz On My Mind.  Tom Braxton and his wife, Sharon, are great supporters of SARDAA. There were over 100 guests at the event asking for more.  Just wait for something super special to evolve.

SARDAA volunteers were recognized for their great contributions to help with the SARDAA mission.

Tom playing from the “bridge”

Tom playing from the “bridge”

 

Tom with Vocalist Gianna

Tom with Vocalist Gianna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured in the long line:  Rickey Ford, Jim Anderson, Sandy Mayfield Anderson, Tom Braxton, Sharon Braxton, Linda Stalters, Darren Giles-Bey.

Pictured in the long line: Rickey Ford, Jim Anderson, Sandy Mayfield Anderson, Tom Braxton, Sharon Braxton, Linda Stalters, Darren Giles-Bey.

Tom playing from the “bridge”

Tom playing from the “bridge”

Tom, Linda S, Rosalva Gutierrez

Tom, Linda Stalters, Rosalva Gutierrez

Comments on ‘Out of the Shadow’ Documentary by the Filmmaker, Susan Smiley

pic of mother and two daughtersNearly 6 years in the making, ‘Out of the Shadow’ is a deeply personal film that was truly a labor of love, as well as a mission.

Many years ago, before I started making documentaries for a living, I knew there was one story I had to tell, a story I had no choice but to tell. It was happening in my own life, to my own mother. Her life seemed too strange and disturbing to be true.

‘Out of the Shadow’ was born out of my anger about the stigma and vast code of silence surrounding people with schizophrenia and their families. When I learned about how pervasive this illness is, I realized that it’s not just my mother’s story, it’s millions of people’s story. People with severe mental disorders are all around us, and I am deeply troubled by our society’s profound misunderstanding of what schizophrenia is, and of the people who are afflicted with it.

In my family no one talked about my mother’s “odd” behavior, but we all wondered why she couldn’t “pull her life together.” After decades of repeated apartment evictions and involuntary hospitalizations kept my mother on a constant cycle of unfamiliar living arrangements, psychiatric wards, doctors, social workers and medications, we finally realized that she actually was so ill that she wasn’t able to help herself.

As a filmmaker, I knew that the intimacy I had with my mother would offer unprecedented insight into the life of someone who suffers from schizophrenia, as well as their families who also have to cope with the pain and confusion of the illness. I hoped that by showing my family’s insights, I could illuminate realities and clarify misconceptions. In filming my mother, I also wanted to expose the travesties of our public health system inability to offer continuum of care, so fractured is it that decades of her life were simply lost by missed opportunities. In some small way, I hope this film will educate people who have had to care for a loved one who suffers from schizophrenia. I also hope that it will help educate those people who are not directly affected by the illness, but simply desire to better understand it.

In addition, it’s my sincere wish that this film will offer families a renewed sense of hope. It took decades for my family to learn how to take care of our mother, and help her realize some degree of potential. I have learned that some recovery IS possible if the proper supports such as housing, job training and placement and medication management are in place. Cooperation between mental health professionals and family caregivers has given our family a sense of empowerment and hope that we never before experienced. It’s also allowed Millie to realize goals she never before thought were possible.

I would like to thank SARDAA and Linda Stalters for including Out of the Shadow in their film festival. I am sorry I could not be with you at the screening but please feel free to email your comments to us at info@outoftheshadow.com, and check out our website www.outoftheshadow.com, for more information and educational materials.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Susan Smiley

WHY SA?

By Margery Wakefield (and friends) Tonight I am getting together with my friends – my friends being a dozen or so schizophrenics from the Denver, Colorado area. We get together every Monday night from 7:00 to 8:00pm to share our experiences, strength and hope with one another. In other words, to have an SA group.Read More

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Reflection of Memorial Day

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Memorial Day was great this past weekend. Normally, this is a somber time for those of us who are veterans. As a veteran I can tell you that often I do not look forward to these veteran holidays and July 4th due to the fact that it often times brings up memories of not beingRead More

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Clinical Trial: Is Something Missing From Your Schizophrenia Treatment?

KU Wichita Clinical Trial Unit Local doctors are conducting a medical research study for people diagnosed with schizophrenia who are currently taking medication. They want to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an experimental schizophrenia drug to see if it helps a person’s mental abilities such as attention, memory, understanding, or reasoning. The experimental drugRead More

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Mental Health and the Media

The media, mental illness, and another shooter is securing the spotlight on a holiday that is meant for memorializing our heroes and honoring them. It is troubling and sublimely disheartening that our media focuses on yet another shooter. The most troubling aspect of this is that the media consistently no matter which shooter it isRead More

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Photos and Archive of Radio Interview with SARDAA Executive Director

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SARDAA Executive Director Linda Stalters was interviewed on Small Business Today Internet Radio on April 16, 2014. Listen to archive: www.mjwjtalkradio.com   Print PDF

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The Cost of Not Caring: Nowhere to go

The Financial and Human Toll for Neglecting the Mentally Ill More than half a million Americans with serious mental illness are falling through the cracks of a system in tatters, a USA TODAY special report shows. The mentally ill who have nowhere to go and find little sympathy from those around them often land hardRead More

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Electronic App May Help Schizophrenia Patients to Avoid Hallucinations

It turns out that the frontal lobe in the brains of schizophrenia patients does not function exactly the way it should. As a result, these patients have a lesser degree of impulse control and are unable to filter out their inner voices. “Every one of us hears inner voices or melodies from time to time. The differenceRead More

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Mental Health Now Covered Under ACA, but Not for Everyone

Several states are trying new experiments to ensure complete coverage, while others opt out altogether. Mix mental illness with politics and the business of health insurance, add heavy doses of stigma and judgment, and it’s not surprising that providing mental and behavioral health treatment is as complicated as ever, despite promising language in the AffordableRead More

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