Chicago, IL…. State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) is honored to invite first responders and their families to a unique event free of charge; the First Responders Story Showcase. The showcase will be presented on Tuesday, November 19th from 6pm-8pm at Taft High School, 6530 Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago.
The First Responders Story Showcase features first hand mental health experiences collected from police officers and fire fighters. The event is a one-hour professional performance that brings these stories to life, followed by a facilitated discussion about the stigma and issues faced by the first responder community and their families.
“We know that our first responders face unique challenges on the job, but what’s less talked about or acknowledged is the struggles they continue to face after their day at the “office” is done,” Rep. Stephens said. “We need to support each other and we need to talk about these issues, but this community more so than others is reticent to do so. I’m honored to host an event I think will be great in starting a dialogue and maybe bring about a greater understanding among families and loved ones.”
The joint event is hosted with the help of Alderman Anthony Napolitano and is presented by the Chicago based non-profit Erasing the Distance. Erasing the Distance is a documentary theatre group that explores mental health and uses verbatim text built from interviews with real people who have experienced mental health issues. Given the nature of the topics discussed during the event, Erasing the Distance recommends the event for ages 13 and older.
“My hope is that this impacts the community in a positive, healing way,” Rep. Stephens continued, “This event isn’t limited to first responders and their families. Everyone struggles with mental health and while this showcase will touch on some of the unique experiences and stigmas of first responders, it will also address universal mental health issues.”
Rep. Stephens currently serves on the Veteran’s Committee in the Illinois House and was recently appointed to the First Responder Suicide Task Force. For more information, visit RepStephens.com or call (773) 444-0611.