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by Jermel Quillopo Wednesday August 5, 2015    10:14 AM

A unique evening of interactive community theatre, helping to break the stigma surrounding mental illness

PORTLAND, Oregon - Mental health issues affect us all in one way or another, yet the shame and stigma surrounding mental illness keeps many of us silent. For one night only, Break the Silence, Break the Stigma uses the power of theater combined with real life stories of Oregon residents that have experienced hard and often silent adversities. These stories will help lift the veil surrounding mental illness and start a dialogue toward healing.

Tuesday - September 15, 2015 7:30pm-9:30pm Artists Reparatory Theatre, Alder Stage - 1515 SW Morrison Light snacks and beverages will be available during the performance Tickets: $25.00, available at Portland Playback Theater Troupe, in collaboration with NAMI Multnomah, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare brings you SIX true stories of struggle, triumph and hope at the Artists Repertory Theatre.

"Playback offers a performance where the stories come to life. They do it with respect, humor and provide information that can break the stigma," said NAMI Associate Director, Patty Lyons.

The organizations hope that the impact of sharing personal stories bring people together, fosters awareness and connects people with themes and issues that we face but generally ignore.

"There is a greater understanding of how to support folks who have mental health issues in a positive manner, and hopefully a sense of compassion and good will towards those who suffer from such challenges." said Playback Theater's Artistic Director, Jackie Paris.

Some that suffer from mental health issues are often are too ashamed to talk about it and are too ashamed to seek help, resulting in social isolation- both for the affected individuals as well as their family members. This event shows that it that takes a community to help create a healthy movement and that through every hardship, there are people like you and I that can give hope.

"This event creates an opportunity to talk about something that affects 1 out of 4 Americans each year and illustrates the various avenues that can be taken in the journey toward recovery," said Cascadia's CEO, Derald Walker.

After these powerful performances, the audience will have an opportunity to talk with community members and mental health professionals and learn more about Oregon's Mental Health community. All proceeds from this one-time performance benefits local mental health organizations, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and NAMI Multnomah.


ABOUT CASCADIA: Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit organization providing services in Multnomah, Clackamas, Lane and Marion counties. Cascadia's mission is to provide healing, homes and hope for people living with mental health and addiction challenges. For more than 25 years, Cascadia has been a leader in the state of Oregon for providing behavioral health services and in the development and management of affordable housing for people with mental illness and addictions. Cascadia provides a comprehensive range of innovative clinical and housing support programs. For more information, visit:

About NAMI Multnomah: NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is one of the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through research, education, support and advocacy. NAMI Multnomah is the is the 501(c)3 nonprofit's local Oregon chapter. For more information, visit:

About Playback Theatre: Portland Playback Theater is an ensemble company made up of professional actors, dancers, musicians, writers, group facilitators, business consultants and therapists. Each ensemble member brings a unique set of talents and each is committed to offering creative approaches to exploring issues and building community. Portland Playback Theater are members of the International Playback Theater Network and the Portland Area Theater Alliance. For more information, visit:

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