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Show in Wheeling offers insight into mental illness

That's what This Is My Brave is all about, and on Tuesday night, Wheeling had the chance to participate.

Imagine you are struggling with a mental illness. Its daily pain makes you feel alone, that is, until you walk into a theater, where others are sharing their stories of struggle, similar to your own.

That's what This Is My Brave is all about, and on Tuesday night, Wheeling had the chance to participate.

Capitol Theatre hosted This Is My Brave, a program focused on helping those with mental illness.

The show was put on by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Wheeling.

Organizers hope that the stories shared will help end the stigma that surrounds the subject.

"Having lived with a secret, a lot of times people keep it hidden because they're afraid of how other people will react,” said This Is My Brave Co-Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Marshall.

Marshall started the program in 2013, after writing blogs to cope with her type 1 bipolar disorder.

She's seen an abundance of support since then, and has witnessed a change in the lives of others.

"When people are brave up on stage, the audience also feels brave,” Marshall said. “They see pieces of themselves in their stories and it opens up the conversation."

The program travels around the country. Each show features local men and women. Tuesday's show included several from the Ohio Valley.

"It's really encouraging and it goes to show you how much people want to speak out about their experiences and help other people," Marshall said.

This Is My Brave recently won a grant to create a documentary next year.

Anyone wanting to get involved with the organization can go to their website.

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