During the month of May, communities across the country are bringing awareness to mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports one in five Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family and can do something to help others.
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network and the Department of Mental Health present a free screening of “Pack Up Your Sorrows,” a documentary film about singer/songwriter Meg Hutchinson, which explores the realities of living a healthy life while coping with mental illness. Attendees will have the chance to participate in a live Q&A after the screening with Meg.
Pack Up Your Sorrows follows Meg, a Massachusetts native, as she learns to live a healthy life with Bipolar Disorder. Through her eyes, viewers will explore different aspects of mood disorders – how families try to deal with the illness in their midst, the biology of these diseases of the brain, and the effects of traditional and alternative therapies like medication and meditation. Along the way, Meg seeks to understand the role mental illness has played in the lives of authors and historical figures. She also asks some of her heroes what steps we can take as a society to reduce the epidemic of suicide, especially among young people.
“Those of us who are experiencing mental illness, or are dealing with someone who is, know that it often brings with it a sense of shame and an inescapable loneliness,” Meg says. “These feelings can be exacerbated by the discrimination from a society that further marginalizes people who are most deserving of compassion. I hope by telling my story I can help change that.”
The filmmakers hope that the documentary will inspire more conversations on the uneasy subjects of bipolar disorder, depression, suicide and, more broadly, mental illness. They hope this film showing can be used as a tool to encourage discussions, especially among younger people.
Meg will be in attendance and participate in a post-show Q&A session on Wednesday, May 18 at the Watertown Free Public Library, doors open at 6:15 p.m.
About Meg Hutchinson: A native of the Berkshires in Western Mass., Meg Hutchinson is a nationally touring songwriter, poet and recording artist on Red House Records, living with bipolar. Meg is on the Active Minds Speakers Bureau, as well as, a keynote speaker at universities, conferences and teaching hospitals around the country. Visit www.meghutchinson.com to learn more.
About Wayside: Founded in 1977, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network is a non-profit, nationally accredited human services agency dedicated to building Strength, Hope and Resiliency through its family-based outreach services, residential treatment programs, and community-based counseling services to more than 6,000 children, youth and families throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.waysideyouth.org.