It takes a lot of guts to perform on stage in front of a live audience. That’s certainly true for individuals participating in the 9th Annual Mental Health Fashion and Talent Showcase. The event will be held Friday, May 4, at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Tulsa.
The show gives individuals with mental illness an opportunity to enjoy the spotlight, build self esteem and confidence, and socialize in a warm and accepting environment. Several clients of the Psycho-Social Rehabilitation (PSR) program at Family & Children’s Services take to the stage each year.
For the last four years, I’ve had the pleasure of helping organize the show and working side-by-side with participants, like Collin*. Collin has been part of the PSR program at Family & Children’s Services for several years. Through PSR, Collin and other individuals with mental illness or co-occurring disorders develop life skills (such as housekeeping, budgeting and building strong relationships), access psychiatric care, and learn to manage their mental and physical health.
Collin was a veteran fashion model in the show when I came on the scene, but hadn’t shared his talent publicly. He was a quiet man who rarely spoke to others, kept his head down and struggled to find his voice. But with encouragement and support, Collin decided to take a chance and take the microphone. What a huge triumph it was to hear Collin sing in front of a large audience!
Since then, Collin has performed in both the fashion and talent portion of the show each year. His confidence has soared and carried over into his group and home setting, where he continues to work on being more assertive and advocating for himself and his recovery. Collin will represent himself and Family & Children’s Services in the Mental Health Fashion and Talent Showcase again this year. He and I look forward to seeing you there!
*name changed to protect client’s privacy